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

Element: actions

Location

/patterndb/ruleset/actions

Description

OPTIONAL — A container element for actions that are performed if a message is recognized by the pattern. For details on actions, see Triggering actions for identified messages.

Attributes

N/A

Children
Example
Example: Generating messages for pattern database matches

When inserted in a pattern database rule, the following example generates a message when a message matching the rule is received.

<actions>
    <action>
        <message>
            <values>
                <value name="MESSAGE">A log message from ${HOST} matched rule number $.classifier.rule_id</value>
            </values>
        </message>
    </action>
</actions>

To inherit the properties and values of the triggering message, set the inherit-properties attribute of the <message> element to TRUE. That way the triggering log message is cloned, including name-value pairs and tags. If you set any values for the message in the <action> element, they will override the values of the original message.

Example: Generating messages with inherited values

The following action generates a message that is identical to the original message, but its $PROGRAM field is set to overriding-original-program-name

<actions>
    <action>
        <message inherit-properties='TRUE'>
            <values>
                <value name="PROGRAM">overriding-original-program-name</value>
            </values>
        </message>
    </action>
</actions>

Element: action

Location

/patterndb/ruleset/actions/action

Description

OPTIONAL — A container element describing an action that is performed when a message matching the rule is received.

Attributes
  • condition: A syslog-ng filter expression. The action is performed only if the message matches the filter. The filter can include macros and name-value pairs extracted from the message. When using actions together with message-correlation, you can also use the $(context-length) macro, which returns the number of messages in the current context. For example, this can be used to determine if the expected number of messages has arrived to the context: condition='"$(context-length)" >= "5"'

  • rate: Specifies maximum how many messages should be generated in the specified time period in the following format: <number-of-messages>/<period-in-seconds>. For example: 1/60 allows 1 message per minute. Rates apply within the scope of the context, that is, if context-scope="host" and rate="1/60", then maximum one message is generated per minute for every host that sends a log message matching the rule. Excess messages are dropped. Note that when applying the rate to the generated messages, syslog-ng PE uses the timestamps of the log messages, similarly to calculating the context-timeout. That way rate is applied correctly even if the log messages are processed offline.

  • trigger: Specifies when the action is executed. The trigger attribute has the following possible values:

    • match: Execute the action immediately when a message matching the rule is received.

    • timeout: Execute the action when the correlation timer (context-timeout) of the pattern database rule expires. This is available only if actions are used together with correlating messages.

Children
  • create-context

  • message: A container element storing the message to be sent when the action is executed. Currently syslog-ng PE sends these messages to the internal() destination.

    • For details on the message context, see Correlating log messages using pattern databases and Actions and message correlation. For details on triggering messages, see Triggering actions for identified messages

      inherit-mode: This attribute controls which name-value pairs and tags are propagated to the newly generated message.

      • context: syslog-ng PE collects every name-value pair from each message stored in the context, and includes them in the generated message. If a name-value pair appears in multiple messages of the context, the value in the latest message will be used. Note that tags are not merged, the generated message will inherit the tags assigned to the last message of the context.

      • last-message: Only the name-value pairs appearing in the last message are copied. If the context contains only a single message, then it is the message that triggered the action.

      • none: An empty message is created, without inheriting any tags or name-value pairs.

    • inherit-properties: This attribute is deprecated. Use the inherit-mode attribute instead.

      If set to TRUE, the original message that triggered the action is cloned, including its name-value pairs and tags.

      If set to context, syslog-ng PE collects every name-value pair from each message stored in the context, and includes them in the generated message. If a name-value pair appears in multiple messages of the context, the value in the latest message will be used. Note that tags are not merged, the generated message will inherit the tags assigned to the last message of the context.

      For details on the message context, see Correlating log messages using pattern databases and Actions and message correlation. For details on triggering messages, see Triggering actions for identified messages

      This option is available in syslog-ng PE 5.3.2 and later.

  • values: A container element for values and fields that are used to create the message generated by the action.

    • value: Sets the value of the message field specified in the name attribute of the element. For example, to specify the body of the generated message, use the following syntax:

      <value name="MESSAGE">A log message matched rule number $.classifier.rule_id</value>

      Note that currently it is not possible to add DATE, FACILITY, or SEVERITY fields to the message.

      When the action is used together with message correlation, the syslog-ng PE application automatically adds fields to the message based on the context-scope parameter. For example, using context-scope="process" automatically fills the HOST, PROGRAM, and PID fields of the generated message.

    • name: Name of the message field set by the value element.

Example
Example: Generating messages for pattern database matches

When inserted in a pattern database rule, the following example generates a message when a message matching the rule is received.

<actions>
    <action>
        <message>
            <values>
                <value name="MESSAGE">A log message from ${HOST} matched rule number $.classifier.rule_id</value>
            </values>
        </message>
    </action>
</actions>

To inherit the properties and values of the triggering message, set the inherit-properties attribute of the <message> element to TRUE. That way the triggering log message is cloned, including name-value pairs and tags. If you set any values for the message in the <action> element, they will override the values of the original message.

Example: Generating messages with inherited values

The following action generates a message that is identical to the original message, but its $PROGRAM field is set to overriding-original-program-name

<actions>
    <action>
        <message inherit-properties='TRUE'>
            <values>
                <value name="PROGRAM">overriding-original-program-name</value>
            </values>
        </message>
    </action>
</actions>

Element: create-context

Location

/patterndb/ruleset/actions/action/create-context

Description

OPTIONAL — Creates a new correlation context from the current message and its associated context. This can be used to "split" a context.

Available in syslog-ng PE version 7 and later.

Attributes
  • context-id: OPTIONAL — An identifier to group related log messages when using the pattern database to correlate events. The ID can be a descriptive string describing the events related to the log message (for example, ssh-sessions for log messages related to SSH traffic), but can also contain macros to generate IDs dynamically. When using macros in IDs, see also the context-scope attribute. Starting with syslog-ng PE version 7.0, if a message is added to a context, syslog-ng PE automatically adds the identifier of the context to the .classifier.context_id macro of the message. For details on correlating messages, see Correlating log messages using pattern databases.

    NOTE:

    The syslog-ng PE application determines the context of the message after the pattern matching is completed. This means that macros and name-value pairs created by the matching pattern database rule can be used as context-id macros.

  • context-timeout: OPTIONAL — The number of seconds the context is stored. Note that for high-traffic log servers, storing open contexts for long time can require significant amount of memory. For details on correlating messages, see Correlating log messages using pattern databases.

  • context-scope: OPTIONAL — Specifies which messages belong to the same context. This attribute is used to determine the context of the message if the context-id does not specify any macros. Usually, context-scope acts a filter for the context, with context-id refining the filtering if needed. The following values are available:

    • process: Only messages that are generated by the same process of a client belong to the same context, that is, messages that have identical ${HOST}, ${PROGRAM} and ${PID} values. This is the default behavior of syslog-ng PE if context-scope is not specified.

    • program: Messages that are generated by the same application of a client belong to the same context, that is, messages that have identical ${HOST} and ${PROGRAM} values.

    • host: Every message generated by a client belongs to the same context, only the ${HOST} value of the messages must be identical.

    • global: Every message belongs to the same context.

    NOTE:

    Using the context-scope attribute is significantly faster than using macros in the context-id attribute.

    For details on correlating messages, see Correlating log messages using pattern databases.

Children
  • message: A container element storing the message that is added to the new context when the action is executed.

    • inherit-mode: This attribute controls which name-value pairs and tags are propagated to the newly generated message.

      • context: syslog-ng PE collects every name-value pair from each message stored in the context, and includes them in the generated message. If a name-value pair appears in multiple messages of the context, the value in the latest message will be used. Note that tags are not merged, the generated message will inherit the tags assigned to the last message of the context.

      • last-message: Only the name-value pairs appearing in the last message are copied. If the context contains only a single message, then it is the message that triggered the action.

      • none: An empty message is created, without inheriting any tags or name-value pairs.

      For details on the message context, see Correlating log messages using pattern databases and Actions and message correlation. For details on triggering messages, see Triggering actions for identified messages

Example

The following example creates a new context whenever the rule matches. The new context receives 1000 as ID, and program as scope, and the content set in the <message> element of the <create-context> element.

<rule provider='test' id='12' class='violation'>
  <patterns>
    <pattern>simple-message-with-action-to-create-context</pattern>
  </patterns>
  <actions>
    <action trigger='match'>
      <create-context context-id='1000' context-timeout='60' context-scope='program'>
        <message inherit-properties='context'>
          <values>
            <value name='MESSAGE'>context message</value>
          </values>
        </message>
      </create-context>
    </action>
  </actions>
</rule>

Element: tags

Location

/patterndb/ruleset/tags

Description

OPTIONAL — An element containing custom keywords (tags) about the messages matching the patterns. The tags can be used to label specific events (for example user logons). It is also possible to filter on these tags later (for details, see Tagging messages). Starting with syslog-ng Premium Edition 3.2, the list of tags assigned to a message can be referenced with the ${TAGS} macro.

Attributes

N/A

Children
  • tag: OPTIONAL — A keyword or tags applied to messages matching the rule.

Example
<tags><tag>UserLogin</tag></tags>
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