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syslog-ng Open Source Edition 3.33 - 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 mongodb: Storing messages in a MongoDB database mqtt() destination: sending messages from a local network to an MQTT broker 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 Sumo Logic destinations: sumologic-http() and sumologic-syslog() 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

Modifying messages using rewrite rules

The syslog-ng application can rewrite parts of the messages using rewrite rules. Rewrite rules are global objects similar to parsers and filters and can be used in log paths. The syslog-ng application has two methods to rewrite parts of the log messages: substituting (setting) a part of the message to a fix value, and a general search-and-replace mode.

  • Substitution completely replaces a specific part of the message that is referenced using a built-in or user-defined macro.

  • General rewriting searches for a string in the entire message (or only a part of the message specified by a macro) and replaces it with another string. Optionally, this replacement string can be a template that contains macros.

Rewriting messages is often used in conjunction with message parsing parser: Parse and segment structured messages.

Rewrite rules are similar to filters: they must be defined in the syslog-ng configuration file and used in the log statement. You can also define the rewrite rule inline in the log path.

NOTE: The order of filters, rewriting rules, and parsers in the log statement is important, as they are processed sequentially.

Replacing message parts

To replace a part of the log message, you have to:

  • define a string or regular expression to find the text to replace

  • define a string to replace the original text (macros can be used as well)

  • select the field of the message that the rewrite rule should process

Substitution rules can operate on any soft macros, for example, MESSAGE, PROGRAM, or any user-defined macros created using parsers. You can also rewrite the structured-data fields of messages complying to the RFC5424 (IETF-syslog) message format.

NOTE: Hard macros cannot be modified. For details on the hard and soft macros, see Hard versus soft macros).

Substitution rules use the following syntax:

rewrite <name_of_the_rule> {
        "<string or regular expression to find>",
        "<replacement string>", value(<field name>), flags()

The type() and flags() options are optional. The type() specifies the type of regular expression to use, while the flags() are the flags of the regular expressions. For details on regular expressions, see Regular expressions.

A single substitution rule can include multiple substitutions that are applied sequentially to the message. Note that rewriting rules must be included in the log statement to have any effect.

TIP: For case-insensitive searches, add the flags(ignore-case) option. To replace every occurrence of the string, add flags(global) option. Note that the store-matches flag is automatically enabled in rewrite rules.

Example: Using substitution rules

The following example replaces the IP in the text of the message with the string IP-Address.

rewrite r_rewrite_subst{
    subst("IP", "IP-Address", value("MESSAGE"));

To replace every occurrence, use:

rewrite r_rewrite_subst{
    subst("IP", "IP-Address", value("MESSAGE"), flags("global"));

Multiple substitution rules are applied sequentially. The following rules replace the first occurrence of the string IP with the string IP-Addresses.

rewrite r_rewrite_subst{
    subst("IP", "IP-Address", value("MESSAGE"));
    subst("Address", "Addresses", value("MESSAGE"));
Example: Anonymizing IP addresses

The following example replaces every IPv4 address in the MESSAGE part with its SHA-1 hash:

rewrite pseudonymize_ip_addresses_in_message {subst ("((([0-9]|[1-9][0-9]|1[0-9]{2}|2[0-4][0-9]|25[0-5])[.]){3}([0-9]|[1-9][0-9]|1[0-9]{2}|2[0-4][0-9]|25[0-5]))", "$(sha1 $0)", value("MESSAGE"));};

Setting message fields to specific values

To set a field of the message to a specific value, you have to:

  • define the string to include in the message, and

  • select the field where it should be included.

You can set the value of available macros, for example, HOST, MESSAGE, PROGRAM, or any user-defined macros created using parsers (for details, see parser: Parse and segment structured messages and db-parser: Process message content with a pattern database (patterndb)). Note that the rewrite operation completely replaces any previous value of that field.

NOTE: Hard macros cannot be modified. For details on the hard and soft macros, see Hard versus soft macros).

Use the following syntax:

rewrite <name_of_the_rule> {
    set("<string to include>", value(<field name>));
Example: Setting message fields to a particular value

The following example sets the HOST field of the message to myhost.

rewrite r_rewrite_set{
    set("myhost", value("HOST"));

The following example appends the "suffix" string to the MESSAGE field:

rewrite r_rewrite_set{
    set("$MESSAGE suffix", value("MESSAGE"));

For details on rewriting SDATA fields, see Creating custom SDATA fields.

You can also use the following options in rewrite rules that use the set() operator.

rewrite <name_of_the_rule> {
    set("<string to include>", value(<field name>), on-error("fallback-to-string");

NOTE: The severity and facility fields can only be set by the set-severity() rewrite functions.

For more information, see Setting severity with the set-severity() rewrite function.

Setting severity with the set-severity() rewrite function

It is possible to configure the severity field with the set-severity() rewrite function. When configured, the set-severity() rewrite function will only rewrite the $SEVERITY field in the message to the first parameter value specified in the function.

NOTE: If the parameter value is not a valid parameter value, the function ignores it and sends a debug message, but the syslog-ng Open Source Edition (syslog-ng OSE) application still sends the message.

rewrite <name_of_the_rule> {
    set-severity("severity string or number");

The set-severity() rewrite function has a single, mandatory parameter that can be defined as follows:

set-severity( "parameter1" );
Accepted values

The set-severity() rewrite function accepts the following values:

  • numeric strings: [0-7]
  • named values: emerg, emergency, panic, alert, crit, critical, err, error, warning, warn, notice, info, informational, debug
Example usage for the set-severity() rewrite function

The following examples can be used in production for the set-severity() rewrite function.

Example using string:

rewrite {

Example using numeric string:

rewrite {

Example using template:

rewrite {
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