How to configure systemd journal-remote to listen on specific port?

All I can find are command line examples. And base on man page, there don't seems to be any option in journal-remote.conf.

1 Answer 1


Seeing that there is not even a single comment, I decided to continue my research and finally pieced the configuration together.

OS: Ubuntu 16.04

systemd: 229-1ubuntu2

systemd-journal-remote: 229-1ubuntu2

Upload server configuration

This one is actually simple, online example are correct and only need to touch one configuration file.

Use following command to install systemd-journal-remote

sudo apt-get install systemd-journal-remote

Edit /etc/systemd/journal-upload.conf.


# ServerKeyFile=/etc/ssl/private/journal-upload.pem
# ServerCertificateFile=/etc/ssl/certs/journal-upload.pem
# TrustedCertificateFile=/etc/ssl/ca/trusted.pem

To make sure journal-upload auto start on boot

sudo systemctl enable systemd-journal-upload.service

Restart journal-upload after configuration.

sudo systemctl restart systemd-journal-upload.service

If you are using http, you can do as above and leave the bottom 3 lines commented. For active mode https, uncomment them and create those cert files.

The URL actually dictate the transfer protocol(http/https) and the destination port to use.

Additionally if you want to prevent accidental overwrite by future package update, you can create a /etc/systemd/journal-upload.conf.d directory and put your config file inside, as long as the file end with a .conf extension.

As a side notes, I am doing this within a LXC container and seems the service will not use /etc/hosts for dns resolution, I end up using IP address here. So if you use hostname and see error message that journal-upload cannot reach the target, try with IP address.

Receiving server configuration

The receiving server give me most of the trouble when looking for configuration information. And unlike the uploading server, configuration is scattered on this side.

Use following command to install systemd-journal-remote and enable the listening port

sudo apt-get install systemd-journal-remote
sudo systemctl enable systemd-journal-remote.socket

There are two ways, active and passive, to configure journal-remote. I am using passive mode here.

Port number

The configuration file for journal listening port is /etc/systemd/system/sockets.target.wants/systemd-journal-remote.socket as follow. ListenStream is the port number.

Unlike the uploading side, this setting has nothing to do with which protocol(http/https) to use. It only specify the listening port number.

Description=Journal Remote Sink Socket



Protocol(http/https) and journal/log location

To change the protocol of the journal transfer and the save location, copy /lib/systemd/system/systemd-journal-remote.service into /etc/systemd/system/, then edit /etc/systemd/system/systemd-journal-remote.service.

Description=Journal Remote Sink Service
Documentation=man:systemd-journal-remote(8) man:journal-remote.conf(5)

ExecStart=/etc/systemd/systemd-journal-remote \
          --listen-http=-3 \


The --listen-http=-3 specify the incoming journal is using http. If you want to use https, change it to --listen-https=-3.

--output=/var/log/journal/remote/ specify the sink (saving directory) of incoming journal. If it does not exist, create it and change its owner to systemd-journal-remote.

sudo mkdir /var/log/journal/remote
sudo chown systemd-journal-remote /var/log/journal/remote

Restart journal-remote.socket after configuration.

sudo systemctl daemon-reload

What about the most obvious /etc/systemd/journal-remote.conf?

# Seal=false
# SplitMode=host
# ServerKeyFile=/etc/ssl/private/journal-remote.pem
# ServerCertificateFile=/etc/ssl/certs/journal-remote.pem
# TrustedCertificateFile=/etc/ssl/ca/trusted.pem

Since I am not using https, don't need to change anything.

  • > Seeing that there is not even a single comment, That's unsurprising, yoiu asked your question at 22:12UTC on a Friday, for most of the people who actually answer questions here that's the weekend.
    – user9517
    Feb 20, 2016 at 9:03
  • @Iain lol, I didn't notice that. I was looking at the journal-remote.conf for 3 night before I post the question , so you can said I was desperate:p
    – John Siu
    Feb 20, 2016 at 9:08
  • Do you have to clean/rotate the files that are generated with this setup?
    – Matt W
    Jul 28, 2016 at 18:17
  • 2
    @MattW No need for the upload server. For the receiving server, journald configuration can take care of the rotation.
    – John Siu
    Jul 28, 2016 at 21:30
  • 4
    You should not be editing the files in /lib/systemd/system. systemd gives you /etc/systemd/system/ for custom units. Just copy and paste the file in /lib/systemd/system into that /etc/systemd/system and it will override the one in lib.
    – nhooyr
    Jun 4, 2017 at 13:25

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