If you come here and search for a good description on how to use syslog with Hadoop you might have run into this issue: As documented on apache.org (HowToConfigurate) you have setup the log4j configuration similar to this # Log at INFO level to DRFAAUDIT, SYSLOG appenders log4j.logger.org.apache.hadoop.hdfs.server.namenode.FSNamesystem.audit=INFO,DRFAAUDIT,SYSLOG # Do not forward audit events to parent appenders (i.e. namenode) log4j.additivity.org.apache.hadoop.hdfs.server.namenode.FSNamesystem.audit=false # Configure local appender log4j.appender.DRFAAUDIT=org.apache.log4j.DailyRollingFileAppender log4j.appender.DRFAAUDIT.File=/var/log/audit.log log4j.appender.DRFAAUDIT.DatePattern=.yyyy-MM-dd log4j.appender.DRFAAUDIT.layout=org.apache.log4j.PatternLayout log4j.appender.DRFAAUDIT.layout.ConversionPattern=%d{ISO8601} %p %c: %m%n # Configure syslog appender log4j.appender.SYSLOG=org.apache.log4j.net.SyslogAppender log4j.appender.SYSLOG.syslogHost=loghost log4j.appender.SYSLOG.layout=org.apache.log4j.PatternLayout log4j.appender.SYSLOG.layout.ConversionPattern=%d{ISO8601} %p %c: %m%n log4j.appender.SYSLOG.Facility=LOCAL1 It is important to have "SYSLOG" in the "...FSNamesystem.audit" definition at the top and to define such a "SYSLOG" appender below with "log4j.appender.SYSLOG". There you configure your loghost and facility. Now it might be that you still do not get anything in syslog on your loghost when using Hadoop version 0.18 up to at least 0.20. I found a solution to this only at this Japanese blog post which suggested to modify the Hadoop start helper script /usr/lib/hadoop/bin/hadoop-daemon.sh to make it work. You need to change the environment variables export HADOOP_ROOT_LOGGER="INFO,DRFA" export HADOOP_SECURITY_LOGGER="INFO,DRFAS" to include "SYSLOG": export HADOOP_ROOT_LOGGER="INFO,SYSLOG,DRFA" export HADOOP_SECURITY_LOGGER="INFO,SYSLOG,DRFAS" After making this change the syslog logging will work.