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Facilities and Severity

The following notes are a rough overview of the basic layout of the syslog configuration. Note that this is not always the case with non-*nix systems. For example, Cisco equipment has their own severity listing.

There are two different things to note for syslog. Syslog has to keep track of who is sending the message, and it needs to figure out how important the message is. The WHO part of this, who the message came from, is called the Facility.

       examples of facilities are:
               kern    the kernel
               mail    them mail subsystem
               lpr     the printing subsystem
               deamon  system server processes
               auth    the login authentication system
As far as the importance level is concerned, this is called the severity. In general, when you denote a level of severity, it also includes all levels above it. (note: you can filter for specific severities with the = flag.)
       examples of severity, in order of decreasing seriousness
               emerg   system panic
               alert   serious error (immediate attention)
               crit    critical errors like drive failures
               err     errors
               warn    warnings
               notice  non-critical messages
               info    informative messages
               debug   extra info for tracking problems
               none    ignore messages form this facility
               mark    (not included with *) selects messages every 20 min
Generally speaking, if I want all messages from the mail program that are really big problems to be emailed to my pager, I would filer on mail.crit and send it's output to sendmail to my pager. Note that (mail = the facility).and (crit = is critical errors and above) are to goto my pager.

2.2 Facilities for External Hosts

Syslogd can receive messages from outside hosts. These messages have their own facilities. Instead of a collection of different types of facilities, we have seven facilities labeled local0 to local6. The host must send all it's logging as local#, then the syslogd server will accept it and put it in the correct location as per the conf file.