Exercise 1.4 - Configuring Terminal Session Recording

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Section 1. Deploying Session Recording

To be able to deploy the Session Recording solution you need to have the following packages installed: tlog, SSSD, cockpit-session-recording.
Note that session recording doesn’t work for graphical desktop sessions or Cockpit terminal sessions.

Step 1.1: Pre-Requisites

In order to work with session recording, your system will need to have the following installed:

  • tlog

  • SSSD (System Security Services Deamon)

  • cockpit-session-recording

For this workshop/lab the environment is already configured to have tlog and SSSD installed, but if you were to install these prerequisites yourself, you would run sudo yum install -y tlog cockpit-session-recording systemd-journal-remote

In RHEL 8, software installation is enabled by the new version of the YUM tool (YUM v4), which is based on DNF technology. We use the yum command in all of today’s documentation, but welcome you to start getting used to typing dnf instead. Read more here: Managing software packages

Step 1.2: Configuring the recorded users or user groups with SSSD from web UI

Specify recorded users or user groups using SSSD by listing them directly in the RHEL 8 web console.

Step 1.2.1: Go to the Session Recording page in the menu on the left of the interface.

TerminalRecording af59f

Step 1.2.2: Click on the gear button in the right top corner.

TerminalRecording 9ee56

Step 1.2.3: Set your parameters in the SSSD Configuration table.

There are 2 configuration panes, a General and another for SSSD; scroll down if you don’t see the SSSD pane. To keep things simple, choose the All option in the Scope pull-down menu of the SSSD pane, as shown below. Optionally choosing Some will allow you to provide comma-separated lists of users and groups whose terminal sessions should be recorded.
Be sure to click Save after making a selection.

TerminalRecording 60f70

Step 1.3: Test Session Recording

Let’s create a sample log. SSH back into your server and see what has changed:

ssh localhost

You should see a banner that says "ATTENTION! Your session is being recorded!"

  • Enter a few commands. For this demo, we’ll do uptime, ls -l,df -h and hostname

ls -l
df -h
  • Exit the shell


Section 2. Playing Back Recorded Sessions

There are two possibilities for replaying recorded sessions. The first option is to manage your recorded sessions from the RHEL 8 web console, which we will use for this lab. You can also use the tlog-play utility to play back recorded sessions on the command line.

Step 2.1 Playback with the web console

The RHEL 8 web console has an interface that could be used to manage recorded sessions. You can choose the session you want to review directly from the Session Recording page, where the list of your recorded sessions are. You might have to reload that page.

Example 2.1: Example list of recorded sessions

TerminalRecording 09d8f

Click on one of the sessions and you are presented with a player to view the recording in as shown:

TerminalRecording 178f1

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