Due to the tight resources of the server, I suspect System will end processes from time to time. I want those events to be logged in a separate file for investigation.

How do I set that in syslog.conf? I would also like to log user that uses kill cmd to end process.

System is CentOS release 6.4 running with rsyslogd.


System will end processes from time to time.

Yes, the Linux kernel can kill processes when there is a severe lack of memory (and swap!). The feature that does this is called "oomkiller" (out of memory killer) and detailed information is written to the kernel log about the process was killed. You can see that log with dmesg and the syslog server is usually configured to write it to /var/log/kern.log.

However, if your system is running so low on memory that this happens on a regular basis, that's usually considered a critical problem that should be addressed. There is no way to control which process the oomkiller will choose to kill, and it might very well kill important system processes from time to time, so you cannot really count on your system being fully stable after this has happened.

I would also like to log user that uses kill cmd

That information is not collected or logged by anything and is not available. About the best you might hope for is that someone ran sudo kill <something> in which case sudo (not kill) will log the command. But normal users probably aren't using sudo.

  • Adding to this, you can read a little about the /proc/<pid>/oom_* files. You may find these two links useful 1) unix.stackexchange.com/questions/58872/… 2)lwn.net/Articles/317814 – Sree Nov 19 '14 at 8:26
  • "I would also like to log user that uses kill cmd to end process." Actually, there are all kinds of things wrong with that question. Users can only kill their own processes, unless they have root permissions. Without root permissions, you know who killed any given process: it was either the process's owner, or it was root. If users use sudo then you have logging. But if users are logged in as root, then what do you mean by "log users that use the kill command"? You mean log which people use the kill command? But the kernel doesn't know about people, only about users. – Wildcard Jun 21 '17 at 0:36

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