OS X Lion: Receiving Syslog Messages

Mac OS X is able to receive syslog messages from other devices on the network, for example you can receive notifications from a router, printer, Airport Express or Time Capsule in the console application.

By default, the option to receive syslog messages is disabled. You can receive the syslog messages on your Mac by activating the NetworkListener of the syslog daemon. This is possible using the Terminal command below:

sudo defaults write /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.syslogd NetworkListener -dict SockServiceName 'syslog' SockType 'dgram'

After this you need to restart the syslog daemon:

sudo launchctl unload /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.syslogd.plist
sudo launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.syslogd.plist

Then configure the IP number of your Mac in the network device from which you want to receive the syslog messages. Your Mac’s NetworkListener uses the default syslog port UDP/514 to receive the syslog traffic.

When everything is configured correctly, the syslog messages will automatically appear in the OS X console application (Applications ▸ Utilities). Using the “smart” searches in Console you can place the specific notifications from devices in a separate folder. For example, if you own a Time Capsule, you can create a search where all notifications from the sender starting with the name “TimeCapsule” are placed in a smart folder.

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