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

ScreenFlow 7.1.1 - Create screen recordi...
ScreenFlow is powerful, easy-to-use screencasting software for the Mac. With ScreenFlow you can record the contents of your entire monitor while also capturing your video camera, microphone and your... Read more
Xcode 9.0.1 - Integrated development env...
Xcode includes everything developers need to create great applications for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Xcode provides developers a unified workflow for user interface design, coding, testing... Read more
TotalFinder 1.10.2 - Adds tabs, hotkeys,...
TotalFinder is a universally acclaimed navigational companion for your Mac. Enhance your Mac's Finder with features so smart and convenient, you won't believe you ever lived without them. Features... Read more
Adobe Flash Player 27.0.0.170 - Plug-in...
Adobe Flash Player is a cross-platform, browser-based application runtime that provides uncompromised viewing of expressive applications, content, and videos across browsers and operating systems.... Read more
VirtualBox 5.1.30 - x86 virtualization s...
VirtualBox is a family of powerful x86 virtualization products for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers... Read more
VirtualBox 5.1.30 - x86 virtualization s...
VirtualBox is a family of powerful x86 virtualization products for enterprise as well as home use. Not only is VirtualBox an extremely feature rich, high performance product for enterprise customers... Read more
ScreenFlow 7.1.1 - Create screen recordi...
ScreenFlow is powerful, easy-to-use screencasting software for the Mac. With ScreenFlow you can record the contents of your entire monitor while also capturing your video camera, microphone and your... Read more
Adobe Flash Player 27.0.0.170 - Plug-in...
Adobe Flash Player is a cross-platform, browser-based application runtime that provides uncompromised viewing of expressive applications, content, and videos across browsers and operating systems.... Read more
Xcode 9.0.1 - Integrated development env...
Xcode includes everything developers need to create great applications for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Xcode provides developers a unified workflow for user interface design, coding, testing... Read more
TotalFinder 1.10.2 - Adds tabs, hotkeys,...
TotalFinder is a universally acclaimed navigational companion for your Mac. Enhance your Mac's Finder with features so smart and convenient, you won't believe you ever lived without them. Features... Read more

Home Street guide - how to make friends...
From the creators of Food Street comes Home Street, a new simulation game that tasks you with building a social network and designing a beautiful home. It's a bit like The Sims, but you won't have to worry about the daily chores involved (feeding,... | Read more »
Color Ballz guide - how to bounce to the...
Color Ballz is an addictive new arcade title from Ketchapp Studios. It takes old school mechanics from games like Brickles and puts a fun twist on it. Your job? To catch balls with a paddle and send them back into a chute to be carried back to... | Read more »
Q&A: A-33 Studio explains why Combat...
When it comes to mobile FPS, it’s often tricky to get the fundamentals right on a platform lacking a physical controller, large display and hefty RAM. With Combat Squad: Project Wednesday, A-33 Studio bravely took on the challenge of making a... | Read more »
Taichi Panda 3: Dragon Hunter guide - ti...
Taichi Panda 3: Dragon Hunter launched this week to players all over the world. It's a beautiful mobile MMORPG that blends elements of Eastern and Western fantasy. It reminds us of a mix between World of Warcraft and Jade Empire. MMO's can have a... | Read more »
The best new games we played this week -...
Phew. It has been a week, but now it's time to relax, put your feet up, and enjoy some brand new mobile games. It was a bit of slow week, but there's still plenty of new titles to add to your collection. Here are four of our favorites. [Read... | Read more »
Yoink - Improved Drag and Drop (Product...
Yoink - Improved Drag and Drop 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Productivity Price: $2.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Yoink for iPad and iPhone lets you easily and quickly store items you drag, copy or share, for later use... | Read more »
Cottage Garden (Games)
Cottage Garden 1.11 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.11 (iTunes) Description: | Read more »
Into the Dead 2 guide - how to survive t...
Into the Dead 2 is an endless gunner, of sorts, with a lot of grit and satisfying gunplay behind it. The game looks amazing, and tells an effective story to boot. Plus, it has some quality voice acting behind it to really bring the story to life... | Read more »
Smash Up - The Card Game (Games)
Smash Up - The Card Game 1.0.7 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0.7 (iTunes) Description: ***“It’s a goofy theme with fun art and high replayability, but beneath that veneer of casual play is a great... | Read more »
Dive in to Combat Squad if you’re lookin...
Earlier this year, A-33 Studio made the leap from developing Counter Strike Online to launching its very own FPS for the mobile. Combat Squad: Project Wednesday pits your team of mercs against the world in multiplayer death matches, so if you’re on... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Sale! 10″ Apple WiFi iPad Pros for up to $100...
B&H Photo has 10.5″ WiFi iPad Pros in stock today and on sale for $50-$100 off MSRP. Each iPad includes free shipping, and B&H charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: – 10.5″ 64GB iPad Pro: $... Read more
Apple iMacs on sale for up to $130 off MSRP w...
B&H Photo has 21-inch and 27-inch iMacs in stock and on sale for up to $130 off MSRP including free shipping. B&H charges sales tax in NY & NJ only: – 27″ 3.8GHz iMac (MNED2LL/A): $2179 $... Read more
2017 3.5GHz 6-Core Mac Pro on sale for $2799,...
B&H Photo has the 2017 3.5GHz 6-Core Mac Pro (MD878LL/A) on sale today for $2799 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only . Their price is $200 off MSRP. Read more
12″ 1.2GHz Space Gray MacBook on sale for $11...
Amazon has the 2017 12″ 1.2GHz Space Gray Retina MacBook on sale for $100 off MSRP. Shipping is free: 12″ 1.2GHz Space Gray MacBook: $1199.99 $100 off MSRP Read more
Bare Bones Software Releases macOS High Sierr...
Bare Bones Software has announced the release and immediate availability of BBEdit 12.0, a significant upgrade to its professional strength text and code editor. BBEdit 12 introduces a new foundation... Read more
Yale Announces Availability of Apple HomeKit-...
Yale Locks & Hardware has announced that Apple HomeKit support for its Assure Lock family is available this month. The new Yale iM1 Network Module, which provides support for the Apple Home app... Read more
Clearance 2016 13″ MacBook Pros, refurbished,...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2016 13″ MacBook Pros available starting at $1189. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free: – 13″ 2.9GHz/512GB Touch Bar Gray... Read more
12-inch 64GB iPad Pro on sale for $749, save...
Adorama has 12″ 64GB iPad Pros on sale today for $749 including free shipping plus NY & NJ sales tax only. Their price is $50 off MSRP. Read more
13″ 3.1GHz/256GB Silver MacBook Pro on sale f...
Amazon has the Silver 13″ 3.1GHz/256GB MacBook Pro (MPXX2LL/A) on sale for $1699 including free shipping. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more
12″ MacBook available for $1099 with Apple re...
Apple has Certified Refurbished 2017 12″ Retina MacBooks available for $200-$240 off the cost of new models. Apple will include a standard one-year warranty with each MacBook, and shipping is free.... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description:SalesSpecialist - Retail Customer Service and SalesTransform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple,...
Job Description: Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Farmin...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions - Apple...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.