May 11, 2007

Human Readable Log Entires

Category: Log Analysis,Security Information Management — Raffael Marty @ 10:47 pm

I was trying to get my Ubuntu desktop to use Beryl, just like my laptop does. Unforunately, my NVidia drivers didn’t quite want to do what I wanted them to do. Long story short, at some point I remembered to check in the log files to see whether I could determine what exactly the problem was. Where should I look first? /var/log/messages And right there it was:

May 11 11:15:12 zurich kernel: [ 2503.193111] NVRM: API mismatch: the client has the version 1.0-9631, but
May 11 11:15:12 zurich kernel: [ 2503.193114] NVRM: this kernel module has the version 1.0-9755. Please
May 11 11:15:12 zurich kernel: [ 2503.193115] NVRM: make sure that this kernel module and all NVIDIA driver
May 11 11:15:12 zurich kernel: [ 2503.193117] NVRM: components have the same version.

Beautiful. That’s exactly what I needed to know. But hang on a second. Isn’t this a syslog entry? Wow. It just hit me. While I really liked the verbose output, I was trying to think about how I would parse this thing. How would I normalize this message to later apply machine logic to further process this? Aweful!

I guess my conclusion would be that we need two types of Syslogs! One that logs machine readable log entries and one for humans. Is that really what we want? Maybe the even better solution would be to only have a machine readable log and then provide an application that can read the log and blow the contents up to make it readable for humans!

Where is CEE when you need it?

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