[RFC] changes to rsyslog

Michael Biebl biebl at debian.org
Sat Nov 13 21:32:23 GMT 2021


we are early in the bookworm release cycle, so I guess it's the perfect 
time to bring up this topic. For quite a long time, we defaulted to a 
volatile journal in systemd. We finally changed that in bullseye [1].
We still do install rsyslog by default despite this change (due to 
rsyslog's priority being important).
As maintainer of both systemd *and* rsyslog this was intentional.
I wanted to have a fallback, should something unexpectedly go wrong.
Now that bullseye has been released for a couple of months, the feedback 
has been really positive regarding the persistent journal.

I would thus like to proceed and change the priority of rsyslog from 
important to optional, which in turn would mean, it is no longer 
installed by default.

The main reason here is, that I want to avoid that log data is stored 
twice on disk.

What exactly would this mean going forward:

- Existing systems will continue to have rsyslog installed (but they can 
safely uninstall rsyslog)

- Newly installed systems will no longer have rsyslog installed, unless 
some other package Depends on either rsyslog | system-log-daemon. But my 
recommendation is, that individual packages do not have a 
Depends/Recommends: rsyslog | system-log-daemon unless it is really 
crucial to their operation. Journald does provide /dev/log and a 
syslog() api call will make sure the log message ends up on persistent 

- If you prefer rsyslog on a systemd-based system you can easily install 
rsyslog and it will continue to work as-is.

I've CCed the maintainers of sysvinit. They might be interested in 
ensuring that if sysvinit is installed, a classic syslog daemon is 

I'm really looking forward to this change.
For one, this will make a default installation leaner. And given that 
journald covers the basics well, the rsyslog defaults could be optimized 
to better cater for enterprise needs.



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