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My boss is wanting me to wrap applications on a few servers with shell scripts (or inline code for those we develop ourselves) to log basic data (user, date/time, commandline) to a central server so that we can start analyzing who is doing what.

Surely this type of thing is done often.. So i assume there are already frameworks to get me 90% of the way to a solution, rather than me having to write a server app, mysql database scripts, php frontends for searching and reporting, etc..

Any links are useful. (These are console/terminal applications, linux clients and a linux server for storage).

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On my phone so can't post a full answer, but here you go: – Grant Apr 28 '14 at 22:00
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My suggestion: do not build your own but use existing tools. If messages are short just use syslog to get them to a central server. Try to structure the messages for easy parsing: use JSON if possible, otherwise some key=value notation (e.g. like Postfix).

For Analysis take a look at Graylog2 and Logstash+Kibana.

This bachelor thesis gives a pretty good overview of current logging protocols and software (even though it describes the old Graylog2 version).

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Thanks,, I ended up installing elasticsearch+LogStash+Kibana, partly because they're awesome and partly because we are already using ZeroMQ so I was able to configure LogStash with a ZeroMQ input for simple logging! – Yeraze May 18 '14 at 19:10

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