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I have a central syslog server (ubuntu 14.04 server), that I've set up to take in logs from many servers.

This server has a storage hard drive that is very large, mounted at /home/username/logs

I'd like to send the rsyslog logs to that location, with a different directory for each server.

Right now, I have all of that working except it will only store the files in the /var/log directory.

My /etc/rsyslog.conf has these settings to enable the storage of log files from different servers based on their ip

/etc/rsyslog.conf

#  /etc/rsyslog.conf    Configuration file for rsyslog.
#
#                       For more information see
#                       /usr/share/doc/rsyslog-doc/html/rsyslog_conf.html
#
#  Default logging rules can be found in /etc/rsyslog.d/50-default.conf


#################
#### MODULES ####
#################

$ModLoad imuxsock # provides support for local system logging
$ModLoad imklog   # provides kernel logging support
#$ModLoad immark  # provides --MARK-- message capability

# provides UDP syslog reception
$ModLoad imudp
$UDPServerRun 514

# provides TCP syslog reception
$ModLoad imtcp
$InputTCPServerRun 514

# This one is the template to generate the log filename dynamically, depending on the client's IP address.
$template FILENAME,"/var/log/%fromhost-ip%/syslog.log"

# Log all messages to the dynamically formed file. Now each clients log (192.168.1.2, 192.168.1.3,etc...), will be under a separate directory which is formed by the template FILENAME.
*.* ?FILENAME

# Enable non-kernel facility klog messages
$KLogPermitNonKernelFacility on

###########################
#### GLOBAL DIRECTIVES ####
###########################

#
# Use traditional timestamp format.
# To enable high precision timestamps, comment out the following line.
#
$ActionFileDefaultTemplate RSYSLOG_TraditionalFileFormat

# Filter duplicated messages
$RepeatedMsgReduction on

#
# Set the default permissions for all log files.
#
$FileOwner syslog
$FileGroup adm
$FileCreateMode 0640
$DirCreateMode 0755
$Umask 0022
$PrivDropToUser syslog
$PrivDropToGroup syslog

#
# Where to place spool and state files
#
$WorkDirectory /var/spool/rsyslog
#
# Include all config files in /etc/rsyslog.d/
#
$IncludeConfig /etc/rsyslog.d/*.conf

The lines below, specifically are what I want to have working

# This one is the template to generate the log filename dynamically, depending on the client's IP address.
$template FILENAME,"/var/log/%fromhost-ip%/syslog.log"

# Log all messages to the dynamically formed file. Now each clients log (192.168.1.2, 192.168.1.3,etc...), will be under a separate directory which is formed by the template FILENAME.
*.* ?FILENAME

but instead of having the $template FILENAME,"var/log/....", I'd like it to be something similar to $template FILENAME,"/home/username/logs/ "

What is stopping me from changing the directory to something outside of /var/log, and how can I fix this?

I know I can probably mount that drive somewhere under /var/log, but I'm curious now.

When I created the directory that I wanted to store the syslog data in, I ran the command as root. Once I changed the owner to syslog, everything worked fine.

Ugh, creating a SE question from a permissions problem is embarrassing.

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