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Installs rsyslog to replace sysklogd for client and/or server use. By default, server will be set up to log to files.



Tested on Ubuntu 8.04, 9.10, 10.04.

For Ubuntu 8.04, the rsyslog package will be installed from a PPA via the default.rb recipe in order to get 4.2.0 backported from 10.04.

Ubuntu 8.10 and 9.04 are no longer supported releases and have not been tested with this cookbook.



To use the recipe[rsyslog::client] recipe, you'll need to set up a role to search for. See the Recipes, and Examples sections below.


See attributes/default.rb for default values.

  • node['rsyslog']['log_dir'] - If the node is an rsyslog server, this specifies the directory where the logs should be stored.
  • node['rsyslog']['server'] - Used to indicate whether the node running Chef is an rsyslog server. As of cookbook v1.0.0, this is determined automatically through search. The server recipe will set this to true. It is otherwise unused in the current version.
  • node['rsyslog']['protocol'] - Specify whether to use udp or tcp for remote loghost.
  • node['rsyslog']['port'] - Specify the port which rsyslog should connect to a remote loghost.
  • node['rsyslog']['server_role'] - Role applied to a remote loghost. Used by recipe[rsyslog::client] to search for the loghost.



Installs the rsyslog package, manages the rsyslog service and sets up basic configuration for a standalone machine.


Includes recipe[rsyslog].

Uses Chef search to find a remote loghost node with the role specified by node['rsyslog']['server_role'] and uses its ipaddress attribute to send log messages. If the node itself has the server_role in the expanded roles, then the configuration is skipped. If the node had an /etc/rsyslog.d/server.conf file previously configured, this file gets removed to prevent duplicate logging. Any previous logs are not cleaned up from the log_dir.


Configures the node to be an rsyslog loghost. The node should have the role specified by node['rsyslog']['server_role'] applied so client nodes can find it with search. This recipe will create the logs in node['rsyslog']['log_dir'], and the configuration is in /etc/rsyslog.d/server.conf. This recipe also removes any previous configuration to a remote server by removing the /etc/rsyslog.d/remote.conf file. Finally, a cron job is set up to compress logs in the log_dir that are older than one day.

The server configuration will set up log_dir for each client, by date. Directory structure:

<%= @log_dir %>/YEAR/MONTH/DAY/HOSTNAME/"logfile"

For example:


At this time, the server can only listen on UDP or TCP.


Use recipe[rsyslog] to install and start rsyslog as a basic configured service for standalone systems.

Use recipe[rsyslog::client] to have nodes search for the loghost automatically to configure remote [r]syslog.

Use recipe[rsyslog::server] to set up a loghost. It will listen on node['rsyslog']['port'] protocol node['rsyslog']['protocol'].

If you set up a different kind of centralized loghost (syslog-ng, graylog2, logstash, etc), you can still send log messages to it as long as the port and protocol match up with the server software. See Examples


A base role (e.g., roles/base.rb), applied to all nodes so they are syslog clients:

name "base"
description "Base role applied to all nodes

Then, a role for the loghost (should only be one):

name "loghost"
description "Central syslog server"

By default this will set up the clients search for a node with the loghost role to talk to the server on TCP port 514. Change the protocol and port rsyslog attributes to modify this.

If you're using another log server software on your loghost, such as graylog2, you can use the role for that loghost for the search instead. For example, if the role of your graylog2 server is graylog2_server, then modify the base role for the server role:

name "base"
description "Base role applied to all nodes
  "rsyslog" => {
    "server_role" => "graylog2_server"

Then make sure you have a role named graylog2_server applied to some node, and recipe[rsyslog::client] will configure the local system to send logs to graylog2.

License and Author

Author:: Joshua Timberman (joshua@opscode.com)

Copyright:: 2009-2011, Opscode, Inc

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License"); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at


Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.