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What is this product about

We took the best of what Rsyslog has to offer to create a product that goes beyond the default aspects of Rsyslog. We have created a solution that can accept logs from any server or product that uses the Rsyslog standard over a secure connection, while providing you the ability to give access to these logs to selected people over SSH.

We wanted to create a product that can help you secure your infrastructure even more by allowing you to lock down remote access to the production servers, while still letting your team know what is going on those servers.

Key aspects

  • SSL is enabled by default to only accept logs over a secure channel.
  • User access is over SSH using passwords, and limited only to the log folder.
  • Logs are organized in separate folders using the remote host name.

Example use cases

Your imagination is your limit, but here are some ideas that are worth considering:

  • If you design your infrastructure so that you don't give remote access to the production server to anyone, you can stream the logs from those servers into our product for secure access to production logs - ideal for developers wanting to debug potential issues.
  • Stream logs from docker containers by setting up docker to pass the logs in to the host OS, which then can forward those messages to our product.

Additional details


Our complementary CloudFormation is set up in a way that you have to provide an internal IP that you'd like the server to always use, this way even if the instance is terminated for a server type change, the IP will remain the same and the clients will be able to reconnect without any changes.


Our product is configured to allow any server to send it logs. The data will be sent over an encrypted connection, but there is not a credential system to prevent instances from sending data. For this reason, this product should not be accessible from the public internet. It was designed to be deployed in a private subnet within a VPC, to allow only local servers to send it logs.


Our product includes a bash script that when run on a client will automatically install and configure the Rsyslog service. The bash script will be uploaded to S3, and from there your clients can pull it and run it. Once the server instance is deployed, check the S3 bucket and review the script before using it on a client to make sure it is safe for your environment. If needed you can manually configure each client, or modify the script to fit your needs.

Complete feature list

This section lists all the features of this product for easy referencing.

Detailed list

The product itself

  1. Default SSL connection.
  2. Bash script for client configuration.
  3. Separated users for log access.

If you were to use our CloudFormation file, you’d also get

  1. An Alarm to check for CPU Bursts.
  2. An Alarm to check for CPU Load.
  3. An Alarm to check for Disk usage.
  4. An Alarm to auto recover the instance if it gets terminated suddenly by AWS due to hardware failure.
  5. An Alarm for EC2 Instance termination protection.
  6. A SNS Topic to receive notifications from the above alarms.


  1. The ability to set same local IP for the server so even after termination the clients won't need reconfiguration.

Deploy Automatically

First, subscribe to the product on the AWS Marketplace, and then deploy this CloudFormation file.

What will be deployed

  • 1x EC2 instance with 0x4447 custom AMI:
    • 1x IAM Role.
    • 1x IAM Policy.
    • 1x Security Group.
    • 1x Instance profile.
  • 4x CloudWatch Alarms:
    • CPU Burst.
    • CPU Load.
    • Disk Usage.
    • EC2 Instance Recovery.
  • 1x SNS Topic:
    • 1x SNS Policy.
    • 1x Topic Subscription.
  • 1x CloudWatch Dashboard for instance overview.


  • 1x S3 Bucket to store external scripts.

Deploy Manually

Before launching our product, you'll have to do some manual work to make everything work correctly. Please follow these steps (the steps are generally described since Cloud experience is expected):


Text starting with PARAM_ needs to be replaced with real values.

S3 Bucket

Since our product comes with a complementary bash script that when run on a client instance does automatically configure the server to send logs to our product, you have to first create a S3 bucket where this script will be stored. Once you have it, use the name of the bucket in the policy template below.

Custom Role

Our software uses a S3 bucket to copy over the custom client configuration script which is generated at boot time with all the necessary details to set up the Rsyslog client in a way where the client server knows where and how to send the logs to our product. To copy this file to S3 the instance itself needs a custom Role with S3 access for this to happen. Below you can find the role that you have to create for your EC2 Instance.

    "Version": "2012-10-17",
    "Statement": [
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
            "Resource": [
            "Effect": "Allow",
            "Action": [
            "Resource": "*"

Bash Script for UserData

Our product needs a few dynamic values custom to your setup. To get access to these values our product checks for the content of this file /home/ec2-user/.env. By using the UserData option that AWS provided for each EC2 Instance, you can create the .env file with ease by referencing the bash script from below - make sure to replace the placeholder values with your own ones.


echo S3_BUCKET=PARAM_S3_BUCKET >> /home/ec2-user/.env,
echo LOG_TTL=PARAM_LOG_TTL >> /home/ec2-user/.env,


  1. Set the name of the S3 bucket where to upload the product custom script for client auto configuration.
  2. Set the log retention period in days.

Understand how UserData works

It is important to note that the content of the UserData field will be only executed once, which occurs when the instance starts for the first time. This means that the content of the UserData won't be triggered if you stop and start the instance.

This means you won't be able to stop the instance, update the UserData and have the changes executed. If you need to make changes to the UserData, you have the following options:

  • Follow this AWS solution for a work around.
  • Terminate the instance and redeploy the product from scratch.

Security Group

Our product configuration in the AWS Marketplace already has set all the ports that need to be open for the product to work. If for whatever reason the correct Security Group is not created by AWS, below you can find a list and descriptions of all the ports needed:

  • 22 over TCP for remote management.
  • 6514 over TCP for Rsyslog to take logs in.

The First Boot

The boot time of our product will be slower than if you started an instance from a clean AMI, this is due to our custom code that needs to be executed in order to prepare the product for you. This process can take a few minutes longer than usual.

Connecting to the Server

If you need to connect to the server: get it's IP, connect to the instance over SSH with the username ec2-user, while using the private key you selected at deployment time. If successfully connected, you should be greeted with a custom MOTD detailing the product information.

Automatic Client Setup


This step is optional. If you know what you are doing, feel free to configure your client servers yourself. Or you are using another product that forwards logs etc, use whatever UI the product has to set it up.

Once the server (our product) is deployed correctly, you can configure your clients with the following commands (make sure to replace the placeholder values with real ones, and make sure the EC2 instances in which you run these commands have access to the S3 bucket where the custom script is located).

These commands can be executed:

  • by hand
  • by placing them in the EC2 Instance UserData
  • by executing them remotely through AWS Systems Manager
  • etc.

aws s3 cp s3://PARAM_BUCKET_RSYSLOG/bash/ /tmp/

chmod +x /tmp/



  1. Copy the bash script which will configure the client
  2. Make the script executable
  3. Configure the client to send the logs to the Rsyslog server

User Management

To allow other team members to access the logs from remote servers through our product, we created a special user group called rsyslog that has access only to the remote logs. Below you can find a reminder how to manage users and passwords under Linux.

How to create a user

sudo useradd -g rsyslog PARAM_USER_NAME

How to set a password

sudo passwd PARAM_USER_NAME

How to delete a user

sudo userdel PARAM_USER_NAME

How to change a password

sudo passwd PARAM_USER_NAME

Logs location

The logs can be found in the /var/log/0x4447-rsyslog folder. Inside it you'll find more folders named after the remote hostname for easy identification.

Final Thought

Test the setup

Before you go into production, make sure to test the product. This ensures that you get used to how it works.

Security Concerns

Below we give you a list of potential ideas to consider regarding security, but this list is not exhaustive – it is just a good starting point.

  • Never expose this server to the public. Use it only inside a private network to limit who can send it logs
  • Allow logging only from specific subnets
  • Block public SSH access
  • Allow SSH connection only from limited subnets
  • Ideally allow SSH connection only from another central instance
  • Don't give root access to anyone but yourself

How To

How to change the instance type

If you need more memory and CPU capacity, you can change your instance type to a bigger one. To do so, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to the CloudFormation console
  2. Click on the stack that you want to update.
  3. Click the Update button.
  4. Keep the default selection and click Next
  5. On the new Parameters page, change the instance type from the drop down.
  6. Click Next till the end.

Wait for the stack to finish updating.


These are some of the common solutions to problems you may run into:

Not authorized for images

My CloudFormation stack failed with the following error API: ec2:RunInstances Not authorized for images:... in the Event tab.


You have to accept the subscription from the AWS Marketplace first, before you use our CloudFormation file.

The product is misbehaving

I did follow all the instructions from the documentation.


Check if the values entered in the UserData have reached the instance itself.

sudo cat /var/lib/cloud/instance/user-data.txt

UserData seams ok

The UserData reached the instance, and yet the product is not acting as it should.


Use the following command to see if there were any errors during the boot process.

sudo cat /var/log/messages | grep 0x4447


If the above section has not helped you come up with a solution to your problem, feel free to get in touch with us, we'll try to help you out the best way we can.


If you have any feedback regarding our products, feel free to reach us through our feedback page.