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How to configure a syslog server with rsyslog on Linux

04/03/2016 Comments off

rsyslog linuxA syslog server represents a central log monitoring point on a network, to which all kinds of devices including Linux or Windows servers, routers, switches or any other hosts can send their logs over network. By setting up a syslog server, you can filter and consolidate logs from different hosts and devices into a single location, so that you can view and archive important log messages more easily.

On most Linux distributions, rsyslog is the standard syslog daemon that comes pre-installed. Configured in a client/server architecture, rsyslog can play both roles; as a syslog server rsyslog can gather logs from other devices, and as a syslog client, rsyslog can transmit its internal logs to a remote syslog server.

In this tutorial, we cover how to configure a centralized syslog server using rsyslog on Linux. Before we go into the details, it is instructive to go over syslog standard first.

Basic of Syslog Standard

When logs are collected with syslog mechanism, three important things must be taken into consideration:

  • Facility level: what type of processes to monitor
  • Severity (priority) level: what type of log messages to collect
  • Destination: where to send or record log messages

Let’s take a look at how the configuration is defined in more detail.

The facility levels define a way to categorize internal system processes. Some of the common standard facilities in Linux are:

  • auth: messages related to authentication (login)
  • cron: messages related to scheduled processes or applications
  • daemon: messages related to daemons (internal servers)
  • kernel: messages related to the kernel
  • mail: messages related to internal mail servers
  • syslog: messages related to the syslog daemon itself
  • lpr: messages related to print servers
  • local0 – local7: messages defined by user (local7 is usually used by Cisco and Windows servers)

The severity (priority) levels are standardized, and defined by using standard abbreviation and an assigned number with number 7 being the highest level of all. These levels are:

  • emerg: Emergency – 0
  • alert: Alerts – 1
  • crit: Critical – 2
  • err: Errors – 3
  • warn: Warnings – 4
  • notice: Notification – 5
  • info: Information – 6
  • debug: Debugging – 7

Finally, the destination statement enforces a syslog client to perform one of three following tasks: (1) save log messages on a local file, (2) route them to a remote syslog server over TCP/UDP, or (3) send them to stdout such as a console.

In rsyslog, syslog configuration is structured based on the following schema.

[facility-level].[severity-level]  [destination]

Lire la suite…