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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

Sending messages to a remote log server using the RFC3164 protocol (network() driver)

The network() destination driver can send syslog messages conforming to RFC3164 from the network using the TCP, TLS, and UDP networking protocols.

You can use the RLTP™ protocol as well. For details about the RLTP™ protocol, see Chapter 12, Reliable Log Transfer Protocol.

  • UDP is a simple datagram oriented protocol, which provides "best effort service" to transfer messages between hosts. It may lose messages, and no attempt is made to retransmit lost messages. The BSD-syslog protocol traditionally uses UDP.

    Use UDP only if you have no other choice.

    For details on minimizing message loss when using UDP, see Collecting log messages from UDP sources.

  • TCP provides connection-oriented service: the client and the server establish a connection, each message is acknowledged, and lost packets are resent. TCP can detect lost connections, and messages are lost, only if the TCP connection breaks. When a TCP connection is broken, messages that the client has sent but were not yet received on the server are lost.

  • The syslog-ng application supports TLS (Transport Layer Security, also known as SSL) over TCP. For details, see the section called “Encrypting log messages with TLS”.

When you send your log messages from a syslog-ng PE client through the network to a syslog-ng PE server, you can use different protocols and options. Every combination has its advantages and disadvantages. The most important thing is to use matching protocols and options, so the server handles the incoming log messages properly. For details, see the section called “Things to consider when forwarding messages between syslog-ng PE hosts”.

Declaration: 

network("<destination-address>" [options]);

The network() destination has a single required parameter that specifies the destination host address where messages should be sent. If name resolution is configured, you can use the hostname of the target server. By default, syslog-ng PE sends messages using the TCP protocol to port 514.

Example 7.21. Using the network() driver

TCP destination that sends messages to 10.1.2.3, port 1999:

destination d_tcp { network("10.1.2.3" port(1999)); };

If name resolution is configured, you can use the hostname of the target server as well.

destination d_tcp { network("target_host" port(1999)); };

TCP destination that sends messages to the ::1 IPv6 address, port 2222.

destination d_tcp6 {
    network(
        "::1"
        port(2222)
        transport(tcp)
        ip-protocol(6)
        );
};

To send messages using the IETF-syslog message format without using the IETF-syslog protocol, enable the syslog-protocol flag. (For details on how to use the IETF-syslog protocol, see the section called “syslog() destination options”.)

destination d_tcp { network("10.1.2.3" port(1999) flags(syslog-protocol) ); };

network() destination options

The network() driver sends messages to a remote host (for example a syslog-ng server or relay) on the local intranet or internet using the RFC3164 syslog protocol (for details about the protocol, see the section called “BSD-syslog or legacy-syslog messages”). The network() driver supports sending messages using the UDP, TCP, RLTP ™or the encrypted TLS networking protocols.

These destinations have the following options:

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 7.22. 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")
            )
        );
};

failover-servers()
Type: list of IP addresses and fully-qualified domain names
Default: 0

Description: Available only in syslog-ng Premium Edition version 3.2 and later. Specifies a secondary destination server where log messages are sent if the primary server becomes unaccessible. To list several failover servers, separate the address of the servers with comma. The time syslog-ng PE waits for the a server before switching to the next failover server is set in the time-reopen() option. For details about how client-side failover works, see the section called “Client-side failover”.

Caution:

The failover servers must be accessible on the same port as the primary server.

NOTE:

This option is not available for the connection-less UDP protocol, because in this case the client does not detect that the destination becomes unaccessible.

Example 7.23. Specifying failover servers for syslog() destinations

The following example specifies two failover servers for a simple syslog() destination.

destination d_syslog_tcp{
                syslog("10.100.20.40"
                transport("tcp")
                port(6514)
                failover-servers("10.2.3.4", "myfailoverserver")
                );};

The following example specifies a failover server for a network() destination that uses TLS encryption.

destination d_syslog_tls{
                network("10.100.20.40"
                transport("tls")
                port(6514)
                failover-servers("10.2.3.4", "myfailoverserver")
                tls(peer-verify(required-trusted)
                ca-dir('/opt/syslog-ng/etc/syslog-ng/keys/ca.d/')
                key-file('/opt/syslog-ng/etc/syslog-ng/keys/client_key.pem')
                cert-file('/opt/syslog-ng/etc/syslog-ng/keys/client_certificate.pem'))
                );};

flags()
Type: no_multi_line, syslog-protocol
Default: empty set

Description: Flags influence the behavior of the destination driver.

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

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

flush-lines()
Type: number (messages)
Default: Use global setting.

Description: Specifies how many lines are sent to a destination at a time. The syslog-ng PE application waits for this number of lines to accumulate and sends them off in a single batch. Setting this number high increases throughput as fully filled frames are sent to the destination, but also increases message latency.

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

flush-timeout() (OBSOLETE)
Type: time in milliseconds
Default: Use global setting.

Description: This is an obsolete option. Specifies the time syslog-ng waits for lines to accumulate in its output buffer. For details, see the flush-lines() option.

NOTE:

This option will be removed from the list of acceptable options. After that, your configuration will become invalid if it still contains the flush-timeout() option. To avoid future problems, remove this option from your configuration.

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.

ip-tos()
Type: number (type of service)
Default: 0

Description: Specifies the Type-of-Service value of outgoing packets.

ip-ttl()
Type: number (hops)
Default: 0

Description: Specifies the Time-To-Live value of outgoing packets.

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

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

localip()
Type: string
Default: 0.0.0.0

Description: The IP address to bind to before connecting to target.

localport()
Type: number (port number)
Default: 0

Description: The port number to bind to. Messages are sent from this port.

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

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

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

Description: An alias for the obsolete mark() option, retained for compatibility with syslog-ng version 1.6.x. The number of seconds between two MARK messages. MARK messages are generated when there was no message traffic to inform the receiver that the connection is still alive. If set to zero (0), no MARK messages are sent. The mark-freq() can be set for global option and/or every MARK capable destination driver if mark-mode() is periodical or dst-idle or host-idle. If mark-freq() is not defined in the destination, then the mark-freq() will be inherited from the global options. If the destination uses internal mark-mode(), then the global mark-freq() will be valid (does not matter what mark-freq() set in the destination side).

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

internal for pipe, program drivers

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

global for syslog, tcp, udp destinations

host-idle for global option

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

  • internal: When internal mark mode is selected, internal source should be placed in the log path as this mode does not generate mark by itself at the destination. This mode only yields the mark messages from internal source. This is the mode as syslog-ng PE 3.x worked. MARK will be generated by internal source if there was NO traffic on local sources:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • global: Destination driver uses the global mark-mode() setting. The syslog-ng interprets syntax error if the global mark-mode() is global.

NOTE:

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

Available in syslog-ng PE 4 LTS and later.

port() or localport()
Type: number (port number)
Default:

UDP — 514, TCP — 601, TLS — 6514.

Description: The port number to connect to.

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

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

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

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

so-rcvbuf()
Type: number (bytes)
Default: 0

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

so-sndbuf()
Type: number (bytes)
Default: 0

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

spoof-source()
Type: yes or no
Default: no

Description: Enables source address spoofing. This means that the host running syslog-ng generates UDP packets with the source IP address matching the original sender of the message. This is useful when you want to perform some kind of preprocessing via syslog-ng, then forward messages to your central log management solution with the source address of the original sender. This option only works for UDP destinations, though the original message can be received by TCP as well.

Caution:

When using the spoof-source option, syslog-ng PE automatically truncates long messages to 1024 bytes, regardless of the settings of log-msg-size().

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

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

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

Description: Specifies a template defining the logformat to be used in the destination. Macros are described in 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.

NOTE:

If a message uses the IETF-syslog format (RFC5424), only the text of the message can be customized (that is, the $MESSAGE part of the log), the structure of the header is fixed.

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

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

throttle()
Type: number (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.

tls()
Type: tls options
Default: n/a

Description: This option sets various options related to TLS encryption, for example, key/certificate files and trusted CA locations. TLS can be used only with tcp-based transport protocols. For details, see the section called “TLS options”.

transport()
Type: rltp, udp, tcp, or tls
Default: tcp

Description: Specifies the protocol used to send messages to the destination server.

If you use the udp transport, syslog-ng PE automatically sends multicast packets if a multicast destination address is specified. The tcp transport does not support multicasting.

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”.

Sending messages to named pipes

The pipe() driver sends messages to a named pipe like /dev/xconsole.

The pipe driver has a single required parameter, specifying the filename of the pipe to open. The filename can include macros. For the list of available optional parameters, see the section called “pipe() destination options”.

Declaration: 

pipe(filename);

Caution:

Starting with syslog-ng PE 3.0.2, pipes are created automatically. In earlier versions, you had to create the pipe using the mkfifo(1) command.

Example 7.25. Using the pipe() driver

destination d_pipe { pipe("/dev/xconsole"); };

pipe() destination options

This driver sends messages to a named pipe like /dev/xconsole.

The pipe() destination has the following options:

flags()
Type: no_multi_line, syslog-protocol
Default: empty set

Description: Flags influence the behavior of the destination driver.

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

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

flush-lines()
Type: number (messages)
Default: Use global setting.

Description: Specifies how many lines are sent to a destination at a time. The syslog-ng PE application waits for this number of lines to accumulate and sends them off in a single batch. Setting this number high increases throughput as fully filled frames are sent to the destination, but also increases message latency.

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

flush-timeout() (OBSOLETE)
Type: time in milliseconds
Default: Use global setting.

Description: This is an obsolete option. Specifies the time syslog-ng waits for lines to accumulate in its output buffer. For details, see the flush-lines() option.

NOTE:

This option will be removed from the list of acceptable options. After that, your configuration will become invalid if it still contains the flush-timeout() option. To avoid future problems, remove this option from your configuration.

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.

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

Description: An alias for the obsolete mark() option, retained for compatibility with syslog-ng version 1.6.x. The number of seconds between two MARK messages. MARK messages are generated when there was no message traffic to inform the receiver that the connection is still alive. If set to zero (0), no MARK messages are sent. The mark-freq() can be set for global option and/or every MARK capable destination driver if mark-mode() is periodical or dst-idle or host-idle. If mark-freq() is not defined in the destination, then the mark-freq() will be inherited from the global options. If the destination uses internal mark-mode(), then the global mark-freq() will be valid (does not matter what mark-freq() set in the destination side).

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

internal for pipe, program drivers

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

global for syslog, tcp, udp destinations

host-idle for global option

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

  • internal: When internal mark mode is selected, internal source should be placed in the log path as this mode does not generate mark by itself at the destination. This mode only yields the mark messages from internal source. This is the mode as syslog-ng PE 3.x worked. MARK will be generated by internal source if there was NO traffic on local sources:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • global: Destination driver uses the global mark-mode() setting. The syslog-ng interprets syntax error if the global mark-mode() is global.

NOTE:

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

Available in syslog-ng PE 4 LTS and later.

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().

pad-size()
Type: number (bytes)
Default: 0

Description: If set, syslog-ng PE will pad output messages to the specified size (in bytes). Some operating systems (such as HP-UX) pad all messages to block boundary. This option can be used to specify the block size. (HP-UX uses 2048 bytes).

Caution:

Hazard of data loss! If the size of the incoming message is larger than the previously set pad-size() value, syslog-ng will truncate the message to the specified size. Therefore, all message content above that size will be lost.

perm()
Type: number (octal notation)
Default: 0600

Description:The permission mask of the pipe. For octal numbers prefix the number with '0', for example: use 0755 for rwxr-xr-x.

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

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

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

Description: Specifies a template defining the logformat to be used in the destination. Macros are described in 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.

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

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

throttle()
Type: number (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”.

Sending messages to external applications

The program() driver starts an external application or script and sends the log messages to its standard input (stdin). Usually, every message is a single line (ending with a newline character), which your script can process. Make sure that your script runs in a loop and keeps reading the standard input — it should not exit. (If your script exits, syslog-ng PE tries to restart it.)

The program() driver has a single required parameter, specifying a program name to start. The program is executed with the help of the current shell, so the command may include both file patterns and I/O redirections. For the list of available optional parameters, see the section called “program() destination options”.

Declaration: 

program(command_to_run);

NOTE:
  • The syslog-ng PE 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, you might have to modify your AppArmor configuration to enable syslog-ng PE to execute external applications.

  • The syslog-ng PE application executes program destinations through the standard system shell. If the system shell is not bash and you experience problems with the program destination, try changing the /bin/sh link to /bin/bash.

  • If the external program exits, the syslog-ng PE application automatically restarts it. However it is not recommended to launch programs for single messages, because if the message rate is high, launching several instances of an application might overload the system, resulting in Denial of Service.

  • When the syslog-ng PE application stops, it will automatically stop the external program. To avoid restarting the application when syslog-ng PE is only reloaded, enable the keep-alive() option in the program destination.

  • Certain external applications buffer the log messages, which might cause unexpected latency and other problems. For example, if you send the log messages to an external Perl script, Perl uses a line buffer for terminal output and block buffer otherwise. You might want to disable buffering in the external application.

Example 7.26. Using the program() destination driver

The message format does not include the priority and facility values by default. To add these values, specify a template for the program destination, as shown in the following example. Make sure to end your template with a newline character (\n).

destination d_prog { program("/bin/script" template("<${PRI}>${DATE} ${HOST} ${MSG}\n") ); };

The following shell script writes the incoming messages into the /tmp/testlog file.

#!/bin/bash
while read line ; do
echo $line >> /tmp/testlog
done

program() destination options

This driver starts an external application or script and sends the log messages to its standard input (stdin).

The program() destination has the following options:

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 7.27. Examples for using disk-buffer()

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

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

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

destination d_demo {
    network(
            "127.0.0.1"
            port(3333)
            disk-buffer(
                mem-buf-length(10000)
                disk-buf-size(2000000)
                reliable(no)
                dir("/tmp/disk-buffer")
            )
        );
};

flags()
Type: no_multi_line, syslog-protocol
Default: empty set

Description: Flags influence the behavior of the destination driver.

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

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

flush-lines()
Type: number (messages)
Default: Use global setting.

Description: Specifies how many lines are sent to a destination at a time. The syslog-ng PE application waits for this number of lines to accumulate and sends them off in a single batch. Setting this number high increases throughput as fully filled frames are sent to the destination, but also increases message latency.

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

flush-timeout() (OBSOLETE)
Type: time in milliseconds
Default: Use global setting.

Description: This is an obsolete option. Specifies the time syslog-ng waits for lines to accumulate in its output buffer. For details, see the flush-lines() option.

NOTE:

This option will be removed from the list of acceptable options. After that, your configuration will become invalid if it still contains the flush-timeout() option. To avoid future problems, remove this option from your configuration.

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.

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

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

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

Description: Specifies whether the external program should be closed when syslog-ng PE is reloaded.

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

Description: An alias for the obsolete mark() option, retained for compatibility with syslog-ng version 1.6.x. The number of seconds between two MARK messages. MARK messages are generated when there was no message traffic to inform the receiver that the connection is still alive. If set to zero (0), no MARK messages are sent. The mark-freq() can be set for global option and/or every MARK capable destination driver if mark-mode() is periodical or dst-idle or host-idle. If mark-freq() is not defined in the destination, then the mark-freq() will be inherited from the global options. If the destination uses internal mark-mode(), then the global mark-freq() will be valid (does not matter what mark-freq() set in the destination side).

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

internal for pipe, program drivers

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

global for syslog, tcp, udp destinations

host-idle for global option

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

  • internal: When internal mark mode is selected, internal source should be placed in the log path as this mode does not generate mark by itself at the destination. This mode only yields the mark messages from internal source. This is the mode as syslog-ng PE 3.x worked. MARK will be generated by internal source if there was NO traffic on local sources:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • global: Destination driver uses the global mark-mode() setting. The syslog-ng interprets syntax error if the global mark-mode() is global.

NOTE:

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

Available in syslog-ng PE 4 LTS and later.

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

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

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

Description: Specifies a template defining the logformat to be used in the destination. Macros are described in 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.

Make sure to end your template with a newline character (\n).

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

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

throttle()
Type: number (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”.

Generating SMTP messages (e-mail) from logs

The destination is aimed at a fully controlled local, or near-local, trusted SMTP server. The goal is to send mail to trusted recipients, through a controlled channel. It hands mails over to an SMTP server, and that is all it does, therefore the resulting solution is as reliable as sending an e-mail in general. For example, syslog-ng PE does not verify whether the recipient exists.

The smtp() driver sends e-mail messages triggered by log messages. The smtp() driver uses SMTP, without needing external applications. You can customize the main fields of the e-mail, add extra headers, send the e-mail to multiple recipients, and so on.

The subject(), body(), and header() fields may include macros which get expanded in the e-mail. For more information on available macros see the section called “Macros of syslog-ng PE”.

The smtp() driver has the following required parameters: host(), port(), from(), to(), subject(), and body(). For the list of available optional parameters, see the section called “smtp() destination options”.

NOTE:

Mark mode is not supported at all, if SMTP receives a mark message, it will drop the message.

The smtp() destination driver is available only in 5 F2 and later.

Declaration: 

smtp(from() to() subject() body() options());

Example 7.28. Using the smtp() driver

The following example defines an smtp() destination using only the required parameters.

destination d_smtp {
    smtp(
        host("localhost")
        port(25)
        from("syslog-ng alert service" "noreply@example.com")
        to("Admin #1" "admin1@example.com")
        subject("[ALERT] Important log message of $LEVEL condition received from $HOST/$PROGRAM!")
        body("Hi!\nThe syslog-ng alerting service detected the following important log message:\n $MSG\n-- \nsyslog-ng\n")
    );
};

The following example sets some optional parameters as well.

destination d_smtp {
    smtp(
        host("localhost")
        port(25)
        from("syslog-ng alert service" "noreply@example.com")
        to("Admin #1" "admin1@example.com")
        to("Admin #2" "admin2@example.com")
        cc("Admin BOSS" "admin.boss@example.com")
        bcc("Blind CC" "blindcc@example.com")
        subject("[ALERT] Important log message of $LEVEL condition received from $HOST/$PROGRAM!")
        body("Hi!\nThe syslog-ng alerting service detected the following important log message:\n $MSG\n-- \nsyslog-ng\n")
        header("X-Program", "$PROGRAM")
        );
};

Example 7.29. Simple e-mail alerting with the smtp() driver

The following example sends an e-mail alert if the eth0 network interface of the host is down.

filter f_linkdown {
    match("eth0: link down" value("MESSAGE"));
};
destination d_alert {
    smtp(
        host("localhost") port(25)
        from("syslog-ng alert service" "syslog@localhost")
        reply-to("Admins" "root@localhost")
        to("Ennekem" "me@localhost")
        subject("[SYSLOG ALERT]: eth0 link down")
        body("Syslog received an alert:\n$MSG")
        );
};

log {
    source(s_local);
    filter(f_linkdown);
    destination(d_alert);
};

smtp() destination options

The smtp() sends e-mail messages using SMTP, without needing external applications. The smtp() destination has the following options:

body()
Type: string
Default: n/a

Description: The BODY field of the e-mail. You can also use macros in the string. Use \n to start a new line. For example:

body("syslog-ng PE received the following alert from $HOST:\n$MSG")
bcc()
Type: string
Default: n/a

Description: The BCC recipient of the e-mail (contents of the BCC field). You can specify the e-mail address, or the name and the e-mail address. Set the bcc() option multiple times to send the e-mail to multiple recipients. For example:

bcc("admin@example.com")

or

bcc("Admin" "admin@example.com")

or

bcc("Admin" "admin@example.com")
bcc("Admin2" "admin2@example.com")
cc()
Type: string
Default: n/a

Description: The CC recipient of the e-mail (contents of the CC field). You can specify the e-mail address, or the name and the e-mail address. Set the cc() option multiple times to send the e-mail to multiple recipients. For example:

cc("admin@example.com")

or

cc("Admin" "admin@example.com")

or

cc("Admin" "admin@example.com")
cc("Admin2" "admin2@example.com")
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 7.30. 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.

from()
Type: string
Default: n/a

Description: The sender of the e-mail (contents of the FROM field). You can specify the e-mail address, or the name and the e-mail address. For example:

from("admin@example.com")

or

from("Admin" "admin@example.com")

If you specify the from() option multiple times, the last value will be used. Instead of the from() option, you can also use sender(), which is just an alias of the from() option.

header()
Type: string
Default: n/a

Description: Adds an extra header to the e-mail with the specified name and content. The first parameter sets the name of the header, the second one its value. The value of the header can contain macros. Set the header() option multiple times to add multiple headers. For example:

header("X-Program", "$PROGRAM")

When using the header option, note the following points:

  • Do not use the header() option to set the values of headers that have dedicated options. Use it only to add extra headers.

  • If you set the same custom header multiple times, only the first will be added to the e-mail, other occurrences will be ignored.

  • It is not possible to set the DATE, Return-Path, Original-Recipient, Content-*, MIME-*, Resent-*, Received headers.

host()
Type: hostname or IP address
Default: n/a

Description: Hostname or IP address of the SMTP server.

NOTE:

If you specify host="localhost", syslog-ng PE will use a socket to connect to the local SMTP server. Use host="127.0.0.1" to force TCP communication between syslog-ng PE and the local SMTP server.

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

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

port()
Type: number
Default: 25

Description: The port number of the SMTP server.

reply-to()
Type: string
Default: n/a

Description: Replies of the recipient will be sent to this address (contents of the REPLY-TO field). You can specify the e-mail address, or the name and the e-mail address. Set the reply-to() option multiple times to send the e-mail to multiple recipients. For example:

reply-to("admin@example.com")

or

reply-to("Admin" "admin@example.com")

or

reply-to("Admin" "admin@example.com")
reply-to("Admin2" "admin2@example.com")
retries()
Type: number
Default: 3

Description: Number of times a message send operation is retried upon failure.

sender()
Type: string
Default: n/a

Description: An alias for the from() option

subject()
Type: string
Default: n/a

Description: The SUBJECT field of the e-mail. You can also use macros. For example:

subject("[SYSLOG ALERT]: Critical error message received from $HOST")

If you specify the subject() option multiple times, the last value will be used.

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.

to()
Type: string
Default: localhost

Description: The recipient of the e-mail (contents of the TO field). You can specify the e-mail address, or the name and the e-mail address. Set the to() option multiple times to send the e-mail to multiple recipients. For example:

to("admin@example.com")

or

to("Admin" "admin@example.com")

or

to("Admin" "admin@example.com")
to("Admin2" "admin2@example.com")

Error handling

If the connection fails, syslog-ng PE repeatedly attempts to reconnect in intervals specified in time-reopen().

If the connection is successful, but the message is not accepted, syslog-ng PE attempts to resend the message N times regardless of the reject being a hard or a soft reject. The number of attempts is specified with the option retries().

NOTE:

If the message was sent to two addresses and only one address fails, the retry will still apply for both addresses. The assumption is that the destination will be used with a local SMTP server acting as a relay, and the local server will handle all the edge cases.

Related Documents