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rsyslog (82) Versions 1.1.0

Installs and configures rsyslog

cookbook 'rsyslog', '= 1.1.0', :supermarket
cookbook 'rsyslog', '= 1.1.0'
knife supermarket install rsyslog
knife supermarket download rsyslog
Quality -%


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

Important Changes in 1.1.0: See the file for
important changes to this cookbook. There are some incompatibilities
with existing installations. Use version 1.0.0 if you're not ready
for these changes.



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 the
rsyslog.server_search or rsyslog.server_ip attributes.
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'] - Determined automaticaly and set to true on the server.
  • node['rsyslog']['server_ip'] - If not defined then search will be used to determine rsyslog server. Default is nil.
  • node['rsyslog']['server_search'] - Specify the criteria for the server search operation. Default is role:loghost.
  • node['rsyslog']['protocol'] - Specify whether to use udp or tcp for remote loghost. Default is tcp.
  • node['rsyslog']['port'] - Specify the port which rsyslog should connect to a remote loghost.
  • node['rsyslog']['remote_logs'] - Specify wether to send all logs to a remote server (client option). Default is true.
  • node['rsyslog']['per_host_dir'] - "PerHost" directories for template statements in 35-server-per-host.conf. Default value is the previous cookbook version's value, to preserve compatibility. See server recipe below.



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 search criteria specified
by node['rsyslog']['server_search'] and uses its ipaddress attribute
to send log messages. In case the rsyslog.server_ip is explicitly defined then
it's used instead the search operation. If the node itself is a rsyslog server ie
it has rsyslog.server attribute set to true then the configuration is skipped.
If the node had an /etc/rsyslog.d/35-server-per-host.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 a rsyslog server. The node should be able to be
resolved by the specified search criteria node['rsyslog']['server_search]
so that 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.

The cron job used in the previous version of this cookbook is removed,
but it does not remove any existing cron job from your system (so it
doesn't break anything unexpectedly). We recommend setting up
logrotate for the logfiles instead.

The log_dir will be concatenated with per_host_dir to store the
logs for each client. Modify the attribute to have a value that is
allowed by rsyslogs template matching values, see the rsyslog
documentation for this.

Directory structure:

<%= @log_dir %>/<%= @per_host_dir %>/"logfile"

For example for the system with hostname www:


For example, to change this to just the hostname, set the attribute
node['rsyslog']['per_host_dir'] via a role:

"rsyslog" => { "per_host_dir" => "%HOSTNAME%" }

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 rsyslog server. 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 want to specify another syslog compatible server with a role other
than loghost, simply fill free to use the server_ip attribute or
the server_search attribute.

Example role that sets the per host directory:

name "loghost"
description "Central syslog server"
  "rsyslog" => { "per_host_dir" => "%HOSTNAME%" }

License and Author

Author:: Joshua Timberman (
Author:: Denis Barishev (

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,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.

Dependent cookbooks

This cookbook has no specified dependencies.

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