I have setup an rsyslog server (based on CentOS 6) that works fine with some remote hosts. But, when I added a Cisco ASA firewall, it does log its messages!

The rsyslog.conf is the following:

# rsyslog v5 configuration file
# For more information see /usr/share/doc/rsyslog-*/rsyslog_conf.html
# If you experience problems, see http://www.rsyslog.com/doc/troubleshoot.html
### MODULES ####
$ModLoad imuxsock # provides support for local system logging (e.g. via logger command)
$ModLoad imklog   # provides kernel logging support (previously done by rklogd)

# Provides UDP syslog reception
$ModLoad imudp
$UDPServerRun 514

# Use default timestamp format
$ActionFileDefaultTemplate RSYSLOG_TraditionalFileFormat

# Include all config files in /etc/rsyslog.d/
$IncludeConfig /etc/rsyslog.d/*.conf

# Log all kernel messages to the console.
# Logging much else clutters up the screen.
#kern.*                                                 /dev/console

# Log anything (except mail) of level info or higher.
# Don't log private authentication messages!
*.info;mail.none;authpriv.none;cron.none                /var/log/messages

# The authpriv file has restricted access.
authpriv.*                                              /var/log/secure

# Log all the mail messages in one place.
mail.*                                                  -/var/log/maillog

# Log cron stuff
cron.*                                                  /var/log/cron

# Everybody gets emergency messages
*.emerg                                                 *

# Save news errors of level crit and higher in a special file.
uucp,news.crit                                          /var/log/spooler

# Save boot messages also to boot.log
local7.*                                                /var/log/boot.log

The configuration file is the following:

##RSYSLOG configuration file for Remote Logs
$FileCreateMode 0640 
$template PerHostLog,"/var/log/remote/%HOSTNAME%.log"

if ($fromhost-ip startswith '10.1.5' or $fromhost-ip startswith '10.2.8') then -?PerHostLog
& ~

Is there anything wrong with those rules? TCPdumps show that messages from host reach the server, but syslog chose to ignore them. Why??

  • My first guess would be to keep things simple, use two if statements each with only one $fromhost-ip startswith. Also, I'd suggest always using if ... then { stuff } because the { } just keep things explicitly defined.
    – etherfish
    Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 12:22
  • I did. This is just an example. I used separate /etc/rsyslog.d/test.conf file. If I specify an explicit file (eg /var/log/remote/, the log file is created but remains empty. Is it possible that the source message is ignored for some reason, like because it is local6 ?
    – Peter
    Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 12:40
  • I think you're missing the a . before the -?PerHostLog, but.. I'm learning a whole new side of rsyslog today. Also, I read that it's better to use %FROMHOST% because sometimes %HOSTNAME% can be missing/incorrect. I'd throw in a . /var/log/test before your stop just to confirm that the problem is the syntax.
    – etherfish
    Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 13:02

4 Answers 4


I solved it. It was a routing(!) error. Server could not reach the message originator, thus, the message was not processed from rsyslog... Go figure...

  • Just a tip, but I always will use tcpdump on the syslog server to see if the network stack is even getting the log packets. (With appropriate filters for your expected source host.) Commented Jan 23, 2014 at 15:28
  • tcpdump was receiving packages!
    – Peter
    Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 7:56
  • Something else must have been going on. rsyslog does not send any packages (it's UDP after all), so it cannot know whether it's able to reach the originator. Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 10:53
  • Syslog traffic can certainly be TCP. Though, I am not sure if it's an option for Cisco. Commented Jan 24, 2014 at 15:23
  • 1
    Well, the syslog is TRANSFERED via UDP. Since I solved the problem with a simple "route add", obviously it's working and it was a requirement. Just to note that I had the same understanding myself too.
    – Peter
    Commented Jan 27, 2014 at 18:41

I was having the same issue. Receiving logs from dozens of ASA devices but not from specific one. Tcpdump showed that the packets were arriving. My problem was that the kernel was filtering its packets. Solved by modifying these two keys in /etc/sysctl.conf:

net.ipv4.conf.all.rp_filter = 0
net.ipv4.conf.default.rp_filter = 0

I had to restart the server because sysctl -p was returning errors from a couple of keys that I didn't want to modify


I do believe I have your answer:


 $AllowedSender UDP,, [::1]/128,,

After reading enough of the documentation, I'd confirm that the messages are in fact getting received and then refining the filters/match rules.

Please do let me know if/how you get this fixed; you've definitely piqued my curiosity.

Good Luck.


I was having this exact same issue. Even more confusing for myself because not only did I know the information was making it to the server port 514 via TCP (I used tcpdump to determine this) but I also telnetted to port 514 and typed text and would see that put in the appropriate log file as defined in /etc/rsyslog.conf. However, when the other machine on the network would communicate log file information to port 514, it would not show up.

I tried everything here mentioned above and still it would not work. I had TCP port 514 opened on the interface that these two machines communicate on. Just on a hunch I modified my firewall to allow UDP port 514 as well and boom, it started working immediately.

My assumption here is that regular text immediately gets dumped into the file, no question. Text/data formatted from a rsyslog client is recognized and processed differently than just text, and REQUIRES communication on port 514 UDP between the two machines on the network. This is not intuitive because the default (I'm using centos7) /etc/rsyslog.conf file has two sections, one for UDP and one for TCP, both commented out, suggesting you have your choice which to use. Apparently, both are required.

Just wanted to put this out there in case this trips up somebody else in the future. As stated above, it doesn't make sense that rsyslogd would have anything to communicate outbound to the host providing the log info to the server, but perhaps rsyslogd just makes sure the host is reachable and exists on the network via UDP before it processes a syslog-formatted string of data it just received.

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