Linux Configure Logwatch on the Central Log Server

by on November 10, 2009 · 3 comments· LAST UPDATED November 10, 2009

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I'm using Logwatch for reporting on unusual items in syslog. I've central logserver up and running. All other Linux servers send logs to a remote loghost called log.example.com. How do I configure Logwatch on the central log server so that it will send daily logs messages in a single e-mail?

logwatch is system log analyzer and reporter. It will go through your logs for a given period of time and make a report in he areas that you wish with the detail that you wish.

Logwatch is being used for Linux and many types of UNIX. Logwatch will separate entries by hostname, if you set SplitHosts to yes. Make sure the option MultiEmail is set to no in order to send a single e-mail message.

Step #1: Configuration Logwatch On The Central Log Server

You need to edit the /etc/logwatch/conf/logwatch.conf file on the central log server. Edit the file using vi text editor, enter:
# vi /etc/logwatch/conf/logwatch.conf
Update / add settings as follows:

SplitHosts = yes
HostLimit = no
MultiEmail = no

Step # 2: Disable Logwatch On Other Servers

Now you've a central logserver which has been configured to report on logs received from all systems. You need to disable logwatch cron job on on all other boxes:
# mv /etc/cron.daily/0logwatch /path/to/backup
Alternatively, you can simply remove the logwatch package:
# rpm -e logwatch

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Nate December 8, 2009 at 4:49 am

How does this work under Debian, I can’t tell which config file to use?

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2 Yogesh June 18, 2010 at 12:37 pm

A small note:-
Service = -zz-disk_space
The Service directive -zz-disk_space option in /etc/logwatch/conf/logwatch.conf tells Logwatch not to run the zz-disk space report, which reports on free disk space. Since all log monitoring is being done on the central logserver, the disk space listing will always be that of the logserver, regardless of which host is being monitored. This is confusing, so disable that service. Note that this does mean that Logwatch will not monitor disk usage information. Many workarounds are possible, such as running df on each host daily via cron and sending the output to syslog so that it will be reported to the logserver.

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3 Fred Phillister September 27, 2010 at 10:27 pm

One thing that bugs me about logwatch is that by default it is enabled and is always chock full of useless information. It is essentially a daily “everything is OK” alarm and as such, it ends up being ignored/unread most of the time. Figuring out which parts of it are “interesting” or “of concern” is not entirely transparent and as such, reading it is a pain, and configuring it is as well.

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