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Syslog for Windows

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Several free and commercial implementation of Windows syslog daemon exist. Windows Services for Unix (SFU 3.5 ) contains syslogd daemon that can forward messages to Unix LOGHOST.

So in a way syslogd is a standard Windows component, a part of Microsoft "Linux for Windows".  Version that ships with SFU3.6 is old and an update is available from UNIX Tools Community (free registration required):

Syslogd Version 1.1.2 for SFU 3.5
binary: /pkgs/3.5/syslogd-current-bin.tgz
src: update to SFU version
Updated: 2005-09-06

Like any standard syslog daemon it is capable of both writing messages to files and sending mail to Windows users, depending of their origin and severity.  Also provided is a standard logger utility which is slightly deferent from Solaris (accepts no options).  It also has an updated version UNIX Tools Community:

logger Version 1.0 for SFU 3.5
binary: /pkgs/3.5/logger-current-bin.tgz
src: update to SFU version
Added: 2005-01-05

Here is the default /etc/syslog.conf file for the Interix log daemon. It does not forward messages to users, only write them to files:

# /etc/syslog.conf
# RCSid = $Id: syslog.conf,v 1.8 1999/07/21 18:08:25 mark Exp $
# -- We try to keep all files in /var/adm/log regardless of their basename.
# -- This should keep it simpler for log scans and rotations, but you
# -- can change this if you already have site preferences.
# -- Each file must EXIST when syslogd is started if you
# -- want information to be logged to that file;
# -- syslogd will NOT create files.
# -- For more information see the man page "syslog.conf".
# -- NOTE: on Interix, the /dev/console device file is available but
# -- you need to run a program that attaches a physical device
# -- to this device file. A program like 'xconsole'.

*.err;kern.*;auth.notice;authpriv.none;mail.crit /dev/console
*.notice;*.info;authpriv,ftp.none;kern.debug;mail.crit /var/adm/log/messages
mail.* /var/adm/log/mail
ftp.* /var/adm/log/ftp

# -- NOTE: the following files (messages, lpr, mail, ..)
# -- have already been created during the installation of Interix.
# -- Uncomment out the following entries to which you want syslogd
# -- to write information.

# /var/adm/log/lpr
# /var/adm/log/uucp
# news.* /var/adm/log/news
# daemon.* /var/adm/log/daemon

# -- The authpriv log file should be restricted access; these
# -- messages shouldn't go to terminals or publically-readable
# -- files.
# authpriv.* /var/adm/log/secure

# The following are commented out for the Administrator to turn on
# if desired. As mentioned on the man page, user names are to be prefixed
# with the name of the domain. Since we don't know yours (and it won't
# always be that domainname equals machinename) "<DOMAIN>" should be
# replaced with the domainname of your choice.
# *.emerg *
# *.alert <DOMAIN>+Administrator
# *.err,authpriv.none <DOMAIN>+Administrator
# *.notice;auth.debug <DOMAIN>+Administrator

As you can see the default location of the messages file is /var/adm/log, not /var/adm like in Solaris.  Interix daemon uses standard Unix syslog messages classification without any changes.

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Old News ;-)

[Feb 7, 2006] Windows Services for Unix (SFU 3.5 ) contains syslogd daemon that can forward messages to LOGHOST.

So in a way syslogd is a standard Windows component, part of Microsoft "Linux for Windows".

[Dec 12, 2005]

A very interesting implementation of syslogd daemon for windows by Alexander Yaworsky. Quality coding.

Recommended Links



This program runs as a service under Windows NT based operating systems. It formats all System, Security, and Application events into a single line and sends them to a syslog(3) host.


Oct 18 21:37:34 security[success] Successful Logon:  User
Name:Administrator  Domain:TEST1  Logon ID:(0x0,0x36D166)  Logon Type:7  Logon Process
:User32    Authentication Package: MICROSOFT_AUTHENTICATION_PACKAGE_V1_0  Work
station Name:TEST1 

The package is available for download at: syslog daemon [Win95,98,NT,2000] Freeware. This is a networking hardware manufacturer from Latvia. A nice and compact standard syslog daemon.

Gsyslog GSyslog is a graphic (transparent) syslog client for windows 2000 (w2k) and windows xp (wxp). It supports syslog relaying.

Random Findings

InterSect Alliance - Information Technology Security - Open Source

Snare for Windows is a Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows 2003 compatible service that interacts with the underlying Windows Eventlog subsystem to facilitate remote, real-time transfer of event log information.

Event logs from the Security, Application and System logs, as well as the new DNS, File Replication Service, and Active Directory logs are supported. Log data is converted to text format, and delivered to a remote Snare Server, or to a remote Syslog server with configurable and dynamic facility and priority settings.

Snare is currently used by hundreds of thousands of individuals, and organisations worldwide. Snare for Windows is used by many large Financial, Insurance, Healthcare, Defence, AeroSpace, and Intelligence organisations to meet elements of local and federal security requirements, such as: Syslog Help + General Sys Admin

winlogd - Windows syslog client that sends Event Log to syslog - Edoceo, Inc.

Winlogd is a syslog client for Windows that allows the Event Log to talk to syslog. It runs as a Service monitoring the Windows Event Log and forwarding the messages to a syslog server. This allows an administrator to integrate Windows into their current syslog scheme and effectively monitor the Windows machines via simple syslog scripts.

Oh the beauty of syslog servers, all my logs in one central location, easy to analyse and manage. Thousands of network devices (firewalls, routers, switches, storage, etc...) from major manufacturers (Cisco, 3Com, HP, etc...) can send messages to syslog. Whats this!? Windows doesn't understand how to talk to syslog!?. With winlogd now it can; winlogd will monitor the Windows Event Log and send messages to the specified syslog server when they arrive. Parameters - including server, port and facility - are configurable via the Windows Registry. via Syslog

Some routers support detailed logging via Syslog. Syslog is an industry standard protocol used for capturing log information for devices on a network, usually via UDP Port 514.

Syslog support is included in Unix and Linux based systems, but is not included in Windows and MacOs. However, there are third-party applications available to add this capability to your system.
The following applications run on Windows unless otherwise noted:

  • TriAction Syslog Daemon (Thnx Bill Pye!)
    30 day free trial, $30 license
    Has rule engine for filtering and rerouting of messages. Can also react to events and trigger or execute an external program.

  • Kiwi [Win95,98,NT, 2000]
    "Basic" features are free, more advanced features require $49 registration.
    Supports multiple TCP syslog connections and Cisco PIX firewall. "Basic" features are pretty comprehensive! Minimizes nicely to the system tray.
    6.2.9 adds SNMP trap logging capability & other features

  • Microtik syslog daemon [Win95,98,NT,2000]
    This is a networking hardware manufacturer from Latvia. It is a nice and compact standard syslog daemon.

  • Netlogger [MacOs]
    $10 Shareware
    A syslog client that will let your Mac accept log files from a syslog server
    Download here

  • SL4NT [WinNT4, Win2000 only]
    60 day free trial, $95 for single user license
    Download here

  • Syslog Daemon [Windows]
    Free syslog daemon written in Visual Basic 5 by Eckhart von dem Berge. Installer includes all VB modules.
    (The installer talks to you in German, but you can figure out what to do. Docs are in English. Thanks to Alan Ridgeway for the tip!)
    Download here

  • Syslogd [Macintosh]
    $20 shareware, requires StuffIt Expander to open.
    An implementation of the UNIX program by the same name for the Mac OS. It's a daemon that accepts messages from other applications and the network, and writes them out to system wide log files. (Thanks to reader Wolfgang Husmann for letting us know about it.)
    Download here
  • 3COM has a free syslog daemon

Windows Syslog Daemons

A very simple freeware program. We are running it on Win95. It records the received syslog message in a file called "SYSLOG' but has a big draw back. If you lose power to the logging PC, you must delete the "SYSLOG" file before the program will start logging again. Also, the program keeps the file open so you can not access the data with another program while it is running. This program along with a timer program can work very nicely. The timer program stops the syslog and renames the log file and then restarts the syslog program. This is the combination that I am using until #2 has an ASCII format. For Additional Info see: Winsite

2. SDS15000
From Triaction and is on its way to being a great shareware program. A new release (1.50.00) is available. This release has an option for an ASCII file format. We are testing this product on Win95. The version available here has a thirty day time lock.

3. Syslog Client DLL 1.1
A freeware DLL. We have not tried this program

4. A14NT03
A freeware NT program. We have not tried this program. It is by the same creator as #3.

Found on the web site of a company(PIX) bought by Cisco(I think). The file includes two programs(and their help files). One of the programs is a very good syslog recorder and file creator. It does not have the same problem as #1 but it has a different one. If you are logging data from an Ascend box, this program will loose the last character of the line. I do not know if this is freeware/shareware/Cisco only. The file did not have anything in it one way or the other. I have run this on Win95.

Weird Solutions - Headlines

Syslog Turbo for Microsoft Windows

Syslog is the defacto logging facility for Unix, Linux and many popular embedded hardware devices.

"After we took a close look at how our customers used Syslog, we quickly realized that for enterprises, a very fast centralized database design was the way to go. In fact a lot of work went into enhancing the core database. We wanted to offer our users a very powerful and scalable auditing platform.", says senior software development engineer Johan Bosaeus.

Key features:

Availability & Pricing:

Windows Syslog

Do your systems like Cisco routers talk syslog protocol? Would you like to receive these messages on your Windows PC? No problem! WinSyslog will do exactly that. [more...]

WinSyslog is part of Adiscon's MonitorWare line of products. If you look for a complete monitoring solution, consider teaming up with the other components.



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