Setting up centralized logging

m.roth2006 at m.roth2006 at
Wed Jan 14 16:12:58 UTC 2009


>Date: Wed, 14 Jan 2009 15:42:22 +0100
>From: "Kenneth Holter" <kenneho.ndu at>  
>We're planning on setting up centralized logging for our RHEL systems, and
>have to decide on applications to use for collecting logs and analyzing
>Most of our systems are running RHEL, so we're looking for software that is
>supported on this platform.
>The first issue would be to decide on which syslog implementation to use,
>and "syslog-ng" seems to be very popular. Will this be included in EPEL or
>such in near future?
>Are there better options than syslog-ng?

How *very* odd - at work, last week, we were just deciding on this, and setting it up. Anyway, my manager decided on syslog-ng, which has been around a long time, although I understand that rsyslog is coming in as the standard with CentOS.

What we did was to set up one syslog server with syslog-ng. All the other servers were left with the stock syslog, which does allow you to specify that a copy of the log should also be sent to a remote server.

For example, in the /etc/syslog.conf, for the std. syslog, you add:
*.info;mail.none;;cron.none;kern.debug;daemon.err @<syslog server name>

Then, on the syslog server, as I said, we put in syslog-ng. In its configuration file, I separated remote servers (and tcp and udp incoming logs), and then set up filters and destinations in <path>/<hostname><YYYYMMDD>/<logs>

Setting up filters turned out to be incredibly easy. One post I found very helpful was
In my case, I used facility(secure) and match(strings I wanted), and dumped them in separate destinations.

>After collecting the syslog data, we'll need to analyze them. Swatch and SEC
>are two options, as well as logwatch. The latter doesn't monitor in real
>time, so I guess this one is out of the picture. Feedback on Swatch and SEC,
>as well as other good options, is appreciated.
Let us know how it goes. I'd be interested in knowing what you use.


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