Syslog For Mac Os X


From Splunk Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search

Syslogd Mac Os X

This tutorial shows how to configure Mac OS X to forward syslog events to a remote server.
The following configuration steps were tested and validated on a MacBook Pro running Mac OS X 10.6.2 (Snow Leopard).


Legacy ASL database files that were written by syslogd on Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) may also be read using the −f option. However only one such legacy database may be read or searched at a time. Note that a legacy database may be read and copied into a new ASL data store format file using a combination of −f and −x options. Welcome to vCenter Configuration Manager: Managing Linux, UNIX, and Mac OS X Machines: Linux, UNIX, and Mac OS X Data and Actions: System Logs Syslog Event Filter VCM Administration Collection Filters Filters Data Type = System Logs - syslog(-ng) - Events Edit Filter Wizard.

Mac OS X (Applications - Utilities - is the standard interface to visualize all events registered by the operating system. It is simple yet functional, but not very friendly on displaying the entries and actually finding some useful information.

The syslog-ng application has been resurrected on macOS by our developer team. We hope our product can be useful for Mac users who want to increase the security of their system through reliable logging. At present we are not supporting macOS syslog-ng on our official repository on GitHub. However, you can compile syslog-ng yourself following. Couldn't find a similar question to this one. How are people retrieving logs from Mac OS X Sierra that are in the Unified Logging Database? This was a new logging technology released with Sierra (think it's stored in a binary database). It has way better and more detailed logs compared to.

Splunk has a Mac OS X version that allows for a better and more complete monitoring of the system and syslog events, it can also be installed and configured as a forwarder to your central monitoring server. But it doesn’t need to be installed for just monitoring syslog generated events.

It is worth mentioning that in order to capture events forwarded by Mac OS X (or any other syslog forwarder, actually) you have to configure the Splunk server to:
(a.) receive data inputs on UDP port 514, and
(b.) allow incoming traffic through this port on all firewalls in place between the Mac OS X and the Splunk server - including the Windows Firewall, if that’s the case.

Its also worth noting that Mac OS X will simple forward all syslog data as a single source, not separating data by log file like the Universal Forwarder does.

Configuring the Mac OS X Syslogd

The next steps are to be executed in a Terminal window, the Mac OS X command line interface. The steps to configure the syslog forwarding are:

1. Open a Terminal window:Applications - Utilities - Terminal, or by using the Spotlight (shortcut: command+space > Terminal)

2. Before touching anything, make a backup copy of the syslog configuration file (syslogd.conf) into the /tmp folder:

3. Open the configuration file on your favorite editor (in this case, we’re using vi):

Use the ’sudo’ command to execute vi with ‘root’ privileges, otherwise you won’t be able to edit the file. Enter the password for the administrator account you are currently logged in as to continue.

4. Insert the following line anywhere in your syslogd.conf file, replacing the IP address with the IP address of your Splunk server’s network interface.

Type ‘i’ in vi to enter the insert mode (text entry), then add the line above anywhere in the file.
‘’’IMPORTANT:’’’ The selector and action fields (see below) are separated by TABs. Do not use spaces.

The syslogd.conf file consists of lines with two fields: the selector field which specifies the types of messages and priorities to which the line applies, and an action field which specifies the action to be taken if a message syslogd receives matches the selection criteria.

If you would like to forward your syslog output on a different port to the standard 514, you can do this by specifying a specific port for your destination; e.g.

results in your syslog data being forwarded to port 5140 instead of the usual port 514.

The Selectors function are encoded as a Facility.Level. The line above is basically telling the Mac OS X syslog daemon to forward a copy of all (*.*) events to the syslog server listening on the IP address If you don’t want to send all events, you can filter them out by setting a different level - for instance, you can replace the ‘*.*’ with ‘*.notice’. Check out the syslogd.conf and the syslog manual pages for all the options.

5. Save and Exit:Press ‘ESC’ to exit insert mode, and save the file by typing ’:wq <enter>’.If you don’t want to save it now, type ’:q!‘ to exit vi without saving and start over.

6. Restart the ‘syslogd’ service:But before doing so, check if it’s running by typing:

The following commands restart the service. Enter your password one more time if necessary.

Check if the service was really shut down and restarted by typing the same command again. The counter should have been reset and the PID (5070 in the example above) should be a different one.


You can use ’tcpdump’ to verify that the events are being forwarded to the remote server. Use the command ’ifconfig’ to get the name of the Mac OS X network interface connected to the same IP network segment of the Splunk server and use it as a filter for ’tcpdump’. In this case, the interface name is ‘en1’:

To log an event - open a new Terminal window on Mac OS X and use the ’logger’ command.

If tcpdump doesn't report the Testing message, first double check the tcpdump arguments then review the configuration and check if there is connectivity between the Mac OS X station and the Splunk server.

Lastly, check that UDP/514 traffic is allowed through any firewalls.

Worst case, restore your backup copy from the /tmp folder and repeat the process.

Retrieved from ''
Welcome to vCenter Configuration Manager : Managing Linux, UNIX, and Mac OS X Machines : Linux, UNIX, and Mac OS X Data and Actions : System Logs Syslog Event Filter

VCM Administration > Collection Filters > Filters > Data Type = System Logs - syslog(-ng) - Events > Edit Filter Wizard

Since there can be multiple system logs, information is read from the syslog.conf file to get the event names. This wizard displays information from all files defined in syslog.conf, such as var/log/messages, var/log/syslog and /var/log/cron.

Syslog mac os x

When you select Syslog Event as the data type:

  1. Define the data that you want to include or exclude.
  • Include or Exclude Event Log data: Select whether you want to collect this data or to exclude it from collections.

Note You may need to create and use multiple filters to collect only the data you want. You could place these in a Collection Filter Set.

  • Host Name: You can use the asterisk (*) wildcard by itself to collect event information from all hosts or enter it as part of a name, such as s*. You also can click the ellipsis button to select a single host name from a list.
  • Severities: You can collect data for all levels or restrict the data.
  • Classes: Classes also are called Facilities. Common classes are: auth, authpriv, cron, daemon, kern, lpr, mail, news syslog, user, uucp and local0 through local 7.
    • Existing: You can select a class that already has been collected by clicking the ellipsis button and choosing from the list. Remove an item from the display by selecting it and clicking Remove.

    Important If this field has no entries, all classes are collected.

    • Other: If the class does not appear in the list, enter the name in this field and click Add.
  • Message: Use the optional Message area to further refine the Syslog Event data to be collected. This section operates in a manner similar to the standard filtering mechanism.
  • Operator: Using the drop-down selection box, select the desired operator. Supported operators are: like and not like.
  • Value: Enter a value in the field or click the ellipsis button to select from messages that already have been collected. The completed set appears similar to:
    Where message like session opened for user root by

    Add a new parameter set.
    Remove all Message entries.
    Click Delete adjacent to each entry to delete it.

Syslog Mac Os X

  1. Click Next, then Finish.

See Also

Syslog For Mac Os X

Help us improve this topic. Send feedback to . Technical Support © 2006–2013 VMware, Inc. All rights reserved. This product is protected by U.S. and international copyright and intellectual property laws. VMware products are covered by one or more patents listed at VMware is a registered trademark or trademark of VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions. All other marks and names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their respective companies.