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syslog-ng Open Source Edition 3.22 - 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 e-mail 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 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 (e-mail) 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: Forwarding messages and tags 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

Change an old destination driver to the network() driver

To replace your existing tcp(), tcp6(), udp(), udp6() destinations with a network() destination, complete the following steps.

  1. Replace the driver with network. For example, replace udp( with network(

  2. Set the transport protocol.

    • If you used TLS-encryption, add the transport("tls") option, then continue with the next step.

    • If you used the tcp or tcp6 driver, add the transport("tcp") option.

    • If you used the udp or udp driver, add the transport("udp") option.

  3. If you use IPv6 (that is, the udp6 or tcp6 driver), add the ip-protocol(6) option.

  4. If you did not specify the port used in the old driver, check network() destination options and verify that your clients send the messages to the default port of the transport protocol you use. Otherwise, set the appropriate port number in your source using the port() option.

  5. All other options are identical. Test your configuration with the syslog-ng --syntax-only command.

    The following configuration shows a simple tcp destination.

    destination d_old_tcp {
            "" port(1999)

    When replaced with the network() driver, it looks like this.

    destination d_new_network_tcp {

Telegram: Sending messages to Telegram

The telegram() destination sends log messages to Telegram, which is a secure, cloud-based mobile and desktop messaging app.

Note that this destination automatically uses the certificate store of the system (for details, see the curl documentation).


The driver automatically uses the proxy settings of the host, there is no option to set it in the syslog-ng OSE configuration. Specifically, the driver uses the settings of the http_proxy and https_proxy environment variables.

Example: Using the telegram() driver

The following example creates a telegram() destination.

destination d_telegram {
        bot-id("<bot id>")
        chat-id("<chat id>")

telegram() destination options

The telegram() destination has the following options:

Type: number
Default: N/A

Description: This is a required option. Specifies the token for the bot necessary to access the Telegram HTTP API.

Type: number
Default: N/A

Description: This is a required option. Specifies the ID of the chat of the telegram destination.

Type: boolean
Default: true

Description: Disables link previews for links in the message. By default, the disable-web-page-preview value is true. From security point of view, One Identity recommends to leave it true, otherwise malicious messages can trick the telegram destination to generate traffic to any URL.


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:

Type: string
Default: N/A

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

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:

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.

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 {
          startup("iptables -I LOGCHAIN 1 -p udp --dport 514 -j ACCEPT")
          shutdown("iptables -D LOGCHAIN 1")
Type: string
Default: none

Description: Formats the message in a markdown-style or HTML-style formatting. By default, the parse-mode value is markdown, which means that the message is formatted in markdown style.

Type: string
Default: ${MESSAGE} \")

Description: Specifies the content of the message. The syslog-ng OSE application will automatically encode the content of this option using the url-encode() template function.


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.

unix-stream, unix-dgram: Sending messages to UNIX domain sockets

The unix-stream() and unix-dgram() drivers send messages to a UNIX domain socket in either SOCK_STREAM or SOCK_DGRAM mode.

Both drivers have a single required argument specifying the name of the socket to connect to. For the list of available optional parameters, see unix-stream() and unix-dgram() destination options.

unix-stream(filename [options]);
unix-dgram(filename [options]);
Example: Using the unix-stream() driver
destination d_unix_stream { unix-stream("/var/run/logs"); };
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