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syslog-ng Premium Edition 6.0.18 - Administration Guide

Preface Chapter 1. Introduction to syslog-ng Chapter 2. The concepts of syslog-ng Chapter 3. Installing syslog-ng Chapter 4. The syslog-ng PE quick-start guide Chapter 5. The syslog-ng PE configuration file Chapter 6. Collecting log messages — sources and source drivers Chapter 7. Sending and storing log messages — destinations and destination drivers Chapter 8. Routing messages: log paths, reliability, and filters Chapter 9. Global options of syslog-ng PE Chapter 10. TLS-encrypted message transfer Chapter 11. FIPS-compliant syslog-ng Chapter 12.  Reliable Log Transfer Protocol™ Chapter 13. Reliability and minimizing the loss of log messages Chapter 14. Manipulating messages Chapter 15. Parsing and segmenting structured messages Chapter 16. Processing message content with a pattern database Chapter 17. Statistics and metrics of syslog-ng Chapter 18. Multithreading and scaling in syslog-ng PE Chapter 19. Troubleshooting syslog-ng Chapter 20. Best practices and examples

Storing messages on the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS)

Starting with version 5.3, syslog-ng PE can send plain-text log files to the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), allowing you to store your log data on a distributed, scalable file system. This is especially useful if you have huge amount of log messages that would be difficult to store otherwise, or if you want to process your messages using Hadoop tools (for example, Apache Pig).

NOTE:

In order to use this destination, syslog-ng Premium Edition must run in server mode. Typically, only the central syslog-ng Premium Edition server uses this destination. For details on the server mode, see the section called “Server mode”.

Note the following limitations when using the syslog-ng PE hdfs destination:

  • This destination is only supported on the Linux platforms that use the linux glibc2.11 installer, including: Red Hat ES 7, Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr).

  • Since syslog-ng PE uses the official Java HDFS client, the hdfs destination has significant memory usage (about 400MB).

  • The syslog-ng PE application always creates a new file if the previous has been closed. Appending data to existing files is not supported.

  • Macros are not supported in the file path and the filename. You can use only simple file paths for your log files, for example, /usr/hadoop/logfile.txt.

  • You cannot set when log messages are flushed. Hadoop performs this action automatically, depending on its configured block size, and the amount of data received. There is no way for the syslog-ng PE application to influence when the messages are actually written to disk. This means that syslog-ng PE cannot guarantee that a message sent to HDFS is actually written to disk. When using flow-control or RLTP, syslog-ng PE acknowledges a message as written to disk when it passes the message to the HDFS client. This method is as reliable as your HDFS environment.

  • The log messages of the underlying client libraries are available in the internal() source of syslog-ng PE.

NOTE:

The hdfs destination has been tested with Hortonworks Data Platform.

Declaration: 

@module mod-java
@include "scl.conf"

hdfs(
    client_lib_dir("/opt/syslog-ng/lib/syslog-ng/java-modules/:<path-to-preinstalled-hadoop-libraries>")
    hdfs_uri("hdfs://NameNode:8020")
    hdfs_file("<path-to-logfile>")
);

Example 7.10. Storing logfiles on HDFS

The following example defines an hdfs destination using only the required parameters.

@module mod-java
@include "scl.conf"

destination d_hdfs {
    hdfs(
        client_lib_dir("/opt/syslog-ng/lib/syslog-ng/java-modules/:/opt/hadoop/libs")
        hdfs_uri("hdfs://10.140.32.80:8020")
        hdfs_file("/user/log/logfile.txt")
    );
};

Procedure 7.3. Prerequisites

To send messages from syslog-ng PE to HDFS, complete the following steps.

Steps: 

  1. If you want to use the Java-based modules of syslog-ng PE (for example, the Elasticsearch, HDFS, or Kafka destinations), download and install the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), 1.7 (or newer).

    The Java-based modules of syslog-ng PE are tested and supported when using the Oracle implementation of Java. Other implementations are untested and unsupported, they may or may not work as expected.

  2. Download the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) libraries (version 2.x) from http://hadoop.apache.org/releases.html.

  3. Extract the HDFS libraries into a temporary directory, then collect the various .jar files into a single directory (for example, /opt/hadoop/lib/) where syslog-ng PE can access them. You must specify this directory in the syslog-ng PE configuration file. The files are located in the various lib directories under the share/ directory of the Hadoop release package. (For example, in Hadoop 2.7, required files are common/hadoop-common-2.7.0.jar, common/libs/*.jar, hdfs/hadoop-hdfs-2.7.0.jar, hdfs/lib/*, but this may change between Hadoop releases, so it is easier to copy every .jar file into a single directory.

Procedure 7.4. How syslog-ng PE interacts with HDFS

The syslog-ng PE application sends the log messages to the official HDFS client library, which forwards the data to the HDFS nodes. The way how syslog-ng PE interacts with HDFS is described in the following steps.

  1. After syslog-ng PE is started and the first message arrives to the hdfs destination, the hdfs destination tries to connect to the HDFS NameNode. If the connection fails, syslog-ng PE will repeatedly attempt to connect again after the period set in time-reopen() expires.

  2. syslog-ng PE checks if the path to the logfile exists. If a directory does not exist syslog-ng PE automatically creates it. syslog-ng PE creates the destination file (using the filename set in the syslog-ng PE configuration file, with a UUID suffix to make it unique, for example, /usr/hadoop/logfile.txt.3dc1c59e-ab3b-4b71-9e81-93db477ed9d9) and writes the message into the file. After the file is created, syslog-ng PE will write all incoming messages into the hdfs destination.

    NOTE:

    You cannot set when log messages are flushed. Hadoop performs this action automatically, depending on its configured block size, and the amount of data received. There is no way for the syslog-ng PE application to influence when the messages are actually written to disk. This means that syslog-ng PE cannot guarantee that a message sent to HDFS is actually written to disk. When using flow-control or RLTP, syslog-ng PE acknowledges a message as written to disk when it passes the message to the HDFS client. This method is as reliable as your HDFS environment.

  3. If the HDFS client returns an error, syslog-ng PE attempts to close the file, then opens a new file and repeats sending the message (trying to connect to HDFS and send the message), as set in the retries() parameter. If sending the message fails for retries() times, syslog-ng PE drops the message.

  4. The syslog-ng PE application closes the destination file in the following cases:

    • syslog-ng PE is reloaded

    • syslog-ng PE is restarted

    • The HDFS client returns an error.

  5. If the file is closed and you have set an archive directory, syslog-ng PE moves the file to this directory. If syslog-ng PE cannot move the file for some reason (for example, syslog-ng PE cannot connect to the HDFS NameNode), the file remains at its original location, syslog-ng PE will not try to move it again.

Procedure 7.5. Storing messages with MapR-FS

The syslog-ng PE application is also compatible with MapR File System (MapR-FS), starting from version 5.4, syslog-ng Premium Edition is MapR certified. MapR-FS provides better performance, reliability, efficiency, maintainability, and ease of use compared to the default Hadoop Distributed Files System (HDFS). To use MapR-FS with syslog-ng PE, complete the following steps:

  1. Install MapR libraries. Instead of the official Apache HDFS libraries, MapR uses different libraries. The supported version is MapR 4.x.

    1. Download the libraries from the Maven Repository and Artifacts for MapR or get it from an already existing MapR installation.

    2. Install MapR. If you do not know how to install MapR, follow the instructions on the MapR website.

  2. In a default MapR installation, the required libraries are installed in the following path: /opt/mapr/lib.

    Enter the path where MapR was installed in the class-path option of the hdfs destination, for example:

    class_path("/opt/mapr/lib/")

    If the libraries were downloaded from the Maven Repository, the following additional libraries will be requiered. Note that the version numbers in the filenames can be different in the various Hadoop releases:commons-collections-3.2.1.jar, commons-logging-1.1.3.jar, hadoop-auth-2.5.1.jar, log4j-1.2.15.jar, slf4j-api-1.7.5.jar, commons-configuration-1.6.jar, guava-13.0.1.jar, hadoop-common-2.5.1.jar, maprfs-4.0.2-mapr.jar, slf4j-log4j12-1.7.5.jar, commons-lang-2.5.jar, hadoop-0.20.2-dev-core.jar, json-20080701.jar, protobuf-java-2.5.0.jar, zookeeper-3.4.5-mapr-1406.jar.

  3. Configure the hdfs destination in syslog-ng PE.

    Example 7.11. Storing logfiles with MapR-FS

    The following example defines an hdfs destination for MapR-FS using only the required parameters.

    @module mod-java
    @include "scl.conf"
    
    destination d_mapr {
        hdfs(
            client_lib_dir("/opt/syslog-ng/lib/syslog-ng/java-modules/:/opt/mapr/lib/")
            hdfs_uri(maprfs://10.140.32.80")
            hdfs_file("/user/log/logfile.txt")
        );
    };
    

HDSF destination options

The hdfs destination stores the log messages in files on the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS). The hdfs destination has the following options.

The following options are required: hdfs_file(), hdfs_uri(). Note that to use hdfs, you must add the following lines to the beginning of your syslog-ng PE configuration:

@module mod-java
@include "scl.conf"
client_lib_dir()
Type: string
Default: N/A

Description: Include the path to the directory where you copied the required libraries (see Procedure 7.3, “Prerequisites”), for example, client_lib_dir(/user/share/hadoop/lib).

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 PE cannot lose logs in case of reload/restart, unreachable destination or syslog-ng PE 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.

dir()
Type: string
Default: N/A

Description: Defines the folder where the disk-buffer files are stored. This option has priority over --qdisk-dir=.

Caution:

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

syslog-ng PE creates disk-buffer files based on the path recorded in the persist file. Therefore, if the persist file or the relevant entry is not deleted after modifying the dir() option, then following a restart, syslog-ng PE will look for or create disk-buffer files in their old location. To ensure that syslog-ng PE 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.
quot-size()
Type: number (messages)
Default: 64
Description: The number of messages stored in the output buffer of the destination.

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

Example 7.12. 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")
            )
        );
};

frac-digits()
Type: number (digits of fractions of a second)
Default: Value of the global option (which defaults to 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.

hdfs_archive_dir()
Type: string
Default: N/A

Description: The path where syslog-ng PE will move the closed log files. If syslog-ng PE cannot move the file for some reason (for example, syslog-ng PE cannot connect to the HDFS NameNode), the file remains at its original location. For example, hdfs_archive_dir("/usr/hdfs/archive/").

hdfs_file()
Type: string
Default: N/A

Description: The path and name of the log file. For example, hdfs_file("/usr/hdfs/mylogfile.txt"). syslog-ng PE checks if the path to the logfile exists. If a directory does not exist syslog-ng PE automatically creates it.

Macros are not supported in the file path and the filename. You can use only simple file paths for your log files, for example, /usr/hadoop/logfile.txt.

hdfs_max_filename_length()
Type: number
Default: 255

Description: The maximum length of the filename. This filename (including the UUID that syslog-ng PE appends to it) cannot be longer than what the file system permits. If the filename is longer than the value of hdfs_max_filename_length, syslog-ng PE will automatically truncate the filename. For example, hdfs_max_filename_length("255").

hdfs_resources()
Type: string
Default: N/A

Description: The list of Hadoop resources to load, separated by semicolons. For example, hdfs_resources("/home/user/hadoop/core-site.xml;/home/user/hadoop/hdfs-site.xml").

hdfs_uri()
Type: string
Default: N/A

Description: The URI of the HDFS NameNode is in hdfs://IPaddress:port or hdfs://hostname:port format. When using MapR-FS, the URI of the MapR-FS NameNode is in maprfs://IPaddress or maprfs://hostname format, for example: maprfs://10.140.32.80. The IP address of the node can be IPv4 or IPv6. For example, hdfs_uri("hdfs://10.140.32.80:8020"). The IPv6 address must be enclosed in square brackets ([]) as specified by RFC 2732, for example, hdfs_uri("hdfs://[FEDC:BA98:7654:3210:FEDC:BA98:7654:3210]:8020").

log-fifo-size()
Type: number (messages)
Default: Use global setting.

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

on-error()
Accepted values: drop-message|drop-property|fallback-to-string|silently-drop-message|silently-drop-property|silently-fallback-to-string
Default: Use the global setting (which defaults to drop-message)

Description: Controls what happens when type-casting fails and syslog-ng PE cannot convert some data to the specified type. By default, syslog-ng PE drops the entire message and logs the error. Currently the value-pairs() option uses the settings of on-error().

  • drop-message: Drop the entire message and log an error message to the internal() source. This is the default behavior of syslog-ng PE.

  • drop-property: Omit the affected property (macro, template, or message-field) from the log message and log an error message to the internal() source.

  • fallback-to-string: Convert the property to string and log an error message to the internal() source.

  • silently-drop-message: Drop the entire message silently, without logging the error.

  • silently-drop-property: Omit the affected property (macro, template, or message-field) silently, without logging the error.

  • silently-fallback-to-string: Convert the property to string silently, without logging the error.

retries()
Type: number (of attempts)
Default: 3

Description: The number of times syslog-ng PE attempts to send a message to this destination. If syslog-ng PE could not send a message, it will try again until the number of attempts reaches retries, then drops the message.

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 the section called “Macros of syslog-ng PE”. 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.

throttle()
Type: number (messages per second)
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 the section called “Date-related macros”.

The timezone can be specified as using the name of the (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: Use the global option (which defaults to rfc3164)

Description: Override the global timestamp format (set in the global ts-format() parameter) for the specific destination. For details, see the section called “A note on timezones and timestamps”.

Publishing messages to Apache Kafka

Starting with version 5.4, syslog-ng PE can directly publish log messages to the Apache Kafka message bus, where subscribers can access them.

NOTE:

In order to use this destination, syslog-ng Premium Edition must run in server mode. Typically, only the central syslog-ng Premium Edition server uses this destination. For details on the server mode, see the section called “Server mode”.

  • This destination is only supported on the Linux platforms that use the linux glibc2.11 installer, including: Red Hat ES 7, Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr).

  • Since syslog-ng PE uses the official Java Kafka producer, the kafka destination has significant memory usage.

  • The log messages of the underlying client libraries are available in the internal() source of syslog-ng PE.

Declaration: 

@module mod-java
@include "scl.conf"

kafka(
    client_lib_dir(/opt/syslog-ng/lib/syslog-ng/java-modules/:<path-to-preinstalled-kafka-libraries>)
    kafka_bootstrap_servers("1.2.3.4:9092,192.168.0.2:9092")
    topic("${HOST}")

);

Example 7.13. Sending log data to Apache Kafka

The following example defines a kafka destination, using only the required parameters.

@module mod-java
@include "scl.conf"

destination d_kafka {
  kafka(
    client_lib_dir(/opt/syslog-ng/lib/syslog-ng/java-modules/KafkaDestination.jar:/usr/share/kafka/lib)
    kafka_bootstrap_servers("1.2.3.4:9092,192.168.0.2:9092")
    topic("${HOST}")
  );
};

Procedure 7.6. Prerequisites

To publish messages from syslog-ng PE to Apache Kafka, complete the following steps.

Steps: 

  1. If you want to use the Java-based modules of syslog-ng PE (for example, the Elasticsearch, HDFS, or Kafka destinations), download and install the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), 1.7 (or newer).

    The Java-based modules of syslog-ng PE are tested and supported when using the Oracle implementation of Java. Other implementations are untested and unsupported, they may or may not work as expected.

  2. Download the latest stable binary release of the Apache Kafka libraries (version 0.8.2 or newer) from http://kafka.apache.org/downloads.html.

  3. Extract the Apache Kafka libraries into a single directory. If needed, collect the various .jar files into a single directory (for example, /opt/kafka/lib/) where syslog-ng PE can access them. You must specify this directory in the syslog-ng PE configuration file.

  4. Check if the following files in the Kafka libraries have the same version number: slf4j-api-<version-number>.jar, slf4j-log4j12-<version-number>.jar. If the version number of these files is different, complete the following steps:

    1. Delete one of the files (for example, slf4j-log4j12-<version-number>.jar).

    2. Download a version that matches the version number of the other file (for example, 1.7.6) from the official SLF4J distribution.

    3. Copy the downloaded file into the directory of your Kafka library files (for example, /opt/kafka/lib/).

How syslog-ng PE interacts with Apache Kafka

When stopping the syslog-ng PE application, syslog-ng PE will not stop until all Java threads are finished, including the threads started by the Kafka Producer. There is no way (except for the kill -9 command) to stop syslog-ng PE before the Kafka Producer stops. To change this behavior set the properties of the Kafka Producer in its properties file, and reference the file in the properties-file option.

The syslog-ng PE kafka destination tries to reconnect to the brokers in a tight loop. This can look as spinning, because of a lot of similar debug messages. To decrease the amount of such messages, set a bigger timeout using the following properties:

retry.backoff.ms=1000
reconnect.backoff.ms=1000

For details on using property files, see the section called “properties_file()”. For details on the properties that you can set in the property file, see the Apache Kafka documentation.

Kafka destination options

The kafka destination of syslog-ng PE can directly publish log messages to the Apache Kafka message bus, where subscribers can access them. The kafka destination has the following options.

Required options: 

The following options are required: kafka-bootstrap-servers(), topic(). Note that to use kafka, you must add the following lines to the beginning of your syslog-ng PE configuration:

@module mod-java
@include "scl.conf"
client_lib_dir()
Type: string
Default: N/A

Description: Include the path to the directory where you copied the required libraries (see Procedure 7.6, “Prerequisites”), for example, client_lib_dir(/user/share/kafka/lib).

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 PE cannot lose logs in case of reload/restart, unreachable destination or syslog-ng PE 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.

dir()
Type: string
Default: N/A

Description: Defines the folder where the disk-buffer files are stored. This option has priority over --qdisk-dir=.

Caution:

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

syslog-ng PE creates disk-buffer files based on the path recorded in the persist file. Therefore, if the persist file or the relevant entry is not deleted after modifying the dir() option, then following a restart, syslog-ng PE will look for or create disk-buffer files in their old location. To ensure that syslog-ng PE 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.
quot-size()
Type: number (messages)
Default: 64
Description: The number of messages stored in the output buffer of the destination.

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

Example 7.14. 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")
            )
        );
};

kafka_bootstrap_servers()
Type: list of hostnames
Default:

Description: Specifies the hostname or IP address of the Kafka server. When specifying an IP address, IPv4 (for example, 192.168.0.1) or IPv6 (for example, [::1]) can be used as well. Use a colon (:) after the address to specify the port number of the server. When specifying multiple addresses, use a comma to separate the addresses, for example, kafka-bootstrap-servers("127.0.0.1:2525,remote-server-hostname:6464")

frac-digits()
Type: number (digits of fractions of a second)
Default: Value of the global option (which defaults to 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.

on-error()
Accepted values: drop-message|drop-property|fallback-to-string|silently-drop-message|silently-drop-property|silently-fallback-to-string
Default: Use the global setting (which defaults to drop-message)

Description: Controls what happens when type-casting fails and syslog-ng PE cannot convert some data to the specified type. By default, syslog-ng PE drops the entire message and logs the error. Currently the value-pairs() option uses the settings of on-error().

  • drop-message: Drop the entire message and log an error message to the internal() source. This is the default behavior of syslog-ng PE.

  • drop-property: Omit the affected property (macro, template, or message-field) from the log message and log an error message to the internal() source.

  • fallback-to-string: Convert the property to string and log an error message to the internal() source.

  • silently-drop-message: Drop the entire message silently, without logging the error.

  • silently-drop-property: Omit the affected property (macro, template, or message-field) silently, without logging the error.

  • silently-fallback-to-string: Convert the property to string silently, without logging the error.

key()
Type: template
Default: N/A

Description: The key of the partition under which the message is published. You can use templates to change the topic dynamically based on the source or the content of the message, for example, key("${PROGRAM}").

log-fifo-size()
Type: number (messages)
Default: Use global setting.

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

properties_file()
Type: string (absolute path)
Default: N/A

Description: The absolute path and filename of the Kafka properties file to load. For example, properties_file("/opt/syslog-ng/etc/kafka_dest.properties"). The syslog-ng PE application reads this file and passes the properties to the Kafka Producer. If a property is defined both in the syslog-ng PE configuration file (syslog-ng.conf) and in the properties file, then syslog-ng PE uses the definition from the syslog-ng PE configuration file.

The syslog-ng PE kafka destination supports all properties of the official Kafka producer. For details, see the Apache Kafka documentation.

The kafka-bootstrap-servers option is translated to the bootstrap.servers property.

For example, the following properties file defines the acknowledgement method and compression:

acks=all
compression.type=snappy
retries()
Type: number (of attempts)
Default: 3

Description: The number of times syslog-ng PE attempts to send a message to this destination. If syslog-ng PE could not send a message, it will try again until the number of attempts reaches retries, then drops the message.

template()
Type: template or template function
Default: $ISODATE $HOST $MSGHDR$MSG\n

Description: The message as published to Apache Kafka. You can use templates and template functions (for example, format-json()) to format the message, for example, template("$(format-json --scope rfc5424 --exclude DATE --key ISODATE)").

For details on formatting messages in JSON format, see the section called “format-json”.

throttle()
Type: number (messages per second)
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.

topic()
Type: template
Default: N/A

Description: The Kafka topic under which the message is published. You can use templates to change the topic dynamically based on the source or the content of the message, for example, topic("${HOST}").

sync_send()
Type: true | false
Default: false

Description: When sync_send is set to true, syslog-ng PE sends the message reliably: it sends a message to the Kafka server, then waits for a reply. In case of failure, syslog-ng PE repeats sending the message, as set in the retries() parameter. If sending the message fails for retries() times, syslog-ng PE drops the message.

This method ensures reliable message transfer, but is very slow.

When sync_send is set to false, syslog-ng PE sends messages asynchronously, and receives the response asynchronously. In case of a problem, syslog-ng PE cannot resend the messages.

This method is fast, but the transfer is not reliable. Several thousands of messages can be lost before syslog-ng PE recognizes the error.

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 the section called “Date-related macros”.

The timezone can be specified as using the name of the (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: Use the global option (which defaults to rfc3164)

Description: Override the global timestamp format (set in the global ts-format() parameter) for the specific destination. For details, see the section called “A note on timezones and timestamps”.

Storing messages in encrypted files

The syslog-ng PE application can store log messages securely in encrypted, compressed and timestamped binary files. Timestamps can be requested from an external Timestamping Authority (TSA).

Logstore files consist of individual chunks, every chunk can be encrypted, compressed, and timestamped separately. Chunks contain compressed log messages and header information needed for retrieving messages from the logstore file.

The syslog-ng PE application generates an SHA-1 hash for every chunk to verify the integrity of the chunk. The hashes of the chunks are chained together to prevent injecting chunks into the logstore file. The syslog-ng PE application can encrypt the logstore using various algorithms, using the aes128 encryption algorithm in CBC mode and the hmac-sha1 hashing (HMAC) algorithm as default. For other algorithms, see the section called “cipher()” and the section called “digest()”.

The destination filename may include macros which get expanded when the message is written, thus a simple logstore() driver may create several files. For more information on available macros see the section called “Macros of syslog-ng PE”.

If the expanded filename refers to a directory which does not exist, it will be created depending on the create-dirs() setting (both global and a per destination option).

The logstore() has a single required parameter that specifies the filename that stores the log messages. For the list of available optional parameters, see the section called “logstore() destination options”.

Caution:

Hazard of data loss! If your log files are on an NFS-mounted network file system, see the section called “NFS file system for log files”.

Declaration: 

logstore(filename options());

Example 7.15. Using the logstore() driver

A simple example saving and compressing log messages.

destination d_logstore { logstore("/var/log/messages.lgs" compress(5) ); };

A more detailed example that encrypts messages, modifies the parameters for closing chunks, and sets file privileges.

destination d_logstore { logstore("/var/log/messages-logstore.lgs"
encrypt-certificate("/opt/syslog-ng/etc/syslog-ng/keys/10-100-20-40/public-certificate-of-the-server.pem")
owner("balabit")
group("balabit")
perm(0777)
); };

The URL to the Timestamping Authority and if needed, the OID of the timestamping policy can be set as global options, or also per logstore destination. The following example specifies the URL and the OID as global options:

options {
        timestamp-url("http://10.50.50.50:8080/");
        timestamp-policy("0.4.0.2023.1.1");
};

NOTE:

When using the logstore() destination, update the configuration of your log rotation program to rotate these files. Otherwise, the log files can become very large.

Caution:

Since the state of each created file must be tracked by syslog-ng, it consumes some memory for each file. If no new messages are written to a file within 60 seconds (controlled by the time-reap() global option), it is closed, and its state is freed.

Exploiting this, a DoS attack can be mounted against the system. If the number of possible destination files and its needed memory is more than the amount available on the syslog-ng server.

The most suspicious macro is ${PROGRAM}, where the number of possible variations is rather high. Do not use the ${PROGRAM} macro in insecure environments.

Displaying the contents of logstore files

To display the contents of a logstore file, use the lgstool (formerly called logcat) command supplied with syslog-ng, for example lgstool cat /var/log/messages.lgs. Log messages available in the journal file of the logstore (but not yet written to the logstore file itself) are displayed as well.

To display the contents of encrypted log files, specify the private key of the certificate used to encrypt the file, for example lgstool cat -k private.key /var/log/messages.lgs. The contents of the file are sent to the standard output, so it is possible to use grep and other tools to find particular log messages, for example lgstool cat /var/log/messages.lgs |grep 192.168.1.1. For further details, see lgstool(1).

TIP:

The lgstool utility is available for Microsoft Windows operating systems at the syslog-ng Downloads page.

Caution:

For files that are in use by syslog-ng, the last chunk that is open cannot be read.

Journal files

Starting with syslog-ng Premium Edition 3.2, syslog-ng PE processes log messages into a journal file before writing them to the logstore file. That way logstore files are consistent even if syslog-ng PE crashes unexpectedly, avoiding losing messages. Note that this does not protect against losing messages if the operating system crashes.

A journal file is automatically created for every logstore file that syslog-ng PE opens. A journal file consists of journal blocks which store the log messages. When a journal block fills up with messages, syslog-ng PE writes the entire block into the logstore file and starts to reuse the journal block (one journal block becomes one chunk in the logstore file). If the messages cannot be written to the logstore file (for example, because the disk becomes unaccessible, or file operations are slow), messages are put to the next journal block (syslog-ng PE uses four blocks by default). When all journal blocks become full, syslog-ng PE will stop processing incoming traffic. syslog-ng PE starts accepting messages to the logstore file again when the first journal block is successfully written to the logstore file. If syslog-ng PE receives a HUP or STOP signal, or no new message arrives into the logstore for the period set in the time-reap() parameter, it writes every journal block to the logstore.

When syslog-ng PE is restarted, it automatically processes the journal files to the logstore files, unless a particular logstore file is not part of configuration of syslog-ng PE. Such orphaned journal files can be processed with the lgstool recover command. For details on processing orphaned journal files, see the section called “The recover command”.

Caution:
  • If a particular logstore destination receives messages at a constant but very low message rate (for example, a 100-byte message every 30 seconds), messages do not get written to the logstore file for a long time, because the journal block does not get full, and messages are more frequent than the time-reap() time. This becomes a problem when using logrotate to rotate the logstore files, because log messages will not be in the files they are expected. To avoid this situation, either use time-based macros in the filenames of the logstore files, or send a HUP signal to syslog-ng PE right before rotating the logstore files.

  • When every block of a journal becomes full and syslog-ng PE stops processing incoming traffic, it will not read new messages at all until a block is successfully written to the related logstore file. This is in contrast with flow-control, where only messages from the source related to the particular destination are not processed.

  • The messages in the journal file are in plain-text format: they are neither encrypted nor compressed. The journal file has the same permission as the logstore, by default, root privileges are required to access them. Make sure you consider this if you change the permissions of the journal file (owner, group, perm) in the syslog-ng PE configuration file.

NOTE:

Journal files are located in the same folder as the logstore file. The name of the journal file is the same as the logstore file with .jor suffix added. For example, the journal file for messages.lgs is messages.lgs.jor.

The syslog-ng PE application uses a separate journal file for every logstore file. Every journal file is processed by a separate thread. The journal files are mapped into the memory. The journal of an individual logstore file uses up to journal-block-size()*journal-block-count() memory address, which is 4MB by default. However, if you have several logstore files open in parallel (for example, you are collecting log messages from 500 hosts and storing them in separate files for every host, and the hosts are continuously sending messages) the memory requirements for journaling rise quickly (to ~2GB for the 500 hosts). To limit the memory use of journals, adjust the logstore-journal-shmem-threshold() global option (by default, it is 512 MB).

If the memory required for the journal files exceeds the logstore-journal-shmem-threshold() limit, syslog-ng PE will store only a single journal block of every journal file in the memory, and — if more blocks are needed for a journal — store the additional blocks on the hard disk. Opening new logstore files means allocating memory for one new journal block for every new file. In extreme situations involving large traffic, this can lead to syslog-ng PE consuming the entire memory of the system. Adjust the journal-block-size() and your file-naming conventions as needed to avoid such situations. For details on logstore journals, see the section called “Journal files”.

Caution:

If you have a large amount of open logstore files in parrallel (for example, you are using the ${HOST} or ${PROGRAM} macros in your filenames) consider lowering the journal-block-size() to avoid syslog-ng PE consuming the entire memory of the system.

Example 7.16. Calculating memory usage of logstore journals

If you are using the default settings (4 journal blocks for every logstore journal, one block is 1MB, logstore-journal-shmem-threshold() is 512MB), this means that syslog-ng PE will allocate 4MB memory for every open logstore file, up to 512MB if you have 128 open logstore files. Opening a new logstore file would require 4 more megabytes of memory for journaling, bringing the total required memory to 516MB, which is above the logstore-journal-shmem-threshold(). In this case, syslog-ng PE switches to storing only a single journal block in the memory, lowering the memory requirements of journaling to 129MB. However, opening more and more logstore files will require more and more memory, and this is not limited, except when syslog-ng PE reaches the maximum number of files that can be open (as set in the --fd-limit command-line option).


logstore() destination options

The logstore driver stores log messages in binary files that can be encrypted, compressed, checked for integrity, and timestamped by an external Timestamping Authority (TSA). Otherwise, it is very similar to the file() destination.

Caution:

When creating several thousands separate log files, syslog-ng might not be able to open the required number of files. This might happen for example when using the ${HOST} macro in the filename while receiving messages from a large number of hosts. To overcome this problem, adjust the --fd-limit command-line parameter of syslog-ng or the global ulimit parameter of your host. For setting the --fd-limit command-line parameter of syslog-ng see the syslog-ng(8) manual page. For setting the ulimit parameter of the host, see the documentation of your operating system.

NOTE:

When using this destination, update the configuration of your log rotation program to rotate these files. Otherwise, the log files can become very large.

Also, after rotating the log files, reload syslog-ng PE using the syslog-ng-ctl reload command, or use another method to send a SIGHUP to syslog-ng PE.

The logstore() has a single required parameter that specifies the filename that stores the log messages.

Declaration: 

logstore(filename options());

The logstore() destination has the following options:

cipher()
Type: string
Default: aes-128-cbc

Description: Set the cipher method used to encrypt the logstore. The following cipher methods are available: aes-128-cbc, aes-128-cfb, aes-128-cfb1, aes-128-cfb8, aes-128-ecb, aes-128-ofb , aes-192-cbc, aes-192-cfb, aes-192-cfb1, aes-192-cfb8, aes-192-ecb, aes-192-ofb , aes-256-cbc, aes-256-cfb, aes-256-cfb1, aes-256-cfb8, aes-256-ecb, aes-256-ofb , aes128 , aes192 , aes256, bf , bf-cbc , bf-cfb, bf-ecb , bf-ofb , blowfish, cast , cast-cbc , cast5-cbc , cast5-cfb, cast5-ecb, cast5-ofb , des, des-cbc, des-cfb , des-cfb1 , des-cfb8 , des-ecb , des-ede, des-ede-cbc, des-ede-cfb , des-ede-ofb, des-ede3 , des-ede3-cbc, des-ede3-cfb, des-ede3-ofb, des-ofb , des3 , desx , desx-cbc, rc2, rc2-40-cbc , rc2-64-cbc, rc2-cbc, rc2-cfb, rc2-ecb , rc2-ofb, rc4, and rc4-40. By default, syslog-ng PE uses the aes-128-cbc method.

Note that the size of the digest hash must be equal to or larger than the key size of the cipher method. For example, to use the aes-256-cbc cipher method, the digest method must be at least SHA-256. This option is available in syslog-ng PE 3.1 and later.

chunk-size()
Type: number (kilobytes)
Default: 128

Description: This option is obsolete. Use the journal-block-size() option instead.

Size of a logstore chunk in kilobytes. Note that this size refers to the compressed size of the chunk. Also, the gzip library used for compressing the messages has a 32k long buffer, so messages may not appear in the actual logfile until this buffer is not filled. Logstore chunks are closed when they reach the specified size, or when the time limit set in chunk-time() expires.

chunk-time()
Type: number (seconds)
Default: 5

Description: This option is obsolete.

Time limit in seconds: syslog-ng PE closes the chunk if no new messages arrive until the time limit expires. Logstore chunks are closed when the time limit expires, or when they reach the size specified in the chunk-size() parameter. If the time limit set in the time-reap() parameter expires, the entire file is closed.

compress()
Type: number (between 0-9)
Default: 3

Description: Compression level. 0 means uncompressed files, while 1-9 is the compression level used by gzip (9 means the highest but slowest compression, 3 is usually a good compromise).

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

Description: Enable creating non-existing directories.

digest()
Type: string
Default: SHA1

Description: Set the digest method to use. The following digest methods are available: MD4, MD5, SHA0 (SHA), SHA1, RIPEMD160, SHA224, SHA256, SHA384, and SHA512. By default, syslog-ng PE uses the SHA1 method.

Note that the size of the digest hash must be equal to or larger than the key size of the cipher method. For example, to use the aes-256-cbc cipher method, the digest method must be at least SHA256. This option is available in syslog-ng PE 3.1 and later.

dir-group()
Type: string
Default: Use the global settings

Description: The group of the directories created by syslog-ng. To preserve the original properties of an existing directory, use the option without specifying an attribute: dir-group().

dir-owner()
Type: string
Default: Use the global settings

Description: The owner of the directories created by syslog-ng. To preserve the original properties of an existing directory, use the option without specifying an attribute: dir-owner().

dir-perm()
Type: number (octal notation)
Default: Use the global settings

Description: The permission mask of directories created by syslog-ng. Log directories are only created if a file after macro expansion refers to a non-existing directory, and directory creation is enabled (see also the create-dirs() option). For octal numbers prefix the number with 0, for example use 0755 for rwxr-xr-x.

To preserve the original properties of an existing directory, use the option without specifying an attribute: dir-perm(). Note that when creating a new directory without specifying attributes for dir-perm(), the default permission of the directories is masked with the umask of the parent process (typically 0022).

encrypt-certificate()
Type: filename
Default: none

Description: Name of a file, that contains an X.509 certificate (and the public key) in PEM format. The syslog-ng PE application uses this certificate to encrypt the logstore files which can be decrypted using the private key of the certificate.

flags()
Type: serialized
Default: empty set

Description: Flags influence the behavior of the destination driver.

  • The serialized flag instructs the driver to store the log messages in a serialized format. When using the lgstool utility to display messages from the logstore, the messages can be reformatted with a template only if the serialized flag has been enabled on the logstore.

frac-digits()
Type: number (digits of fractions of a second)
Default: Value of the global option (which defaults to 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.

group()
Type: string
Default: Use the global settings

Description: Set the group of the created file to the one specified. To preserve the original properties of an existing file, use the option without specifying an attribute: group().

log-fifo-size()
Type: number (messages)
Default: Use global setting.

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

journal-block-count()
Type: number (1-255)
Default: 4

Description: The number of blocks in the journal file. If set to 0, syslog-ng will set it to the default value (4). The maximal value is 255. If journal-block-count() is set higher than 255, syslog-ng will use the maximum value.

NOTE:

By default, journal files are mapped into the memory of the host. To influence the amount of memory addresses used by journal files, see the logstore-journal-shmem-threshold() global option.

Example 7.17. Setting journal block number and size

The following example sets the size of a journal block to 512KB and increases the number of blocks to 5.

destination d_logstore {
     logstore("/var/log/messages-logstore.lgs"
        encrypt-certificate ("/opt/syslog-ng/etc/syslog-ng/keys/public-server-certificate.pem")
        journal-block-size(524288)
        journal-block-count(5));
};

journal-block-size()
Type: number (bytes)
Default: 1048576

Description: The size of blocks (in bytes) in the journal file. The size of the block must be a multiple of the page size: if not, syslog-ng PE automatically increases it to the next multiple of the page size. The maximum size of a journal block is 32MB, the minimum size is 256KB. If the value specified as journal-block-size() is lower than minimum size or higher than the maximum size, syslog-ng PE will use the minimum or maximum size, respectively.

NOTE:
  • At least one journal block for every logstore file open is mapped into the memory. For details on logstore journals, see the section called “Journal files”.

  • The size of the journal block is not equal with the size of logstore chunks, because the records in the logstore file can be encrypted or compressed.

Example 7.18. Setting journal block number and size

The following example sets the size of a journal block to 512KB and increases the number of blocks to 5.

destination d_logstore {
     logstore("/var/log/messages-logstore.lgs"
        encrypt-certificate ("/opt/syslog-ng/etc/syslog-ng/keys/public-server-certificate.pem")
        journal-block-size(524288)
        journal-block-count(5));
};

owner()
Type: string
Default: Use the global settings

Description: Set the owner of the created file to the one specified. To preserve the original properties of an existing file, use the option without specifying an attribute: owner().

perm()
Type: number (octal notation)
Default: Use the global settings

Description: The permission mask of the file if it is created by syslog-ng. For octal numbers prefix the number with 0, for example use 0755 for rwxr-xr-x.

To preserve the original properties of an existing file, use the option without specifying an attribute: perm().

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 the section called “Macros of syslog-ng PE”. 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.

throttle()
Type: number (messages per second)
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.

timestamp-freq()
Type: number (seconds)
Default: Use global setting.

Description: The minimum time (in seconds) that should expire between two timestamping requests. When syslog-ng closes a chunk, it checks how much time has expired since the last timestamping request: if it is higher than the value set in the timestamp-freq() parameter, it requests a new timestamp from the authority set in the timestamp-url() parameter.

By default, timestamping is disabled: the timestamp-freq() global option is set to 0. To enable timestamping, set it to a positive value.

timestamp-policy()
Type: string
Default:

Description: If the Timestamping Server has timestamping policies configured, specify the OID of the policy to use with this parameter. syslog-ng PE will include this ID in the timestamping requests sent to the TSA. This option is available in syslog-ng PE 3.1 and later.

timestamp-url()
Type: string
Default: Use global setting.

Description: The URL of the Timestamping Authority used to request timestamps to sign logstore chunks. Note that syslog-ng PE currently supports only Timestamping Authorities that conform to RFC3161 Internet X.509 Public Key Infrastructure Time-Stamp Protocol, other protocols like Microsoft Authenticode Timestamping are not supported.

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 the section called “Date-related macros”.

The timezone can be specified as using the name of the (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: Use the global option (which defaults to rfc3164)

Description: Override the global timestamp format (set in the global ts-format() parameter) for the specific destination. For details, see the section called “A note on timezones and timestamps”.

Storing messages in a MongoDB database

The mongodb() driver sends messages to a MongoDB database. MongoDB is a schema-free, document-oriented database. For the list of available optional parameters, see the section called “mongodb() destination options”.

NOTE:

In order to use this destination, syslog-ng Premium Edition must run in server mode. Typically, only the central syslog-ng Premium Edition server uses this destination. For details on the server mode, see the section called “Server mode”.

Declaration: 

mongodb(parameters);

The mongodb() driver does not support creating indexes, as that can be a very complex operation in MongoDB. If needed, the administrator of the MongoDB database must ensure that indexes are created on the collections.

The mongodb() driver does not add the _id field to the message: the MongoDB server will do that automatically, if none is present. If you want to override this field from syslog-ng PE, use the key() parameter of the value-pairs() option.

The syslog-ng PE mongodb() driver is compatible with MongoDB server version 1.4 and newer.

NOTE:

By default, syslog-ng PE handles every message field as a string. For details on how to send selected fields as other types of data (for example, handle the PID as a number), see the section called “Specifying data types in value-pairs”.

Example 7.19. Using the mongodb() driver

The following example creates a mongodb() destination using only default values.

destination d_mongodb {
    mongodb();
};

The following example displays the default values, and is equivalent with the previous example.

destination d_mongodb {
    mongodb(
        servers("localhost:27017")
        database("syslog")
        collection("messages")
        value-pairs(
            scope("selected-macros" "nv-pairs" "sdata")
        )
    );
};

Procedure 7.7. How syslog-ng PE connects the MongoDB server

When syslog-ng PE connects the MongoDB server during startup, it completes the following steps.

  1. The syslog-ng PE application connects the first address listed in the servers() option.

    • If the server is accessible and it is a master MongoDB server, syslog-ng PE authenticates on the server (if needed), then starts sending the log messages to the server.

    • If the server is not accessible, or it is not a master server in a MongoDB replicaset and it does not send the address of the master server, syslog-ng PE connects the next address listed in the servers() option.

    • If the server is not a master server in a MongoDB replicaset, but it sends the address of the master server, syslog-ng PE connects the received address.

  2. When syslog-ng PE connects the master MongoDB server, it retrieves the list of replicas (from the replSet option of the server), and appends this list to the servers() option.

    Caution:
    • This means that syslog-ng PE can send log messages to addresses that are not listed in its configuration.

    • Make sure to include the address of your master server in your syslog-ng PE configuration file, otherwise you risk losing log messages if all the addresses listed in the syslog-ng PE configuration are offline.

    • Addresses retrieved from the MongoDB servers are not stored, and can be lost when syslog-ng PE is restarted. The retrieved addresses are not lost if the server() option of the destination was not changed in the configuration file since the last restart.

    • The failover mechanism used in the mongodb() driver is different from the client-side failover used in other drivers.

  3. The syslog-ng PE application attempts to connect another server if the servers() list contains at least two addresses, and one of the following events happens:

    • The safe-mode() option is set to no, and the MongoDB server becomes unreachable.

    • The safe-mode() option is set to yes, and syslog-ng PE cannot insert a log message into the database because of an error.

    In such case, syslog-ng PE starts to connect the addresses in from the servers() list (starting from the first address) to find the new master server, authenticates on the new server (if needed), then continues to send the log messages to the new master server.

    During this failover step, one message can be lost if the safe-mode() option is disabled.

  4. If the original master becomes accessible again, syslog-ng PE will automatically connect to the original master.

mongodb() destination options

The mongodb() driver sends messages to a MongoDB database. MongoDB is a schema-free, document-oriented database.

NOTE:

In order to use this destination, syslog-ng Premium Edition must run in server mode. Typically, only the central syslog-ng Premium Edition server uses this destination. For details on the server mode, see the section called “Server mode”.

The mongodb() destination has the following options:

collection()
Type: string
Default: messages

Description: The name of the MongoDB collection where the log messages are stored (collections are similar to SQL tables). Note that the name of the collection must not start with a dollar sign ($), and that it may contain dot (.) characters.

Caution:

Hazard of data loss! The syslog-ng PE application does not verify that the specified collection name does not contain invalid characters. If you specify a collection with an invalid name, the log messages sent to the MongoDB database will be irrevocably lost without any warning.

database()
Type: string
Default: syslog

Description: The name of the MongoDB database where the log messages are stored. Note that the name of the database must not start with a dollar sign ($) and it cannot contain dot (.) characters.

Caution:

Hazard of data loss! The syslog-ng PE application does not verify that the specified database name does not contain invalid characters. If you specify a database with an invalid name, the log messages sent to the MongoDB database will be irrevocably lost without any warning.

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 PE cannot lose logs in case of reload/restart, unreachable destination or syslog-ng PE 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.

dir()
Type: string
Default: N/A

Description: Defines the folder where the disk-buffer files are stored. This option has priority over --qdisk-dir=.

Caution:

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

syslog-ng PE creates disk-buffer files based on the path recorded in the persist file. Therefore, if the persist file or the relevant entry is not deleted after modifying the dir() option, then following a restart, syslog-ng PE will look for or create disk-buffer files in their old location. To ensure that syslog-ng PE 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.
quot-size()
Type: number (messages)
Default: 64
Description: The number of messages stored in the output buffer of the destination.

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

Example 7.20. 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")
            )
        );
};

frac-digits()
Type: number (digits of fractions of a second)
Default: Value of the global option (which defaults to 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.

local-time-zone()
Type: name of the timezone, or the timezone offset
Default: The local timezone.

Description: Sets the timezone used when expanding filename and tablename templates.

The timezone can be specified as using the name of the (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.

log-fifo-size()
Type: number (messages)
Default: Use global setting.

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

on-error()
Accepted values: drop-message|drop-property|fallback-to-string|silently-drop-message|silently-drop-property|silently-fallback-to-string
Default: Use the global setting (which defaults to drop-message)

Description: Controls what happens when type-casting fails and syslog-ng PE cannot convert some data to the specified type. By default, syslog-ng PE drops the entire message and logs the error. Currently the value-pairs() option uses the settings of on-error().

  • drop-message: Drop the entire message and log an error message to the internal() source. This is the default behavior of syslog-ng PE.

  • drop-property: Omit the affected property (macro, template, or message-field) from the log message and log an error message to the internal() source.

  • fallback-to-string: Convert the property to string and log an error message to the internal() source.

  • silently-drop-message: Drop the entire message silently, without logging the error.

  • silently-drop-property: Omit the affected property (macro, template, or message-field) silently, without logging the error.

  • silently-fallback-to-string: Convert the property to string silently, without logging the error.

password()
Type: string
Default: n/a

Description: Password of the database user.

path()
Type: string
Default: empty

Description: If the path() option is set, syslog-ng PE will connect to the database using the specified UNIX domain socket. Note that you cannot set the path() and the servers() options at the same time.

retries()
Type: number (of attempts)
Default: 3

Description: The number of times syslog-ng PE attempts to send a message to this destination. If syslog-ng PE could not send a message, it will try again until the number of attempts reaches retries, then drops the message.

For MongoDB operations, syslog-ng PE uses a one-minute timeout: if an operation times out, syslog-ng PE assumes the operation has failed.

safe-mode()
Type: yes or no
Default: yes

Description: If safe-mode() is enabled, syslog-ng PE performs an extra check after each insert to verify that the insert succeeded. The insert is successful only if this second check is successful.

Note that disabling this option increases the performance of the driver, but can result in message loss. Using safe-mode(yes) is technically equivalent of using the RLTP™ protocol between syslog-ng PE and the MongoDB server. If you use the reliable(yes) option of disk-buffer() in your destinations, make sure that the safe-mode() option of the mongodb() destination is set to yes.

servers()
Type: list of hostname:port pairs
Default: 127.0.0.1:27017

Description: Specifies the hostname or IP address and the port number of the database server. When specifying an IP address, IPv4 (for example, 192.168.0.1) or IPv6 (for example, [::1]) can be used as well.

To send the messages to a MongoDB replicaset, specify the addresses of the database servers as a comma-separated list, for example: servers(192.168.1.1:27017,192.168.3.3:27017)

For details on how syslog-ng PE connects the MongoDB server, see Procedure 7.7, “How syslog-ng PE connects the MongoDB server”.

To connect to the server using a UNIX domain socket, use path option. Note that you cannot set the path() and the servers() options at the same time.

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 the section called “Date-related macros”.

The timezone can be specified as using the name of the (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.

username()
Type: string
Default: n/a

Description: Name of the database user. Note that the mongodb() driver currently does not support TLS-encrypted authentication.

value-pairs()
Type: parameter list of the value-pairs() option
Default:
scope("selected-macros" "nv-pairs")

Description: The value-pairs() option creates structured name-value pairs from the data and metadata of the log message. For details on using value-pairs(), see the section called “Structuring macros, metadata, and other value-pairs”.

NOTE:

Empty keys are not logged.

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