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syslog-ng Premium Edition 7.0.30 - Administration Guide

Preface Introduction to syslog-ng The concepts of syslog-ng Installing syslog-ng PE The syslog-ng PE quick-start guide The syslog-ng PE configuration file Collecting log messages — sources and source drivers
How sources work default-network-drivers: Receive and parse common syslog messages internal: Collecting internal messages file: Collecting messages from text files google-pubsub: collecting messages from the Google Pub/Sub messaging service wildcard-file: Collecting messages from multiple text files linux-audit: Collecting messages from Linux audit logs mssql, oracle, sql: collecting messages from an SQL database network: Collecting messages using the RFC3164 protocol (network() driver) office365: Fetching logs from Office 365 osquery: Collect and parse osquery result logs pipe: Collecting messages from named pipes program: Receiving messages from external applications python: writing server-style Python sources python-fetcher: writing fetcher-style Python sources snmptrap: Read Net-SNMP traps 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 udp-balancer: Receiving UDP messages at very high rate unix-stream, unix-dgram: Collecting messages from UNIX domain sockets windowsevent: Collecting Windows event logs
Sending and storing log messages — destinations and destination drivers
elasticsearch2>: Sending messages directly to Elasticsearch version 2.0 or higher (DEPRECATED) elasticsearch-http: Sending messages to Elasticsearch HTTP Event Collector file: Storing messages in plain-text files google_pubsub(): Sending logs to the Google Cloud Pub/Sub messaging service hdfs: Storing messages on the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) http: Posting messages over HTTP kafka(): Publishing messages to Apache Kafka (Java implementation) (DEPRECATED) kafka-c(): Publishing messages to Apache Kafka using the librdkafka client (C implementation) logstore: Storing messages in encrypted files mongodb: Storing messages in a MongoDB database network: Sending messages to a remote log server using the RFC3164 protocol (network() driver) pipe: Sending messages to named pipes program: Sending messages to external applications python: writing custom Python destinations sentinel(): Sending logs to the Microsoft Azure Sentinel cloud snmp: Sending SNMP traps smtp: Generating SMTP messages (email) from logs splunk-hec: Sending messages to Splunk HTTP Event Collector sql(): Storing messages in an SQL database stackdriver: Sending logs to the Google Stackdriver cloud 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) unix-stream, unix-dgram: Sending messages to UNIX domain sockets usertty: Sending messages to a user terminal — usertty() destination Client-side failover
Routing messages: log paths, flags, and filters Global options of syslog-ng PE TLS-encrypted message transfer Advanced Log Transport Protocol Reliability and minimizing the loss of log messages Manipulating messages parser: Parse and segment structured messages Processing message content with a pattern database Correlating log messages Enriching log messages with external data Monitoring statistics and metrics of syslog-ng Multithreading and scaling in syslog-ng PE Troubleshooting syslog-ng Best practices and examples The syslog-ng manual pages Glossary

Enabling memory buffering

To enable memory buffering, use the log-fifo-size() parameter in the destination. All destination drivers can use memory buffering. Use memory buffering if you want to send logs to destinations where the disk-buffer option is not available, if you want the fastest solution, and if syslog-ng PE crash or network downtime is never expected. In these cases, losing logs is possible. This solution does not use the disk-buffer option. Instead, logs are stored only in the memory.

Example: Example for using memory buffering
destination d_BSD {

About disk queue files

Normal and reliable queue files

The key difference between disk queue files that employ the reliable(yes) option and not is the strategy they employ. Reliable disk queues guarantee that all the messages passing through them are written to disk first, and removed from the queue only after the destination has confirmed that the message has been successfully received. This prevents message loss, for example, due to syslog-ng PE crashes if the client and the destination server communicate using the Advanced Log Transport Protocol (ALTP). Note that the Reliable Log Transfer Protocol is available only in syslog-ng Premium Edition version 6 LTS. Of course, using the reliable(yes) option introduces a significant performance penalty as well.

Both reliable and normal disk-buffers employ an in-memory output queue (set in quot-size()) and an in-memory overflow queue (set in mem-buf-size() for reliable disk-buffers, or mem-buf-length() for normal disk-buffers). The difference between reliable and normal disk-buffers is that when the reliable disk-buffer uses one of its in-memory queues, it also stores the message on the disk, whereas the normal disk-buffer stores the message only in memory. The normal disk-buffer only uses the disk if the in-memory output buffer is filled up completely. This approach has better performance (due to fewer disk I/O operations), but also carries the risk of losing a maximum of quot-size() plus mem-buf-length() number of messages in case of an unexpected power failure or application crash.

Size of the queue files

Disk queue files tend to grow. Each may take up to disk-buf-size() bytes on the disk. Due to the nature of reliable queue files, all the messages traversing the queue are written to disk, constantly increasing the size of the queue file.

The disk-buffer file's size should be considered as the configured disk-buf-size() at any point of time, even if it does not have messages in it. Truncating the disk-buffer file can slow down disk I/O operations, so syslog-ng PE does not always truncate the file when it would be possible (see the truncate-size-ratio() option). If a large disk-buffer file is not desirable, you should set the disk-buf-size() option to a smaller value.


One Identity recommends that you do not build upon the current truncating logic of the disk-buffer files, because syslog-ng PE might pre-allocate the disk-buffer files and never truncate them in the future.

NOTE: The disk-buffer file's size does not strictly correlate to the number of stored messages. If you want to get information about the disk-buffer, use dqtool (for more information, see Getting the status information of disk-buffer files).

NOTE: If a queue file becomes corrupt, syslog-ng PE starts a new one. This might lead to the queue files consuming more space in total than their maximal configured size and the number of configured queue files multiplied together.


The following sections describe how to select and filter log messages.

Using filters

Filters perform log routing within syslog-ng: a message passes the filter if the filter expression is true for the particular message. If a log statement includes filters, the messages are sent to the destinations only if they pass all filters of the log path. For example, a filter can select only the messages originating from a particular host. Complex filters can be created using filter functions and logical boolean expressions.

To define a filter, add a filter statement to the syslog-ng configuration file using the following syntax:

filter <identifier> { <filter_type>("<filter_expression>"); };

Then use the filter in a log path, for example:

log {
    destination(d1); };

You can also define the filter inline. For details, see Defining configuration objects inline.

Example: A simple filter statement

The following filter statement selects the messages that contain the word deny and come from the host example.

filter demo_filter { host("example") and match("deny" value("MESSAGE")) };
log {
    destination(d1); };

The following example does the same, but defines the filter inline.

log {
    filter { host("example") and match("deny" value("MESSAGE")) };
    destination(d1); };
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