How to configure Systemd Journal Remote

Table of Contents

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

System Info

OS: Ubuntu 16.04

systemd: 229-1ubuntu2

systemd-journal-remote: 229-1ubuntu2

Upload server configuration

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 resolvution, I end up using IP address here. So if you use hostname and see error message that journal-upload cannot reach the target, try switch to 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/ 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, we have to edit /lib/systemd/system/systemd-journal-remote.service directly.

Description=Journal Remote Sink Service
Documentation=man:systemd-journal-remote(8) man:journal-remote.conf(5) Requires=systemd-journal-remote.socket
ExecStart=/lib/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.

John Siu
Minimize the Effort, Maximize the Effect!
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