From the “lazy administrator” series: One of the tasks an administrator has to perform on a regular basis is to check on the logs. This is undoubtedly the thing to do for getting an idea what’s going on on the machine. But since it’s such a tedious task skimming through tons of unimportant log entries, enthusiasm rapidly decreases. Having a heart for the admins, the FreeBSD developers have put together a system of status notification emails mailed to root periodically. These emails give a short report on things done by the operating system automatically every night such as removing stale files or backing up important ones. Additionally, the disk usage and network status are summarized and an overview of the activity of the mail server is given. The style of the reports is quite condensed such that one can perceive the important informations quickly. This is also the reason why the security output is mailed separately. (It can be full of uniform warnings.) While these mails can’t (and never tried to) replace an intrusion detection system, they give surprisingly well hints if something on the box is flawed. And it don’t always has to be an intruder who breaks havoc. Even simple things like a misconfigured program causing mail loops or filling up sensitive parts of the filesystem can be catched reading these mails. So go out and read your “daily run output” on a daily base!