Logging, auditing, and streaming

Each Tailscale agent in your distributed network streams its logs to a central log server (at log.tailscale.io). This includes real-time events for open and close events for every inter-machine connection (TCP or UDP) on your network.

Because every connection requires two endpoints, and both endpoints log every connection, it’s possible to detect lost or tampered logs by comparing the double entries of each endpoint. You could also use IDS (intrusion detection system) rules to automatically detect suspicious activity on your network.

Client logs

Each client logs information about its own operation and its attempts to contact other nodes. The data collected and how it is used are described in our privacy policy.

Logs can be accessed locally for nodes on desktop platforms.

Windows

Open the Event Viewer application and find Tailscale. Alternatively, logs can be accessed in %LOCALAPPDATA%\Tailscale.

macOS

Open the Console application and search for IPN.

Linux

Logs are available in the shell:

journalctl -u tailscaled

Centralized log management

Some logs are centrally collected by Tailscale for debugging. This is done with a custom-built, high-capacity, high-reliability, distributed logging system.

Right now, logs are only accessible locally on each node. You could stream your system- and container-level logs to the same centralized data store for further analysis.

Opting out of client logging
If you block client logging, Tailscale may not be able to provide technical support.
Windows

This is possible if you set the TS_NO_LOGS_NO_SUPPORT environment variable in %ProgramData%\Tailscale\tailscaled-env.txt:

TS_NO_LOGS_NO_SUPPORT=true

To track when you can instead use the --no-logs-no-support flag, follow our GitHub issue for making it easier to use environment variables.

macOS

If you are running the open source tailscaled macOS variant, pass the --no-logs-no-support flag to tailscaled:

tailscaled --no-logs-no-support

To track when you can use the --no-logs-no-support flag for other macOS variants, follow our GitHub issue for making it easier to use environment variables.

Linux

Either use the --no-logs-no-support flag, or set the TS_NO_LOGS_NO_SUPPORT environment variable.

To use the --no-logs-no-support flag, pass it to tailscaled:

tailscaled --no-logs-no-support

To set the TS_NO_LOGS_NO_SUPPORT environment variable, edit /etc/default/tailscaled and add the following line:

TS_NO_LOGS_NO_SUPPORT=true

Server logs

Configuration audit logs record actions that modify a tailnet’s configuration, including the type of action, the actor, the target resource, and the time.

Configuration audit logging is currently in beta.

All users who have access to the admin console can view configuration audit logs in the Logs page of the admin console, and can filter these logs to find specific events.

Configuration audit logs are enabled by default for all tailnets, and are available for the most recent 90 days.

SSH session logs

Tailscale SSH has the ability to optionally record SSH sessions. With session recording enabled, all SSH commands and responses are recorded locally on the device.

To enable session recording on a device, you need to set the environment variable TS_DEBUG_LOG_SSH on tailscaled. This can typically be done by editing /etc/default/tailscaled and adding the following line:

TS_DEBUG_LOG_SSH=1

Restart tailscaled after setting TS_DEBUG_LOG_SSH:

systemctl restart tailscaled

Session logs are available locally on the device under /var/lib/tailscale/ssh-sessions. These logs are *.cast files, in asciicast v2 format. Use asciinema to watch them.

Session logs are currently limited:

  • Session recordings are stored locally on the device, and not currently streamed to remote storage. If the device is compromised, then you should not assume that the logs have not been tampered with.
  • Session recordings only include information about the user on the device, not the authenticated user. That is, if Alice authenticated as root on a device, session recordings would only show the user root, not Alice. We are planning to make it easier to correlate SSH session logs to Tailscale client connection logs.

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