What are reasonable blockers for making journald the default logger in F19?

Simo Sorce simo at redhat.com
Wed Oct 17 15:04:28 UTC 2012

On Wed, 2012-10-17 at 10:44 -0400, Matthew Miller wrote:
> With the stipulation that rsyslog would still be available to provide a
> traditional syslog-style text logs, what are reasonable hard requirements
> for making systemd the main logging system installed by default? (Or, an
> alternate softer implementation: rsyslogd would be installed by default but
> would not be in 'core'.)
> These are the things I think are critical:
> 1. Time based rotation policies (implementation landing now.)


> 2. Mechanism for separation of authpriv data 

I think authpriv should be separate by default in Fedora.

> 3. Disk-based storage on by default (ie /var/log/journal exists)


> 4. Traditional syslog still easily available via rsyslogd


> 5. Journal format documented

ack, documented and a promise to not change it arbitrarily (should be
easy because the format has already been though to work that way)

> 6. Strong QA exploring corner cases and data corruption (procedure tbd)
> 7. Clear, simple, and Fedora-centric disaster recovery documentation

I am not sure 6/7 are strong requisites. We certainly shipped stuff that
was hard to deal with when it broke before.
I would love to see this done for F19 but I think it would be unfair to
block the feature just on point 6/7 unless there is a significant higher
risk of issues with the journal than there ever was with malfunctioning

Is your worry that because the journal file is a binary format and not a
plain text file that corruption of the journal files is more likely /
more problematic ?

> Less critical but important:
> a. Use wheel group in addition to adm -- work with the way Fedora/RHEL 
>    currently do things
> b. All utilities should always work sensibly with grep (this is not the
>    case on F18 right now)

I think I would elevate this to blocker status instead.

> c. /var/log/messages written with a (syslog-formatted?) note pointing 
>    to journalctl (maybe even showing the new time-based filtering?)

I was wondering if /var/log/messages could be turned into a named pipe
to which journal start spitting out stuff in syslog format when someone
tails it ?

just a wild idea (and can be any other file name in /var/log as long as
it is easily discoverable and doesn't cause issues to existing utilities
that crawl /var/log), but I would strongly miss being able to tail logs
with my pipeline that does coloring etc ...

> And, in order for the implementation to really be a *win* for Fedora, it
> would be great if we could coordinate:
> - integration with every log analysis tool tool we ship (for some tools,
>   a crude implementation may just be dumping in the output of journalctl,
>   using a temp file as worst case)
> - integration with every monitoring system where it make sense
> - bonus points: make these integrations benefit from systemd's fancy
>   features.
> Are these reasonable? Are there other important things I'm missing?

The plan sounds very reasonable in general.


Simo Sorce * Red Hat, Inc * New York

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