Installing Logstalgia on Raspberry Pi (and other Debian systems)

AS OF NOW THIS PROJECT IS A NO-GO FOR THE RASPBERRY PI, as the Pi doesn’t support OpenGL adequately. However, the steps below will work on other architectures. This post will be updated if the project ever does become viable on the Raspberry Pi.

Logstalgia is an open-source project that aims to display your web server’s log files as a pong-like visualization. It can be pretty mesmerizing during high-traffic times or even DDOS-attacks (as seen below). I am experimenting with it as a Network Operations Center display piece, and thought I’d parse out the steps I took to install it on a Raspberry Pi or any other device running a Debian based linux operating system.

The first installation I had running was on a laptop to see how easy it was going to be to install it on a known working platform. I had it running on a Linux Mint 14 (MATE) install in 15 minutes, and that included all the reading I did to figure out what packages I needed to install.

For Raspberry Pi installation, I started with a fresh Raspbian Wheezy image (as found here). For other installations, you can use any current Debian/Ubuntu release (Raring Ringtail 13.04 is the latest Ubuntu release at the time of writing).

Once booted to the fresh install go ahead and get root and upgrade everything to the latest in the repositories.

sudo su -
apt-get update
apt-get upgrade

Next up, download the logstalgia archive from the project page.


Unpack it, and move it to /tmp

tar xvzf logstalgia-1.0.3.tar.gz
mv logstalgia-1.0.3 /tmp/.
cd /tmp

Install build tools and dependencies for logstalgia.

apt-get install build-essential
apt-get install libsdl-dev ftgl-dev libjpeg-dev
apt-get install libsdl-image1.2-dev

FreeType2 is a required package that will need to be compiled and installed. We’ll download the source for this from its project page, unzip it, and get it compiled.

unzip -a
cd freetype-2.4.11/
make install

Move into the logstalgia directory and compile the source.

cd ../logstalgia*
make install

Now, just move the compiled binary to the /usr/sbin directory so you can call it from anywhere in the system as root.

mv logstalgia /usr/sbin/.

All that time just to get a special binary, and now it’s time to make it work! At this time,

You can upload a logfile to a directory on your RPi, or you can use an SSH session to tail a log live. Here are some of the suggested usage examples from the README file in the project.

To watch a log file using the default settings from a log file copied to the local machine:

logstalgia dir/example.log

To watch a remote access log via ssh:

ssh user@hostname tail -f /var/log/apache2/access.log | logstalgia --sync

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