syslog-ng Premium Edition 7.0.14 - 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 linux-audit: Collecting messages from Linux audit logs 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
elasticsearch2: Sending messages directly to Elasticsearch version 2.0 or higher (DEPRECATED) elasticsearch-http: Sending messages to Elasticsearch HTTP Event Collector 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 stackdriver: Sending logs to the Google Stackdriver cloud syslog: Sending messages to a remote logserver using the IETF-syslog protocol syslog-ng(): Forward logs to another syslog-ng node tcp, tcp6, udp, udp6: Sending messages to a remote log server using the legacy BSD-syslog protocol (tcp(), udp() drivers) 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

Logging configuration changes

Every time syslog-ng is started, or its configuration is reloaded, it automatically logs the SHA-1 fingerprint of its configuration file using the internal() message source. That way any modification of the configuration of your syslog-ng clients is visible in the central logs. Note that the log message does not contain the exact change, nor can the configuration file be retrieved from the fingerprint. Only the fact of the configuration change can be detected.

NOTE:

Modular configuration files that are included in the main configuration file of syslog-ng PE are included when the fingerprint is calculated. However, other external files (for example, scripts used in program sources or destinations) are excluded, therefore their modifications do not change the fingerprint.

The fingerprint can be examined with the logchksign command-line application, which detects that the fingerprint was indeed generated by a syslog-ng application. Just paste the hashes from the log message after the logchksign command like in the following example:

bin/logchksign "cfg-fingerprint='832ef664ff79df8afc66cd955c0c8aaa3c343f31', cfg-nonce-ndx='0', cfg-signature='785223cfa19ad52b855550be141b00306347b0a9'"

Modules in syslog-ng PE

The syslog-ng PE application is modular, to increase its flexibility and also to simplify the development of additional modules. Most of the functionality of syslog-ng PE is in separate modules. That way it becomes also possible to finetune the resource requirements of syslog-ng PE, for example, by loading only the modules that are actually used in the configuration, or simply omitting modules that are not used but require large amount of memory.

Each module contains one or more plugins, which add some functionality to syslog-ng PE, for example, a destination or a source driver.

  • To display the list of available modules, execute the syslog-ng --version command.

  • To the description of the available modules, execute the syslog-ng --module-registry command.

  • To customize which modules are loaded automatically when syslog-ng PE is started, use the --default-modules command-line option of syslog-ng PE.

  • To request loading a module from the syslog-ng PE configuration file, see Loading modules.

For details on the command-line parameters of syslog-ng PE mentioned in the previous list, see the syslog-ng PE man page at The syslog-ng manual page.

Loading modules

The syslog-ng Premium Edition application loads every available module during startup.

To load a module that is not loaded automatically, include the following statement in the syslog-ng PE configuration file:

@module <module-name>

Note the following points about the @module statement:

  • The @module statement is a top-level statement, that is, it cannot be nested into any other statement. Usually it is used immediately after the @version statement.

  • Every @module statement loads a single module: loading multiple modules requires a separate @module statement for every module.

  • In the configuration file, the @module statement of a module must be earlier than the module is used.

NOTE:

To disable loading every module automatically, set the autoload-compiled-modules global variable to 0 in your configuration file:

@define autoload-compiled-modules 0

Note that in this case, you have to explicitly load the modules you want to use.

Managing complex syslog-ng configurations

The following sections describe some methods that can be useful to simplify the management of large-scale syslog-ng installations.

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