Chat now with support
Chat with Support

syslog-ng Premium Edition 7.0.12 - Administration Guide

Preface Introduction to syslog-ng The concepts of syslog-ng Installing syslog-ng The syslog-ng PE quick-start guide The syslog-ng PE configuration file Collecting log messages — sources and source drivers
How sources work default-network-drivers: Receive and parse common syslog messages internal: Collecting internal messages file: Collecting messages from text files wildcard-file: Collecting messages from multiple text files network: Collecting messages using the RFC3164 protocol (network() driver) osquery: Collect and parse osquery result logs pipe: Collecting messages from named pipes program: Receiving messages from external applications python: writing server-style Python sources python-fetcher: writing fetcher-style Python sources snmptrap: Read Net-SNMP traps sun-streams: Collecting messages on Sun Solaris syslog: Collecting messages using the IETF syslog protocol (syslog() driver) system: Collecting the system-specific log messages of a platform systemd-journal: Collecting messages from the systemd-journal system log storage systemd-syslog: Collecting systemd messages using a socket tcp, tcp6, udp, udp6: Collecting messages from remote hosts using the BSD syslog protocol unix-stream, unix-dgram: Collecting messages from UNIX domain sockets windowsevent: Collecting Windows event logs
Sending and storing log messages — destinations and destination drivers
elasticsearch: Sending messages directly to Elasticsearch version 1.x elasticsearch2: Sending messages directly to Elasticsearch version 2.0 or higher file: Storing messages in plain-text files hdfs: Storing messages on the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) http: Posting messages over HTTP kafka: Publishing messages to Apache Kafka logstore: Storing messages in encrypted files mongodb: Storing messages in a MongoDB database network: Sending messages to a remote log server using the RFC3164 protocol (network() driver) pipe: Sending messages to named pipes program: Sending messages to external applications python: writing custom Python destinations smtp: Generating SMTP messages (e-mail) from logs splunk-hec: Sending messages to Splunk HTTP Event Collector sql: Storing messages in an SQL database syslog: Sending messages to a remote logserver using the IETF-syslog protocol syslog-ng: Forwarding messages and tags to another syslog-ng node tcp, tcp6, udp, udp6: Sending messages to a remote log server using the legacy BSD-syslog protocol (tcp(), udp() drivers) unix-stream, unix-dgram: Sending messages to UNIX domain sockets usertty: Sending messages to a user terminal — usertty() destination Client-side failover
Routing messages: log paths, flags, and filters Global options of syslog-ng PE TLS-encrypted message transfer Advanced Log Transfer Protocol Reliability and minimizing the loss of log messages Manipulating messages parser: Parse and segment structured messages Processing message content with a pattern database Correlating log messages Enriching log messages with external data Monitoring statistics and metrics of syslog-ng Multithreading and scaling in syslog-ng PE Troubleshooting syslog-ng Best practices and examples The syslog-ng manual pages About us

Client modes

The syslog-ng PE application can interact with Elasticsearch in transport mode or node mode.

  • Transport mode

    The syslog-ng PE application uses the transport client API of Elasticsearch, and uses the server(), port(), and cluster() options from the syslog-ng PE configuration file.

  • Node mode

    The syslog-ng PE application acts as an Elasticsearch node (client no-data), using the node client API of Elasticsearch. Further options for the node can be describe in an Elasticsearch configuration file specified in the resource() option.

    NOTE:

    In Node mode, it is required to define the home of the elasticsearch installation with the path.home paramter in the .yml file. For example: path.home: /usr/share/elasticsearch.

Elasticsearch destination options

The elasticsearch destination can directly send log messages to Elasticsearch, allowing you to search and analyze your data in real time, and visualize it with Kibana. The elasticsearch destination has the following options.

Required options:

The following options are required: index(), type(). In node mode, the cluster() and the resource() options are required as well. Note that to use elasticsearch, 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: The syslog-ng PE module directory: /opt/syslog-ng/lib/syslog-ng/java-modules/

Description: The list of the paths where the required Java classes are located. For example, class-path("/opt/syslog-ng/lib/syslog-ng/java-modules/:/opt/my-java-libraries/libs/"). If you set this option multiple times in your syslog-ng PE configuration (for example, because you have multiple Java-based destinations), syslog-ng PE will merge every available paths to a single list.

For the elasticsearch destination, include the path to the directory where you copied the required libraries (see Prerequisites), for example, client_lib_dir("/opt/elasticsearch/libs").

client-mode()
Type: transport | node
Default: node

Description: Specifies the client mode used to connect to the Elasticsearch server, for example, client-mode("node").

  • Transport mode

    The syslog-ng PE application uses the transport client API of Elasticsearch, and uses the server(), port(), and cluster() options from the syslog-ng PE configuration file.

  • Node mode

    The syslog-ng PE application acts as an Elasticsearch node (client no-data), using the node client API of Elasticsearch. Further options for the node can be describe in an Elasticsearch configuration file specified in the resource() option.

    NOTE:

    In Node mode, it is required to define the home of the elasticsearch installation with the path.home parameter in the .yml file. For example: path.home: /usr/share/elasticsearch.

cluster()
Type: string
Default: N/A

Description: Specifies the name or the Elasticsearch cluster, for example, cluster("my-elasticsearch-cluster"). Optionally, you can specify the name of the cluster in the Elasticsearch resource file. For details, see resource().

cluster-url()
Type: string
Default: N/A

Description: Specifies the URL or the Elasticsearch cluster, for example, cluster-url("http://192.168.10.10:9200")"). Note that this option works only in HTTP mode: client_mode(http)

concurrent-requests()
Type: number
Default: 0

Description: The number of concurrent (simultaneous) requests that syslog-ng PE sends to the Elasticsearch server. Set this option to 1 or higher to increase performance. When using the concurrent-requests() option, make sure that the flush-limit() option is higher than one, otherwise it will not have any noticeable effect. For details, see flush-limit().

Caution:

Hazard of data loss! Using the concurrent-requests() option increases the number of messages lost in case the Elasticsearch server becomes inaccessible.

custom-id()
Type: template or template function
Default: N/A

Description: Use this option to specify a custom ID for the records inserted into Elasticsearch. If this option is not set, the Elasticsearch server automatically generates and ID for the message. For example: custom_id(${UNIQID}) (Note that to use the ${UNIQID} macro, the use-uniqid() global option must be enabled. For details, see use-uniqid().)

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.

Note that changing the value the dir() option will not move or copy existing files from the old directory to the new one.

Caution:

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

syslog-ng PE creates disk-buffer files based on the path recorded in the persist file. Therefore, if the persist file 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.
qout-size()
Type: number (messages)
Default: 64
Description: The number of messages stored in the output buffer of the destination. Note that if you change the value of this option and the disk-buffer already exists, the change will take effect when the disk-buffer becomes empty.

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

Example: 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")
        )
    );
};
flush-limit()
Type: number
Default: 5000

Description: The number of messages that syslog-ng PE sends to the Elasticsearch server in a single batch.

  • If flush-limit is set to 1: syslog-ng PE sends the message reliably: it sends a message to Elasticsearch, then waits for a reply from Elasticsearch. 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 slow (about 1000 messages/second).

  • If flush-limit is higher than 1: syslog-ng PE sends messages in a batch, and receives the response asynchronously. In case of a problem, syslog-ng PE cannot resend the messages.

    This method is relatively fast (depending on the size of flush-limit, about 8000 messages/second), but the transfer is not reliable. In transport mode, over 5000-30000 messages can be lost before syslog-ng PE recognizes the error. In node mode, about 1000 messages can be lost.

  • If concurrent-requests is higher than 1, syslog-ng PE can send multiple batches simultaneously, increasing performance (and also the number of messages that can be lost in case of an error). For details, see concurrent-requests().

frac-digits()
Type: number
Default: 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.

index()
Type: string
Default: N/A

Description: Name of the Elasticsearch index to store the log messages. You can use macros and templates as well. For example, index("syslog-ng_${YEAR}.${MONTH}.${DAY}").

jvm-options()
Type: list
Default: N/A

Description: Specify the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) settings of your Java destination from the syslog-ng PE configuration file.

For example:

jvm-options("-Xss1M -XX:+TraceClassLoading")

You can set this option only as a global option, by adding it to the options statement of the syslog-ng configuration file.

log-fifo-size()
Type: number
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.

port()
Type: number
Default: 9300

Description: The port number of the Elasticsearch server. This option is used only in transport mode: client-mode("transport")

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.

resource()
Type: string
Default: N/A

Description: The list of Elasticsearch resources to load, separated by semicolons. For example, resource("/home/user/elasticsearch/elasticsearch.yml;/home/user/elasticsearch/elasticsearch2.yml").

server()
Type: list of hostnames
Default: 127.0.0.1

Description: Specifies the hostname or IP address of the Elasticsearch server. When specifying an IP address, IPv4 (for example, 192.168.0.1) or IPv6 (for example, [::1]) can be used as well. When specifying multiple addresses, use space to separate the addresses, for example, server("127.0.0.1 remote-server-hostname1 remote-server-hostname2")

This option is used only in transport mode: client-mode("transport")

template()
Type: template or template function
Default: $(format-json --scope rfc5424 --exclude DATE --key ISODATE @timestamp=${ISODATE})

Description: The message as sent to the Elasticsearch server. Typically, you will want to use the command-line notation of the format-json template function.

To add a @timestamp field to the message, for example, to use with Kibana, include the @timestamp=${ISODATE} expression in the template. For example: template($(format-json --scope rfc5424 --exclude DATE --key ISODATE @timestamp=${ISODATE}))

For details on formatting messages in JSON format, see format-json.

throttle()
Type: number
Default: 0

Description: Sets the maximum number of messages sent to the destination per second. Use this output-rate-limiting functionality only when using disk-buffer as well to avoid the risk of losing messages. Specifying 0 or a lower value sets the output limit to unlimited.

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 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: rfc3164

Description: Override the global timestamp format (set in the global ts-format() parameter) for the specific destination. For details, see ts-format().

type()
Type: string
Default: N/A

Description: The type of the index. For example, type("test").

elasticsearch2: Sending messages directly to Elasticsearch version 2.0 or higher

Starting with version 5.6 of syslog-ng PE can directly send log messages to Elasticsearch, allowing you to search and analyze your data in real time, and visualize it with Kibana.

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 Server mode.

Note the following limitations when using the syslog-ng PE elasticsearch2 destination:

  • This destination is only supported on the Linux platforms that use the linux glibc2.11 installer, including: Debian 7 (wheezy), Red Hat ES 7, Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin), Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr).

  • Since syslog-ng PE uses Java libraries, the elasticsearch2 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"

elasticsearch2(
    index("syslog-ng_${YEAR}.${MONTH}.${DAY}")
    type("test")
    cluster("syslog-ng")
);
Example: Sending log data to Elasticsearch version 2.x and above

The following example defines an elasticsearch2 destination that sends messages in transport mode to an Elasticsearch server running on the localhost, using only the required parameters.

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

destination d_elastic {
    elasticsearch2(
        index("syslog-ng_${YEAR}.${MONTH}.${DAY}")
        type("test")
    );
};

The following example sends 10000 messages in a batch, in transport mode, and includes a custom unique ID for each message.

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

options {
    threaded(yes);
    use-uniqid(yes);
};

source s_syslog {
    syslog();
};

destination d_elastic {
    elasticsearch2(
        index("syslog-ng_${YEAR}.${MONTH}.${DAY}")
        type("test")
        cluster("syslog-ng")
        client-mode("transport")
        custom-id("${UNIQID}")
        flush-limit("10000")
    );
};

log {
    source(s_syslog);
    destination(d_elastic);
    flags(flow-control);
};

The following example send messages to Elasticsearch over HTTP using its REST API:

@include "scl.conf"

source s_network {
    network(port(5555));
};

destination d_elastic {
    elasticsearch2(
        client-mode("http")
        cluster("es-syslog-ng")
        index("x201")
        cluster-url("http://192.168.33.10:9200")
        type("slng_test_type")
        flush-limit("0")
    );
};

log {
    source(s_network);
    destination(d_elastic);
    flags(flow-control);
};

NOTE:

If you delete all Java destinations from your configuration and reload syslog-ng, the JVM is not used anymore, but it is still running. If you want to stop JVM, stop syslog-ng and then start syslog-ng again.

Prerequisites

The following describes how to send messages from syslog-ng PE to Elasticsearch.

To send messages from syslog-ng PE to Elasticsearch

  1. Download and install the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), 2.x (or newer). The syslog-ng PE elasticsearch2 destination is 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. NOTE:

    This step is only required if you use the elasticsearch2 destination in node mode or transport mode.

    Download the Elasticsearch libraries (version 2.x or newer from the 2.x line) from https://www.elastic.co/downloads/elasticsearch.One Identity tests the destination using Elasticsearch version 2.4.To use Elasticsearch 1.x, use the elasticsearch() destination (see elasticsearch: Sending messages directly to Elasticsearch version 1.x).

  3. NOTE:

    This step is only required if you use the elasticsearch2 destination in node mode or transport mode.

    Extract the Elasticsearch libraries into a temporary directory, then collect the various .jar files into a single directory (for example, /opt/elasticsearch/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 lib directory and its subdirectories of the Elasticsearch release package.

Related Documents