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syslog-ng Open Source Edition 3.26 - Administration Guide

Preface Introduction to syslog-ng The concepts of syslog-ng Installing syslog-ng The syslog-ng OSE quick-start guide The syslog-ng OSE configuration file source: Read, receive, and collect log messages
How sources work default-network-drivers: Receive and parse common syslog messages internal: Collecting internal messages file: Collecting messages from text files wildcard-file: Collecting messages from multiple text files linux-audit: Collecting messages from Linux audit logs network: Collecting messages using the RFC3164 protocol (network() driver) nodejs: Receiving JSON messages from nodejs applications mbox: Converting local email messages to log messages osquery: Collect and parse osquery result logs pipe: Collecting messages from named pipes pacct: Collecting process accounting logs on Linux program: Receiving messages from external applications python: writing server-style Python sources python-fetcher: writing fetcher-style Python sources snmptrap: Read Net-SNMP traps sun-streams: Collecting messages on Sun Solaris syslog: Collecting messages using the IETF syslog protocol (syslog() driver) system: Collecting the system-specific log messages of a platform systemd-journal: Collecting messages from the systemd-journal system log storage systemd-syslog: Collecting systemd messages using a socket tcp, tcp6, udp, udp6: Collecting messages from remote hosts using the BSD syslog protocol— OBSOLETE unix-stream, unix-dgram: Collecting messages from UNIX domain sockets stdin: Collecting messages from the standard input stream
destination: Forward, send, and store log messages
amqp: Publishing messages using AMQP collectd: sending metrics to collectd elasticsearch2: Sending messages directly to Elasticsearch version 2.0 or higher (DEPRECATED) elasticsearch-http: Sending messages to Elasticsearch HTTP Bulk API file: Storing messages in plain-text files graphite: Sending metrics to Graphite Sending logs to Graylog hdfs: Storing messages on the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) Posting messages over HTTP http: Posting messages over HTTP without Java kafka: Publishing messages to Apache Kafka (Java implementation) kafka: Publishing messages to Apache Kafka (C implementation, using the librdkafka client) loggly: Using Loggly logmatic: Using Logmatic.io mongodb: Storing messages in a MongoDB database network: Sending messages to a remote log server using the RFC3164 protocol (network() driver) osquery: Sending log messages to osquery's syslog table pipe: Sending messages to named pipes program: Sending messages to external applications pseudofile() python: writing custom Python destinations redis: Storing name-value pairs in Redis riemann: Monitoring your data with Riemann slack: Sending alerts and notifications to a Slack channel smtp: Generating SMTP messages (email) from logs snmp: Sending SNMP traps Splunk: Sending log messages to Splunk sql: Storing messages in an SQL database stomp: Publishing messages using STOMP syslog: Sending messages to a remote logserver using the IETF-syslog protocol syslog-ng(): Forward logs to another syslog-ng node tcp, tcp6, udp, udp6: Sending messages to a remote log server using the legacy BSD-syslog protocol (tcp(), udp() drivers) Telegram: Sending messages to Telegram unix-stream, unix-dgram: Sending messages to UNIX domain sockets usertty: Sending messages to a user terminal: usertty() destination Write your own custom destination in Java or Python Client-side failover
log: Filter and route log messages using log paths, flags, and filters Global options of syslog-ng OSE TLS-encrypted message transfer template and rewrite: Format, modify, and manipulate log messages parser: Parse and segment structured messages db-parser: Process message content with a pattern database (patterndb) Correlating log messages Enriching log messages with external data Statistics of syslog-ng Multithreading and scaling in syslog-ng OSE Troubleshooting syslog-ng Best practices and examples The syslog-ng manual pages Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives (by-nc-nd) License Glossary

unix-stream() and unix-dgram() destination options

These drivers send messages to a unix socket in either SOCK_STREAM or SOCK_DGRAM mode. The unix-stream() and unix-dgram() destinations have the following options:

close-on-input()
Type: yes|no
Default: yes

Description: By default, syslog-ng OSE closes destination sockets if it receives any input from the socket (for example, a reply). If this option is set to no, syslog-ng OSE just ignores the input, but does not close the socket.

create-dirs()
Type: yes or no
Default: no

Description: Enable creating non-existing directories when creating files or socket files.

disk-buffer()

Description: This option enables putting outgoing messages into the disk buffer of the destination to avoid message loss in case of a system failure on the destination side. It has the following options:

reliable()
Type: yes|no
Default: no

Description: If set to yes, syslog-ng OSE cannot lose logs in case of reload/restart, unreachable destination or syslog-ng OSE crash. This solution provides a slower, but reliable disk-buffer option. It is created and initialized at startup and gradually grows as new messages arrive. If set to no, the normal disk-buffer will be used. This provides a faster, but less reliable disk-buffer option.

Caution:

Hazard of data loss! If you change the value of reliable() option when there are messages in the disk-buffer, the messages stored in the disk-buffer will be lost.

compaction()
Type: yes|no
Default: no

Description: If set to yes, syslog-ng OSE prunes the unused space in the LogMessage representation, making the disk queue size smaller at the cost of some CPU time. Setting the compaction() argument to yes is recommended when numerous name-value pairs are unset during processing, or when the same names are set multiple times.

NOTE: Simply unsetting these name-value pairs by using the unset() rewrite operation is not enough, as due to performance reasons that help when syslog-ng is CPU bound, the internal representation of a LogMessage will not release the memory associated with these name-value pairs. In some cases, however, the size of this overhead becomes significant (the raw message size can grow up to four times its original size), which unnecessarily increases the disk queue file size. For these cases, the compaction will drop "unset" values, making the LogMessage representation smaller at the cost of some CPU time required to perform compaction.

dir()
Type: string
Default: N/A

Description: Defines the folder where the disk-buffer files are stored.

Caution:

When creating a new dir() option for a disk buffer, or modifying an existing one, make sure you delete the persist file.

syslog-ng OSE creates disk-buffer files based on the path recorded in the persist file. Therefore, if the persist file is not deleted after modifying the dir() option, then following a restart, syslog-ng OSE will look for or create disk-buffer files in their old location. To ensure that syslog-ng OSE uses the new dir() setting, the persist file must not contain any information about the destinations which the disk-buffer file in question belongs to.

disk-buf-size()
Type: number (bytes)
Default:

Description: This is a required option. The maximum size of the disk-buffer in bytes. The minimum value is 1048576 bytes. If you set a smaller value, the minimum value will be used automatically. It replaces the old log-disk-fifo-size() option.
mem-buf-length()
Type: number (messages)
Default: 10000
Description: Use this option if the option reliable() is set to no. This option contains the number of messages stored in overflow queue. It replaces the old log-fifo-size() option. It inherits the value of the global log-fifo-size() option if provided. If it is not provided, the default value is 10000 messages. Note that this option will be ignored if the option reliable() is set to yes.
mem-buf-size()
Type: number (bytes)
Default: 163840000
Description: Use this option if the option reliable() is set to yes. This option contains the size of the messages in bytes that is used in the memory part of the disk buffer. It replaces the old log-fifo-size() option. It does not inherit the value of the global log-fifo-size() option, even if it is provided. Note that this option will be ignored if the option reliable() is set to no.
qout-size()
Type: number (messages)
Default: 64
Description: The number of messages stored in the output buffer of the destination. Note that if you change the value of this option and the disk-buffer already exists, the change will take effect when the disk-buffer becomes empty.

Options reliable() and disk-buf-size() are required options.

Example: Examples for using disk-buffer()

In the following case reliable disk-buffer() is used.

destination d_demo {
    network(
        "127.0.0.1"
        port(3333)
        disk-buffer(
            mem-buf-size(10000)
            disk-buf-size(2000000)
            reliable(yes)
            dir("/tmp/disk-buffer")
        )
    );
};

In the following case normal disk-buffer() is used.

destination d_demo {
    network(
        "127.0.0.1"
        port(3333)
           disk-buffer(
            mem-buf-length(10000)
            disk-buf-size(2000000)
            reliable(no)
            dir("/tmp/disk-buffer")
        )
    );
};
flags()
Type: no-multi-line, syslog-protocol
Default: empty set

Description: Flags influence the behavior of the destination driver.

  • no-multi-line: The no-multi-line flag disables line-breaking in the messages: the entire message is converted to a single line.

  • syslog-protocol: The syslog-protocol flag instructs the driver to format the messages according to the new IETF syslog protocol standard (RFC5424), but without the frame header. If this flag is enabled, macros used for the message have effect only for the text of the message, the message header is formatted to the new standard. Note that this flag is not needed for the syslog driver, and that the syslog driver automatically adds the frame header to the messages.

flush-lines()
Type: number
Default: Use global setting (exception: for http() destination, the default is 1).

Description: Specifies how many lines are flushed to a destination at a time. The syslog-ng OSE application waits for this number of lines to accumulate and sends them off in a single batch. Increasing this number increases throughput as more messages are sent in a single batch, but also increases message latency.

The syslog-ng OSE application flushes the messages if it has sent flush-lines() number of messages, or the queue became empty. If you stop or reload syslog-ng OSE or in case of network sources, the connection with the client is closed, syslog-ng OSE automatically sends the unsent messages to the destination.

For optimal performance when sending messages to an syslog-ng OSE server, make sure that the value of flush-lines() is smaller than the window size set in the log-iw-size() option in the source of your server.

frac-digits()
Type: number
Default: 0

Description: The syslog-ng application can store fractions of a second in the timestamps according to the ISO8601 format. The frac-digits() parameter specifies the number of digits stored. The digits storing the fractions are padded by zeros if the original timestamp of the message specifies only seconds. Fractions can always be stored for the time the message was received. Note that syslog-ng can add the fractions to non-ISO8601 timestamps as well.

hook-commands()

Description: This option makes it possible to execute external programs when the relevant driver is initialized or torn down. The hook-commands() can be used with all source and destination drivers with the exception of the usertty() and internal() drivers.

NOTE: The syslog-ng OSE application must be able to start and restart the external program, and have the necessary permissions to do so. For example, if your host is running AppArmor or SELinux, you might have to modify your AppArmor or SELinux configuration to enable syslog-ng OSE to execute external applications.

Using the hook-commands() when syslog-ng OSE starts or stops

To execute an external program when syslog-ng OSE starts or stops, use the following options:

startup()
Type: string
Default: N/A

Description: Defines the external program that is executed as syslog-ng OSE starts.

shutdown()
Type: string
Default: N/A

Description: Defines the external program that is executed as syslog-ng OSE stops.

Using the hook-commands() when syslog-ng OSE reloads

To execute an external program when the syslog-ng OSE configuration is initiated or torn down, for example, on startup/shutdown or during a syslog-ng OSE reload, use the following options:

setup()
Type: string
Default: N/A

Description: Defines an external program that is executed when the syslog-ng OSE configuration is initiated, for example, on startup or during a syslog-ng OSE reload.

teardown()
Type: string
Default: N/A

Description: Defines an external program that is executed when the syslog-ng OSE configuration is stopped or torn down, for example, on shutdown or during a syslog-ng OSE reload.

Example: Using the hook-commands() with a network source

In the following example, the hook-commands() is used with the network() driver and it opens an iptables port automatically as syslog-ng OSE is started/stopped.

The assumption in this example is that the LOGCHAIN chain is part of a larger ruleset that routes traffic to it. Whenever the syslog-ng OSE created rule is there, packets can flow, otherwise the port is closed.

source {
   network(transport(udp)
	hook-commands(
          startup("iptables -I LOGCHAIN 1 -p udp --dport 514 -j ACCEPT")
          shutdown("iptables -D LOGCHAIN 1")
        )
     );
};
log-fifo-size()
Type: number
Default: Use global setting.

Description: The number of messages that the output queue can store.

keep-alive()
Type: yes or no
Default: yes

Description: Specifies whether connections to destinations should be closed when syslog-ng is reloaded. Note that this applies to the client (destination) side of the syslog-ng connections, server-side (source) connections are always reopened after receiving a HUP signal unless the keep-alive option is enabled for the source.

mark-freq()
Accepted values: number [seconds]
Default: 1200

Description: An alias for the obsolete mark() option, retained for compatibility with syslog-ng version 1.6.x.

The number of seconds between two MARK messages. MARK messages are generated when there was no message traffic to inform the receiver that the connection is still alive. If set to zero (0), no MARK messages are sent. The mark-freq() can be set for global option and/or every MARK capable destination driver if mark-mode() is periodical or dst-idle or host-idle. If mark-freq() is not defined in the destination, then the mark-freq() will be inherited from the global options. If the destination uses internal mark-mode(), then the global mark-freq() will be valid (does not matter what mark-freq() set in the destination side).

mark-mode()
Accepted values: internal | dst-idle | host-idle | periodical | none | global
Default:

internal for pipe, program drivers

none for file, unix-dgram, unix-stream drivers

global for syslog, tcp, udp destinations

host-idle for global option

Description: The mark-mode() option can be set for the following destination drivers: file(), program(), unix-dgram(), unix-stream(), network(), pipe(), syslog() and in global option.

  • internal: When internal mark mode is selected, internal source should be placed in the log path as this mode does not generate mark by itself at the destination. This mode only yields the mark messages from internal source. This is the mode as syslog-ng OSE 3.3 worked. MARK will be generated by internal source if there was NO traffic on local sources:

    file(), pipe(), unix-stream(), unix-dgram(), program()

  • dst-idle: Sends MARK signal if there was NO traffic on destination drivers. MARK signal from internal source will be dropped.

    MARK signal can be sent by the following destination drivers: network(), syslog(), program(), file(), pipe(), unix-stream(), unix-dgram().

  • host-idle: Sends MARK signal if there was NO local message on destination drivers. for example, MARK is generated even if messages were received from tcp. MARK signal from internal source will be dropped.

    MARK signal can be sent by the following destination drivers: network(), syslog(), program(), file(), pipe(), unix-stream(), unix-dgram().

  • periodical: Sends MARK signal perodically, regardless of traffic on destination driver. MARK signal from internal source will be dropped.

    MARK signal can be sent by the following destination drivers: network(), syslog(), program(), file(), pipe(), unix-stream(), unix-dgram().

  • none: Destination driver drops all MARK messages. If an explicit mark-mode() is not given to the drivers where none is the default value, then none will be used.

  • global: Destination driver uses the global mark-mode() setting. Note that setting the global mark-mode() to global causes a syntax error in syslog-ng OSE.

NOTE:

In case of dst-idle, host-idle and periodical, the MARK message will not be written in the destination, if it is not open yet.

Available in syslog-ng OSE 3.4 and later.

so-broadcast()
Type: yes or no
Default: no

Description: This option controls the SO_BROADCAST socket option required to make syslog-ng send messages to a broadcast address. For details, see the socket(7) manual page.

so-keepalive()
Type: yes or no
Default: no

Description: Enables keep-alive messages, keeping the socket open. This only effects TCP and UNIX-stream sockets. For details, see the socket(7) manual page.

so-rcvbuf()
Type: number
Default: 0

Description: Specifies the size of the socket receive buffer in bytes. For details, see the socket(7) manual page.

so-sndbuf()
Type: number
Default: 0

Description: Specifies the size of the socket send buffer in bytes. For details, see the socket(7) manual page.

suppress()
Type: seconds
Default: 0 (disabled)

Description: If several identical log messages would be sent to the destination without any other messages between the identical messages (for example, an application repeated an error message ten times), syslog-ng can suppress the repeated messages and send the message only once, followed by the Last message repeated n times. message. The parameter of this option specifies the number of seconds syslog-ng waits for identical messages.

template()
Type: string
Default: A format conforming to the default logfile format.

Description: Specifies a template defining the logformat to be used in the destination. Macros are described in Macros of syslog-ng OSE. Please note that for network destinations it might not be appropriate to change the template as it changes the on-wire format of the syslog protocol which might not be tolerated by stock syslog receivers (like syslogd or syslog-ng itself). For network destinations make sure the receiver can cope with the custom format defined.

template-escape()
Type: yes or no
Default: no

Description: Turns on escaping for the ', ", and backspace characters in templated output files. This is useful for generating SQL statements and quoting string contents so that parts of the log message are not interpreted as commands to the SQL server.

throttle()
Type: number
Default: 0

Description: Sets the maximum number of messages sent to the destination per second. Use this output-rate-limiting functionality only when using disk-buffer as well to avoid the risk of losing messages. Specifying 0 or a lower value sets the output limit to unlimited.

time-zone()
Type: name of the timezone, or the timezone offset
Default: unspecified

Description: Convert timestamps to the timezone specified by this option. If this option is not set, then the original timezone information in the message is used. Converting the timezone changes the values of all date-related macros derived from the timestamp, for example, HOUR. For the complete list of such macros, see Date-related macros.

The timezone can be specified by using the name, for example, time-zone("Europe/Budapest")), or as the timezone offset in +/-HH:MM format, for example, +01:00). On Linux and UNIX platforms, the valid timezone names are listed under the /usr/share/zoneinfo directory.

ts-format()
Type: rfc3164, bsd, rfc3339, iso
Default: rfc3164

Description: Override the global timestamp format (set in the global ts-format() parameter) for the specific destination. For details, see ts-format().

NOTE:

This option applies only to file and file-like destinations. Destinations that use specific protocols (for example, network(), or syslog()) ignore this option. For protocol-like destinations, use a template locally in the destination, or use the proto-template option.


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usertty: Sending messages to a user terminal: usertty() destination

This driver writes messages to the terminal of a logged-in user.

The usertty() driver has a single required argument, specifying a username who should receive a copy of matching messages. Use the asterisk * to specify every user currently logged in to the system.

Declaration:
usertty(username);

The usertty() does not have any further options nor does it support templates.

Example: Using the usertty() driver
destination d_usertty { usertty("root"); };

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Write your own custom destination in Java or Python

The syslog-ng OSE application is open source, so if you have the necessary programming skills, you can extend it if its features are not adequate for your particular environment or needs. You can write destinations and other extensions to syslog-ng OSE in C (the main language of syslog-ng OSE), or using its language bindings, for example, Java or Python. .

NOTE:

If you delete all Java destinations from your configuration and reload syslog-ng, the JVM is not used anymore, but it is still running. If you want to stop JVM, stop syslog-ng and then start syslog-ng again.


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Client-side failover

syslog-ng OSE can detect if the remote server of a network destination becomes inaccessible, and start sending messages to a secondary server. You can configure multiple failover servers, so if the secondary server becomes inaccessible as well, syslog-ng OSE switches to the third server in the list, and so on. If there are no more failover servers left, syslog-ng OSE returns to the beginning of a list and attempts to connect to the primary server.

The primary server is the address you provided in the destination driver configuration and it has a special role. syslog-ng OSE nominates this destination over the failover servers, and handles it as the primary address.

When syslog-ng OSE starts up, it always connects to the primary server first. In the failover() option there is a possibility to customize the failover modes.

Depending on how you set the failback() option, syslog-ng OSE behaves as follows:

  • round-robin mode: If failback() is not set, syslog-ng OSE does not attempt to return to the primary server even if it becomes available. In case the failover server fails, syslog-ng OSE attempts to connect the next failover server in the list in round-robin fashion.

    Example: round-robin mode

    In the following example syslog-ng OSE handles the logservers in round-robin fashion if the primary logserver becomes inaccessible (therefore failback() option is not set).

    destination d_network {
         network(
              "primary-server.com"
              port(601)
              failover( servers("failover-server1", "failover-server2") )
    );  
    };
  • failback mode: If failback() is set, syslog-ng OSE attempts to return to the primary server.

    After syslog-ng OSE connects a secondary server during a failover, it sends a probe every tcp-probe-interval() seconds towards the primary server. If the primary logserver responds with a TCP ACK packet, the probe is successful. When the number of successful probes reaches the value set in the successful-probes-required() option, syslog-ng OSE tries to connect the primary server using the last probe.

    NOTE:syslog-ng OSE always waits for the result of the last probe before sending the next message. So if one connection attempt takes longer than the configured interval, that is, it waits for connection time out, you may experience longer intervals between actual probes.

    Example: failback mode

    In the following example syslog-ng OSE attempts to return to the primary logserver, as set in the failback() option: it will check if the server is accessible every tcp-probe-interval() seconds, and reconnect to the primary logserver after three successful connection attempts.

    destination d_network_2 {
         network(
              "primary-server.com"
              port(601)
              failover( 
    		servers("failover-server1", "failover-server2")
                   failback(
                        successful-probes-required()
                        tcp-probe-interval()
                   )
              )
    );  
    };

If syslog-ng OSE is restarted, it attempts to connect the primary server.

If syslog-ng OSE uses TLS-encryption to communicate with the remote server, syslog-ng OSE checks the certificate of the failover server as well. The certificates of the failover servers should match their domain names or IP addresses — for details, see Encrypting log messages with TLS. Note that when mutual authentication is used, the syslog-ng OSE client sends the same certificate to every server.

The primary server and the failover servers must be accessible with the same communication method: it is not possible to use different destination drivers or options for the different servers.

NOTE:

Client-side failover works only for TCP-based connections (including TLS-encrypted connections), that is, the syslog() and network() destination drivers (excluding UDP transport).

Client-side failover is not supported in the sql() driver, even though it may use a TCP connection to access a remote database.

For details on configuring failover servers, see network() destination options and syslog() destination options.


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