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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

python: writing custom Python destinations

The Python destination allows you to write your own destination in Python. You can import external Python modules to process the messages, and send them to other services or servers. Since many services have a Python library, the Python destination makes integrating syslog-ng PE very easy and quick.

    The following points apply to using Python blocks in syslog-ng PE in general.

  • Python parsers and template functions are available in syslog-ng PE version 7.0.2 and later.

    Python destinations and sources are available in syslog-ng PE version 7.0.11 and later.

  • Supported Python versions: 2.7

  • The Python block must be a top-level block in the syslog-ng PE configuration file.

  • If you store the Python code in a separate Python file and only include it in the syslog-ng PE configuration file, make sure that the PYTHON_PATH environment variable includes the path to the Python file, and export the PYTHON_PATH environment variable. For example, if you start syslog-ng PE manually from a terminal and you store your Python files in the /opt/syslog-ng/etc directory, use the following command: export PYTHONPATH=/opt/syslog-ng/etc

    In production, when syslog-ng PE starts on boot, you must configure your startup script to include the Python path. The exact method depends on your operating system. For recent Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Fedora, and CentOS distributions that use systemd, the systemctl command sources the /etc/sysconfig/syslog-ng file before starting syslog-ng PE. (On openSUSE and SLES, /etc/sysconfig/syslog file.) Append the following line to the end of this file: PYTHONPATH="<path-to-your-python-file>", for example, PYTHONPATH="/opt/syslog-ng/etc"

  • The Python object is initiated every time when syslog-ng PE is started or reloaded.

    Caution:

    If you reload syslog-ng PE, existing Python objects are destroyed, therefore the context and state information of Python blocks is lost. Log rotation and updating the configuration of syslog-ng PE typically involves a reload.

  • The Python block can contain multiple Python functions.

  • Using Python code in syslog-ng PE can significantly decrease the performance of syslog-ng PE, especially if the Python code is slow. In general, the features of syslog-ng PE are implemented in C, and are faster than implementations of the same or similar features in Python.

  • Validate and lint the Python code before using it. The syslog-ng PE application does not do any of this.

  • Python error messages are available in the internal() source of syslog-ng PE.

  • You can access the name-value pairs of syslog-ng PE directly through a message object or a dict.

  • Support disclaimer:

    Using Python in syslog-ng PE is recommended only if you are familiar with both Python and syslog-ng PE. Product support applies only to syslog-ng PE: that is, until the entry point of the Python code and passing the specified arguments to the Python code. One Identity is not responsible for the quality, resource requirements, or any bugs in the Python code, nor any syslog-ng PE crashes, message losses, or any other damage caused by the improper use of this feature, unless explicitly stated in a contract with One Identity.

Declaration:

Python destinations consist of two parts. The first is a syslog-ng PE destination object that you define in your syslog-ng PE configuration and use in the log path. This object references a Python class, which is the second part of the Python destination. The Python class processes the log messages it receives, and can do virtually anything that you can code in Python. You can either embed the Python class into your syslog-ng PE configuration file, or store it in an external Python file.

destination <name_of_the_python_destination>{
    python(
        class("<name_of_the_python_class_executed_by_the_destination>")
    );
};

python {
class <name_of_the_python_class_executed_by_the_destination>(object):

    def open(self):
        """Open a connection to the target service

        Should return False if opening fails"""
        return True

    def close(self):
        """Close the connection to the target service"""
        pass

    def is_opened(self):
        """Check if the connection to the target is able to receive messages"""
        return True

    def init(self, options):
        """This method is called at initialization time

        Should return false if initialization fails"""
        return True

    def deinit(self):
        """This method is called at deinitialization time"""
        pass

    def send(self, msg):
        """Send a message to the target service

        It should return True to indicate success. False will suspend the
        destination for a period specified by the time-reopen() option."""
        return True
};

Methods of the python() destination

init(self, options) method (optional)

The syslog-ng PE application initializes Python objects every time when it is started or reloaded. The init method is executed as part of the initialization. You can perform any initialization steps that are necessary for your source to work.

Caution:

If you reload syslog-ng PE, existing Python objects are destroyed, therefore the context and state information of Python blocks is lost. Log rotation and updating the configuration of syslog-ng PE typically involves a reload.

When this method returns with False, syslog-ng PE does not start. It can be used to check options and return False when they prevent the successful start of the source.

options: This optional argument contains the contents of the options() parameter of the syslog-ng PE configuration object as a Python dict.

is_opened(self) method (optional)

Checks if the connection to the target is able to receive messages, and should return True if it is. For details, see Error handling in the python() destination.

open(self) method (optional)

The open(self) method opens the resources required for the destination, for example, it initiates a connection to the target service. It is called after init() when syslog-ng PE is started or reloaded. If send() returns with an error, syslog-ng PE calls close() and open() before trying to send again.

If open() fails, it should return the False value. In this case, syslog-ng PE retries it every time-reopen() seconds. By default, this is 1 second for Python sources and destinations, the value of time-reopen() is not inherited from the global option. For details, see Error handling in the python() destination.

send(self, message) method (mandatory)

The send method sends a message to the target service. It should return True to indicate success.

This is the only mandatory method of the destination.

If a message cannot be delivered after the number of times set in retries() (by default: 3), syslog-ng PE drops the message and continues with the next message. For details, see Error handling in the python() destination.

close(self) method (optional)

Close the connection to the target service. Usually it is called right before deinit() when stopping or reloading syslog-ng PE. It is also called when send() fails.

The deinit(self) method (optional)

This method is executed when syslog-ng PE is stopped or reloaded. This method does not return a value.

Caution:

If you reload syslog-ng PE, existing Python objects are destroyed, therefore the context and state information of Python blocks is lost. Log rotation and updating the configuration of syslog-ng PE typically involves a reload.

Error handling in the python() destination

The Python destination handles errors as follows.

  1. Currently syslog-ng PE ignores every error from the open method until the first log message arrives to the Python destination. If the fist message has arrived and there was an error in the open method, syslog-ng PE starts calling the open method every time-reopen() second, until opening the destination succeeds.

  2. If the open method returns without error, syslog-ng PE calls the send method to send the first message.

  3. If the send method returns with an error, syslog-ng PE calls the is_opened method.

    • If the is_opened method returns an error, syslog-ng PE starts calling the open method every time-reopen() second, until opening the destination succeeds.

    • Otherwise, syslog-ng PE calls the send method again.

  4. If the send method has returned with an error retries() times and the is_opened method has not returned any errors, syslog-ng PE drops the message and attempts to process the next message.

Example: Write logs into a file

The purpose of this example is only to demonstrate the basics of the Python destination, if you really want to write log messages into text files, use the file destination instead.

The following sample code writes the body of log messages into the /tmp/example.txt file. Only the send() method is implemented, meaning that syslog-ng PE opens and closes the file for every message.

destination d_python_to_file {
    python(
        class("TextDestination")
    );
};
log {
    source(src);
    destination(d_python_to_file);
};
python {
class TextDestination(object):
    def send(self, msg):
        self.outfile = open("/tmp/example.txt", "a")
        self.outfile.write("MESSAGE = %s\n" % msg["MESSAGE"])
        self.outfile.flush()
        self.outfile.close();
        return True
};

The following code is similar to the previous example, but it opens and closes the file using the open() and close() methods.

destination d_python_to_file {
    python(
        class("TextDestination")
    );
};
log {
    source(src);
    destination(d_python_to_file);
};
python {
class TextDestination(object):
    def open(self):
        try:
            self.outfile = open("/tmp/example.txt", "a")
            return True
        except:
            return False

    def send(self, msg):
        self.outfile.write("MESSAGE = %s\n" % msg["MESSAGE"])
        self.outfile.flush()
        return True

    def close(self):
        try:
            self.outfile.flush()
            self.outfile.close();
            return True
        except:
            return False
};

For a more detailed example about sending log messages to an MQTT (Message Queuing Telemetry Transport) server, see the Writing Python destination in syslog-ng: how to send log messages to MQTT blog post.

For the list of available optional parameters, see python() destination options.

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