Integration with “standard” syslogd

Many people call sysklogd that “standard” syslogd because it comes by default with many distributions. Well, more precisely we should say “it came by default”. Over time, rsyslog has replaced sysklogd in most Linux distributions (for example, Fedora, Debian and Ubuntu). So it may be worth checking if rsyslog is already the standard syslogd on a system in question.

Things to think about

In any case, rsyslogd can work well with sysklogd. However, there are a number of limitations, based in missing capabilities of sysklogd. Most importantly, sysklogd does not support tcp syslog or any other protocol but UDP. Note that UDP syslogd does not offer reliability. So some syslog messages will probably be lost, especially on a busy system and/or network. If this is not acceptable, sysklogd must be replaced.

Also, various implementations of legacy syslogd’s use somewhat malformed message formats (based on current standards). As such, rsyslog may not correctly interpret the messages. There are solutions for this problem, but this currently is out of scope for the cookbook-type approach of this book. If you need to deal with these issues, please look at the official reference documentation or ask on the rsyslog forum or mailing list.

Config Statements

You need to configure the legacy syslogd (sysklogd, for example) to send messages to the machine running rsyslogd. The syntax is somewhat similar to rsyslogd’s, but offers limited options. Only basic priority filters can be used, and ports, zip compression or templates can not be specified.

Let us assume that the rsyslogd runing on the machine shall receive a copy of all messages and the rsyslgod running on machine shall receive copy of all mail-related logs.

In legacy syslog you configure this as follows:

*.* @

On the rsyslog side, you need to set up UDP reception. For the machine that gathers all logs, rsyslog.conf may look like below. Note that the listening port must be 514 as legacy syslogd (usually) does not support any other.

$ModLoad imudp
$UDPServerRun 514
# Log anything (except mail) of level info or higher.
# Don't log private authentication messages!
*.info;mail.none;authpriv.none;cron.none /var/log/messages
# The authpriv file has restricted access.
authpriv.* /var/log/secure
# Log all the mail messages in one place.
mail.* /var/log/maillog
# Log cron stuff
cron.* /var/log/cron
# Everybody gets emergency messages
*.emerg *
# Save news errors of level crit and higher in a special file.
uucp,news.crit /var/log/spooler
# Save boot messages also to boot.log
local7.* /var/log/boot.log

Note that this configuration will store both local and remote messages into the same files. This often is not desirable. Please refer to recipe 2.2.1 to see how to split local and remote logs to different files.

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