Wednesday, March 3, 2010

SyslogNotify: A syslog relay for desktop notification framework such as Growl

I just created a new project, SyslogNotify, on Google Code:
Syslog, from the days of BSD Unix, has been collecting log messages from processes in real-time for decades. They are saved to the disk by default. This tradition has continued to Mac OS X. Meanwhile, desktop notification framework such as Growl allows application messages to be displayed in a non-intrusive way. Many modern applications such as Disk Utility and Installer lack native Growl support, but they emit syslog entries that are indicative of the progress they are making, which could be useful for display on Growl.

SyslogNotify is a daemon written in Python that understands syslogd UDP protocol defined by RFC 3164, and forwards syslog messages to desktop notification. This allows many applications, kernel, and system services instant presence on the desktop.
I started working on this because sometimes my computer gets scanned by failed SSH login attempts, and they do nothing but to keep my computer busy. I was going to work on an automatic blocker, but decided that it was a bit risky to manipulate /etc/hosts.deny programmatically using a setuid root script. I settled on this project for the time being that allows me to monitor SSH login attempts in progress on Growl, so I can manually block the offender.

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