Gathering Statistics from syslog

The logfiles that syslog creates provide a wealth of information that can be used to examine and tune the performance of sendmail. To illustrate, we will present a simple shell script for printing daily total message volume.

In the following discussion, we will assume that sendmail logging is enabled (the LogLevel option, LogLevel on page 1040, is nonzero) and that all syslog(8) messages for the facility mail at level LOG_INFO are being placed into the file /var/log/syslog.

Each mail message that sendmail receives for delivery (excluding those processed from the queue) causes sendmail to log a message such as this:

date host sendmail[pid]: quid: from=sender, size=bytes, ...

That is, for each sender that is logged (the from=), sendmail also logs the total received size of the message in bytes (the size=).

By summing all the size= lines in a /var/log/syslog file, we can generate the total volume of all messages received for the period represented by that file. One way to generate such a total is shown in the following Bourne shell script:

TOTAL=`(echo 0;
        sed -e '/size=/!d' -e 's/.*size=//' -e 's/,.*/+/' $LOG;
        echo p;
       ) | dc`
echo Total characters sent: $TOTAL

The sed(1) selects only the lines in /var/log/syslog that contain the expression size=.[224] It then throws away all but the number immediately following each size= (the actual number of bytes of each message), and appends a + to each.

The entire sequence ...

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