Recently I got some complaints that it is difficult to figure out how to contact the syslog-ng team to get help or report problems. Most of this information is available both on the syslog-ng website and at the syslog-ng repository on GitHub, but collecting here all information might be still useful for some people.
Before you begin: syslog-ng editions
There are two editions of syslog-ng, and while their full name is different, the users refer to both as syslog-ng.
syslog-ng Open Source Edition (OSE) is, as its name implies, an open source software. This is where most of the syslog-ng development is done and is part of most Linux distributions and BSD variants.
syslog-ng Premium Edition (PE) is a commercial software built on syslog-ng OSE, without the experimental features and with some exclusive cloud and compliance-related features.
In this blog, I will detail syslog-ng OSE support possibilities. For any kind of syslog-ng PE support, you should contact One Identity support at https://support.oneidentity.com/syslog-ng-premium-edition/
The possibilities I list below are for syslog-ng OSE, and syslog-ng PE-specific questions and problems are not answered there. For syslog-ng OSE, the central hub of information is the GitHub repository, available at: https://github.com/syslog-ng/syslog-ng/
Asking syslog-ng OSE questions
There are many different places where users ask syslog-ng-related questions. Just think of StackExchange, Reddit or various log management focused communities, like Splunk. However, if you post your question on one of these, there is no guarantee that someone from the syslog-ng team or the larger syslog-ng community will ever find it and respond to it.
There are three ways you can reach the syslog-ng developer and user community: e-mail, chat, and discussion group. Let’s check them in more detail:
This is the preferred way of communication for most old-time users. The mailing list is low traffic and covers both user questions and development related discussions. The syslog-ng newsletter is also posted here once every 1-2 months. Even if you do not have questions, it might be interesting to subscribe to it as one can learn a lot from the discussions.
You can subscribe to the mailing list at https://lists.balabit.hu/mailman/listinfo/syslog-ng
Chat with developers and users was an often-requested possibility. IRC was not that convenient; however, there is a web-based alternative for GitHub repositories provided by Gitter. Even if it is a chat system, communication is rarely real-time here, answers often arrive only hours or even days later (if you ask something Friday evening…).
You can reach it at https://gitter.im/syslog-ng/syslog-ng and join using one of the many authentication possibilities.
GitHub has a new feature called Discussions. Practically, it is a web-based forum, where you can ask questions, share interesting use cases, discuss syslog-ng features with developers. So, you can do here anything that you can do on the mailing list, but using a more modern, web-based interface.
You can reach the Discussion tab of the syslog-ng repository on Github at https://github.com/syslog-ng/syslog-ng/discussions
Reporting syslog-ng OSE problems
For many years, users could report problems in Bugzilla. That system was retired many years ago. If you suspect that you ran into a bug, you can open an issue about it in the GitHub issue handling system at: https://github.com/syslog-ng/syslog-ng/issues
Do not post questions there, GitHub issues are for problem reports. For questions, use one of the previously introduced possibilities: e-mail, chat or discussion.
Note, that syslog-ng OSE issues are resolved on a best effort level. Sometimes, it is even quicker than the commercial support, as you have the source code to compile fixed packages yourself. However, there are no guarantees that a problem will be fixed in the next release or ever.
What not to do
Do not contact individual developers or users directly, in private. This approach has many problems:
The load is not shared in the community
Other users cannot learn from the answer
It might actually be slower, if the given person is off-line or overloaded
So, instead of contacting someone directly, use one of the above-described communication methods. If you have some logs or configurations needing confidentiality, you can still share those with someone directly, on request.
If you have questions or comments related to syslog-ng, do not hesitate to contact us. You can reach us by email or even chat with us. For a list of possibilities, check our GitHub page under the “Community” section at https://github.com/syslog-ng/syslog-ng. On Twitter, I am available as @PCzanik.