Making fail2ban work on systemd Gentoo

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I have been transferring all of my websites and services from my Arch Docker setup to a baremetal Gentoo box, but got tripped up when setting up fail2ban.

By default, the fail2ban config (on Gentoo) is set up like this:


#before = paths-distro.conf
before = paths-debian.conf

# The DEFAULT allows a global definition of the options. They can be overridden
# in each jail afterwards.


(this is the content of /etc/fail2ban/jail.conf)

How fail2ban works, is that there are multiple path-X.conf files, where X is the distribution fail2ban is installed on. There is a couple in there like paths-arch.conf, paths-fedora.conf, and so on because distributions put files in different places. However, this also controls how fail2ban reads the log files. On Gentoo systemd systems, fail2ban is configured to read the syslog instead of the systemd journal which of course doesn’t work.

To fix this, simply change the before path in your /etc/fail2ban/jail.local:


before = paths-arch.conf


I used paths-arch.conf since it’s a systemd distribution, and it seems to work fine. I plan on modifying the fail2ban wiki page on the Gentoo wiki to mention this, but I wanted to share my discovery here :-)