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Building Secure Servers with Linux by Michael D. Bauer

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Syslog-ng

As useful and ubiquitous as syslog is, it’s beginning to show its age. Modern Unix and Unix-like systems are considerably more complex than they were when syslog was invented, and they have outgrown both syslog’s limited facilities and its primitive network-forwarding functionality.

Syslog-ng (“syslog new generation”) is an attempt to increase syslog’s flexibility by adding better message filtering, better forwarding, and eventually (though not quite yet), message integrity and encryption. In addition, Syslog-ng supports remote logging over both the TCP and UDP protocols. Syslog-ng is the brainchild of and is primarily developed and maintained by Balazs (“Bazsi”) Scheidler.

Lest you think Syslog-ng is untested or untrusted, it’s already been incorporated into Debian GNU/Linux 2.2 “Potato” as a binary package (in the “admin” section). Syslog-ng is in fact both stable and popular. Furthermore, even though its advanced security features are still works in progress, Syslog-ng can be used in conjunction with TCP “tunneling” tools such as stunnel and ssh to authenticate or encrypt log messages sent to remote hosts.

Compiling and Installing Syslog-ng from Source Code

The non-Debian users among you may not wish to wait for your distribution of choice to follow suit with its own binary package of Syslog-ng. Let’s start, then, with a brief description of how to compile and install Syslog-ng from source.

First, you need to obtain the latest Syslog-ng source code. As of this writing, ...

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