Jon Simpson

Syslogd not running on updated Debian

4 May 2014 — debian, syslogd, upgrades

When applying upgrades recently on a Debian 7.0 (Wheezy) system, the following line was output when spamassassin was restarted:

 warn: logger: failed to add syslog method: logger: syslog initialization failed

On checking /var/log/messages there had been no syslog entries since the previous May - a date which coincides with the release of Debian Wheezy. The default syslogd changed two releases ago, in Debian 5.0 (Lenny), from sysklogd to rsyslog. The system in question started off running Debian 4.0 (Etch) and has been upgraded all the way to latest; the default switching had no effect as sysklogd remained installed. In Debian 7.0 the sysklogd package is removed during upgrade, without forcibly installing rsyslog, causing there to be no syslog daemon installed after the update and the error message from spamassassin above.

The problem is resolved by installing the rsyslog package manually.