Monitor System Logs with Logwatch on Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin)
Updated by Linode
This guide has been deprecated and is no longer being maintained.
Logwatch is a utility used to monitor system logs and create reports. These reports include failed login attempts, successful login attempts, and storage space used/available.
Before installing Logwatch, it is assumed that you have followed our getting started guide. If you are new to Linux server administration, you may be interested in our introduction to Linux concepts guide, beginner’s guide and administration basics guide.
Update System Packages
You will need to make sure that your system and installed packages are up to date by issuing the following commands:
apt-get update apt-get upgrade
Issue the following command to install Logwatch:
apt-get install logwatch
By default, Logwatch will install Postfix if you do not have an SMTP service installed. If prompted to install Postfix, select the “Internet Site” configuration.
Once you have installed Logwatch, you will need to configure it to email you the reports it generates. You are encouraged to look through the entire configuration, but you may safely use Logwatch after editing the lines below.
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Output = mail Format = html MailTo = email@example.com MailFrom = firstname.lastname@example.org
These directives tell Logwatch to email you reports in an HTML format. The
MailFrom directives should be valid email addresses.
Issue the following command to test your logwatch installation:
Once you have issued this command, you will need to check your email to make sure that logwatch is working. Be sure to check your spam folder as these emails may be seen as spam.
Adding a Cron Job for Logwatch
You can add a cron job for Logwatch in order to receive daily emails of new reports. You can add a new entry to your crontab by running
crontab -e. The following example cron job runs Logwatch at 1 AM each day, issuing you an email report of the daily activity:
# m h dom mon dow command 0 1 * * * /usr/sbin/logwatch
Congratulations! You can now monitor system logs with Logwatch!
This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.