TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Tips & Tidbits

Volume Number: 21 (2005)
Issue Number: 9
Column Tag: Programming

Tips & Tidbits

Centralized Device Logging With Tiger and Syslogd

by Aaron Adams

Many network devices, such as routers, firewalls, and wireless access points, have the ability to send logging information to other listening devices called syslog servers. Mac OS X uses a syslog server daemon to record its own logging information, and that same daemon can also be configured to accept logging information from external devices. In this quick tutorial, we'll do just that by editing a text file, and using a new Tiger feature.

With Tiger, syslogd is initiated upon system startup by launchd, a new Apple daemon that manages the instantiation of other daemons and processes. System daemons are launched with the aid of a plist, an XML text file, placed in /System/Library/LaunchDaemons, and a file in that folder, named com.apple.syslogd.plist, is what we must edit to enable external logging functionality.

It's probably simplest to edit this plist in the Terminal. Backing up this plist file before editing it is a good idea, so start up Terminal and enter this line at the prompt:

cp /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.syslogd.plist ~/Desktop/

For those unfamiliar with the Terminal, this command copies the plist file to the desktop for temporary safekeeping. The command to restore the file back to its original state is inversely thus:

sudo cp ~/Desktop/com.apple.syslogd.plist /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

Next, we proceed to edit the plist:

sudo nano /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.syslogd.plist

This line starts up the text editor nano as the root user to edit the plist file mentioned above. Scroll down to this line:

<string>/usr/sbin/syslogd</string>

...and add the following directly below it:

<string>-u</string>

Save and exit. The -u we've inserted is a switch at the end of the syslogd command that tells the process to listen on UDP port 514. Now that syslogd is ready to receive logging messages from other devices, we have to stop the current running syslogd process and restart it with the new option to listen.

sudo launchctl unload /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.syslogd.plist sudo
launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.syslogd.plist

launchctl is a utility that instructs launchd to load and unload daemons, among other things. To verify that syslogd is receiving logging messages from external devices, we can watch the system log in action with this command:

tail -f /var/log/system.log

The last screen-full of the syslog will be displayed. When new events are received by syslogd, they'll be displayed on the screen and written to the log. Control-c will terminate the syslog watch.

That was easy! Well... wait for it... there's a catch. (You knew that, didn't you?) As of 10.4.1, there is a bug of some kind that affects syslogd. Each day in the wee hours of the morning, your Mac runs a script called /etc/periodic/daily/500.daily. Near the end of that script, the syslogd process is killed using the old-fashioned Unix kill command and when it restarts, for whatever reason, syslogd simply ceases to function. Not only does it not pay attention to log messages sent from other devices, it doesn't bother to record logging information from the local machine.

Fortunately, there's a simple fix. Also near the end of 500.daily, there is a command to call up another file named /etc/daily.local. This file is intended to execute additional commands for specific machines on a daily basis, and it may or may not already exist on your Mac. Either way, let's edit (or create) it with the following command in the terminal:

sudo nano /etc/daily.local

The contents of this file are pretty simple.

launchctl unload /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.syslogd.plist
sleep 1
launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.syslogd.plist

Save and exit. This script stops and restarts the syslogd process via launchd so that it once again will listen for external logging messages. This script differs just a bit from the commands we used at the terminal. Since 500.daily runs as root and calls up daily.local, daily.local also runs as root, so the sudo command is not needed for launchctl. Also, we've inserted a sleep command to give the computer a second to catch its breath.

Finally, the daily.local script needs to be made executable with the following command:

sudo chmod 744 /etc/daily.local

That's it. Done. You are now logging away. Good job.


 

Community Search:
MacTech Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Monosnap 3.4.0 - Versatile screenshot ut...
Monosnap lets you capture screenshots, share files, and record video and .gifs! Capture Capture full screen, just part of the screen, or a selected window Make your crop area pixel perfect with our... Read more
Tweetbot 2.5.3 - Popular Twitter client.
Tweetbot is a full-featured OS X Twitter client with a lot of personality. Whether it's the meticulously-crafted interface, sounds and animation, or features like multiple timelines and column views... Read more
Default Folder X 5.1.6 - Enhances Open a...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click on... Read more
Evernote 6.12.3 - Create searchable note...
Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at anytime, from... Read more
Geekbench 4.1.2 - Measure processor and...
Geekbench provides a comprehensive set of benchmarks engineered to quickly and accurately measure processor and memory performance. Designed to make benchmarks easy to run and easy to understand,... Read more
Carbon Copy Cloner 5.0.2 - Easy-to-use b...
Carbon Copy Cloner backups are better than ordinary backups. Suppose the unthinkable happens while you're under deadline to finish a project: your Mac is unresponsive and all you hear is an ominous,... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.305 - Customize multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
calibre 3.8.0 - Complete e-book library...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more
BetterTouchTool 2.305 - Customize multi-...
BetterTouchTool adds many new, fully customizable gestures to the Magic Mouse, Multi-Touch MacBook trackpad, and Magic Trackpad. These gestures are customizable: Magic Mouse: Pinch in / out (zoom... Read more
calibre 3.8.0 - Complete e-book library...
Calibre is a complete e-book library manager. Organize your collection, convert your books to multiple formats, and sync with all of your devices. Let Calibre be your multi-tasking digital librarian... Read more

The best new games we played this week -...
It's pretty much been one big release after another. We were privy to a bunch of surprises this week, with a lot of games we'd been waiting for quite some time dropping unexpectedly. We hope you're free this weekend, because there is a lot for... | Read more »
Stormbound: Kingdom Wars guide - how to...
Stormbound: Kingdom Wars is an excellent new RTS turned card battler out now on iOS and Android. Lovers of strategy will get a lot of enjoyment out of Stormbound's chess-like mechanics, and it's cardbased units are perfect for anyone who loves the... | Read more »
The best AR apps and games on iOS right...
iOS 11 has officially launched, and with it comes Apple's ARKit, a helpful framework that makes it easier than ever for developers to create mobile AR experiences. To celebrate the occassion, we're featuring some of the best AR apps and games on... | Read more »
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of...
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of Justice 1.00.00 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $.99, Version: 1.00.00 (iTunes) Description: ************************************************※IMPORTANT※・Please read the “When... | Read more »
Kpressor (Utilities)
Kpressor 1.0.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Utilities Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.0 (iTunes) Description: The ultimate ZIP compression application for iPhone and iPad. - Full integration of iOS 11 with support for multitasking.-... | Read more »
Find out how you can save £35 and win a...
Nothing raises excitement like a good competition, and we’re thrilled to announce our latest contest. We’ll be sending one lucky reader and a friend to the Summoners War World Arena Championship at Le Comedia in Paris on October 7th. It’s the... | Read more »
Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story...
Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Another Lost Phone is a game about exploring the social life of a young woman whose phone you have just... | Read more »
The Witness (Games)
The Witness 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $9.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: You wake up, alone, on a strange island full of puzzles that will challenge and surprise you. You don't remember who you are, and... | Read more »
Egg, Inc. guide - how to build your gold...
Egg, Inc.'s been around for some time now, but don't you believe for one second that this quirky clicker game has gone out of style. The game keeps popping up on Reddit and other community forums thanks to the outlandish gameplay (plus, the... | Read more »
The best deals on the App Store this wee...
Good news, everyone! Your favorite day of the week has arrived at last -- it's discount roundup day! This fine Wednesday evening we're gathering up the hottest deals on the App Store. We've got action platformers, we've got puzzle games, we've got... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple Offering Up To $455 Credit Toward iPhon...
iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are now available at the Apple Store, and you can receive up to $375 credit toward a new iPhone purchase when you trade in your eligible smartphone. Photo Courtesy Apple Just... Read more
AnyTrans Offers iOS Users Three Ways For Movi...
iMobie Inc. today announceed AnyTrans v6.0.1, which now can help iOS users move all data to iPhone 8/8 Plus seamlessly. The software is available both on Mac and Windows and fully able to move all... Read more
Snag a 13-inch 2.3GHz MacBook Pro for $100 of...
B&H Photo has 2017 13″ 2.3GHz MacBook Pros in stock today and on sale for $100 off MSRP, each including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only: – 13-inch 2.3GHz/128GB Space Gray MacBook... Read more
Verizon offers new iPhone 8 for $100-$300 off...
Verizon is offering the new iPhone 8 for up to $300 off MSRP with an eligible trade-in: • $300 off: iPhone 6S/6S Plus/7/7 Plus, Google Pixel XL, LG G6, Moto Z2 Force, Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 edge/S8/S8... Read more
Apple Refurbished 2017 13-inch MacBook Pros a...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 13″ Touch Bar MacBook Pros in stock today and available for $200-$300 off MSRP. A standard Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is... Read more
OWC USB-C Travel Dock with 5 Ports Connectivi...
OWC have announced the new OWC USB-C Travel Dock, the latest addition to their line of connectivity solutions. The USB-C Travel Dock lets you connect its integrated USB-C cable to a Mac or PC laptop... Read more
Pelican Products, Inc. Unveils Cases For All...
Pelican Products, Inc. has announced the launch of its full line of cases including Voyager, Adventurer, Protector, Ambassador, Interceptor (for the Apple iPhone 8 and 8 Plus backwards compatible... Read more
$100 off new 2017 13-inch MacBook Airs
B&H Photo has 2017 13″ MacBook Airs on sale today for $100 off MSRP including free shipping. B&H charges NY & NJ sales tax only: – 13″ 1.8GHz/128GB MacBook Air (MQD32LL/A): $899, $100 off... Read more
Apple restocks Certified Refurbished 13-inch...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2015 13″ MacBook Airs available starting at $719 and 2016 models available starting at $809. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each MacBook, and shipping is... Read more
Is iPhone X Really The Future Of The Smartpho...
Should iPhone X even be called a telephone? It does of course support telephony and texting, but its main feature set is oriented to other things. It is also debatable whether it makes any rational... Read more

Jobs Board

Development Operations and Site Reliability E...
Development Operations and Site Reliability Engineer, Apple Payment Gateway Job Number: 57572631 Santa Clara Valley, California, United States Posted: Jul. 27, 2017 Read more
Specialist - Retail Customer Services and Sal...
The position listed below is not with Tennessee Interviews but with Apple , Inc. Tennessee Interviews is a private organization that works in collaboration with Read more
Specialist - Retail Customer Services and Sal...
The position listed below is not with South Carolina Interviews but with Apple , Inc. South Carolina Interviews is a private organization that works in collaboration Read more
Behavior Technician with *Apple* Consulting...
The position listed below is not with Washington Interviews but with APPLE CONSULTING Washington Interviews is a private organization that works in collaboration Read more
Infection Control RN with *Apple* Rehab - A...
The position listed below is not with Georgia Interviews but with Apple Rehab Georgia Interviews is a private organization that works in collaboration with Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.