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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

High availability support

Multiple syslog-ng servers can be run in fail-over mode. The syslog-ng application does not include any internal support for this, as clustering support must be implemented on the operating system level. A tool that can be used to create UNIX clusters is Heartbeat (for details, see this page).

One Identity also has a log server appliance called syslog-ng Store Box that supports high-availability. For details, see the syslog-ng Store Box Product Page.

The structure of a log message

The following sections describe the structure of log messages. Currently there are two standard syslog message formats:

BSD-syslog or legacy-syslog messages

This section describes the format of a syslog message, according to the legacy-syslog or BSD-syslog protocol. A syslog message consists of the following parts:

The total message cannot be longer than 1024 bytes.

The following is a sample syslog message:

<133>Feb 25 14:09:07 webserver syslogd: restart

The message corresponds to the following format:

<priority>timestamp hostname application: message

The different parts of the message are explained in the following sections.

NOTE:

The syslog-ng application supports longer messages as well. For details, see the log-msg-size() option in Global options. However, it is not recommended to enable messages larger than the packet size when using UDP destinations.

The PRI message part

The PRI part of the syslog message (known as Priority value) represents the Facility and Severity of the message. Facility represents the part of the system sending the message, while severity marks its importance. The Priority value is calculated by first multiplying the Facility number by 8 and then adding the numerical value of the Severity. The possible facility and severity values are presented below.

NOTE:

Facility codes may slightly vary between different platforms. The syslog-ng application accepts facility codes as numerical values as well.

Table 2: syslog Message Facilities
Numerical Code Facility
0 kernel messages
1 user-level messages
2 mail system
3 system daemons
4 security/authorization messages
5 messages generated internally by syslogd
6 line printer subsystem
7 network news subsystem
8 UUCP subsystem
9 clock daemon
10 security/authorization messages
11 FTP daemon
12 NTP subsystem
13 log audit
14 log alert
15 clock daemon
16-23 locally used facilities (local0-local7)

The following table lists the severity values.

Table 3: syslog Message Severities
Numerical Code Severity
0 Emergency: system is unusable
1 Alert: action must be taken immediately
2 Critical: critical conditions
3 Error: error conditions
4 Warning: warning conditions
5 Notice: normal but significant condition
6 Informational: informational messages
7 Debug: debug-level messages
The HEADER message part

The HEADER part contains a timestamp and the hostname (without the domain name) or the IP address of the device. The timestamp field is the local time in the Mmm dd hh:mm:ss format, where:

  • Mmm is the English abbreviation of the month: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec.

  • dd is the day of the month on two digits. If the day of the month is less than 10, the first digit is replaced with a space. (For example Aug 7.)

  • hh:mm:ss is the local time. The hour (hh) is represented in a 24-hour format. Valid entries are between 00 and 23, inclusive. The minute (mm) and second (ss) entries are between 00 and 59 inclusive.

NOTE:

The syslog-ng application supports other timestamp formats as well, like ISO, or the PIX extended format. For details, see ts-format().

The MSG message part

The MSG part contains the name of the program or process that generated the message, and the text of the message itself. The MSG part is usually in the following format: program[pid]: message text.

IETF-syslog messages

This section describes the format of a syslog message, according to the IETF-syslog protocol. A syslog message consists of the following parts:

The following is a sample syslog message (source: https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5424):

<34>1 2003-10-11T22:14:15.003Z mymachine.example.com su - ID47 - BOM'su root' failed for lonvick on /dev/pts/8

The message corresponds to the following format:

<priority>VERSION ISOTIMESTAMP HOSTNAME APPLICATION PID MESSAGEID STRUCTURED-DATA MSG
  • Facility is 4, severity is 2, so PRI is 34.

  • The VERSION is 1.

  • The message was created on 11 October 2003 at 10:14:15pm UTC, 3 milliseconds into the next second.

  • The message originated from a host that identifies itself as "mymachine.example.com".

  • The APP-NAME is "su" and the PROCID is unknown.

  • The MSGID is "ID47".

  • The MSG is "'su root' failed for lonvick...", encoded in UTF-8.

  • In this example, the encoding is defined by the BOM:

    The byte order mark (BOM) is a Unicode character used to signal the byte-order of the message text.

  • There is no STRUCTURED-DATA present in the message, this is indicated by "-" in the STRUCTURED-DATA field.

The HEADER part of the message must be in plain ASCII format, the parameter values of the STRUCTURED-DATA part must be in UTF-8, while the MSG part should be in UTF-8. The different parts of the message are explained in the following sections.

The PRI message part

The PRI part of the syslog message (known as Priority value) represents the Facility and Severity of the message. Facility represents the part of the system sending the message, while severity marks its importance. The Priority value is calculated by first multiplying the Facility number by 8 and then adding the numerical value of the Severity. The possible facility and severity values are presented below.

NOTE:

Facility codes may slightly vary between different platforms. The syslog-ng application accepts facility codes as numerical values as well.

Table 4: syslog Message Facilities
Numerical Code Facility
0 kernel messages
1 user-level messages
2 mail system
3 system daemons
4 security/authorization messages
5 messages generated internally by syslogd
6 line printer subsystem
7 network news subsystem
8 UUCP subsystem
9 clock daemon
10 security/authorization messages
11 FTP daemon
12 NTP subsystem
13 log audit
14 log alert
15 clock daemon
16-23 locally used facilities (local0-local7)

The following table lists the severity values.

Table 5: syslog Message Severities
Numerical Code Severity
0 Emergency: system is unusable
1 Alert: action must be taken immediately
2 Critical: critical conditions
3 Error: error conditions
4 Warning: warning conditions
5 Notice: normal but significant condition
6 Informational: informational messages
7 Debug: debug-level messages
The HEADER message part

The HEADER part contains the following elements:

  • VERSION: Version number of the syslog protocol standard. Currently this can only be 1.

  • ISOTIMESTAMP: The time when the message was generated in the ISO 8601 compatible standard timestamp format (yyyy-mm-ddThh:mm:ss+-ZONE), for example: 2006-06-13T15:58:00.123+01:00.

  • HOSTNAME: The machine that originally sent the message.

  • APPLICATION: The device or application that generated the message

  • PID: The process name or process ID of the syslog application that sent the message. It is not necessarily the process ID of the application that generated the message.

  • MESSAGEID: The ID number of the message.

NOTE:

The syslog-ng application supports other timestamp formats as well, like ISO, or the PIX extended format. The timestamp used in the IETF-syslog protocol is derived from RFC3339, which is based on ISO8601. For details, see the ts-format() option in Global options.

The syslog-ng PE application will truncate the following fields:

  • If APP-NAME is longer than 48 characters it will be truncated to 48 characters.

  • If PROC-ID is longer than 128 characters it will be truncated to 128 characters.

  • If MSGID is longer than 32 characters it will be truncated to 32 characters.

  • If HOSTNAME is longer than 255 characters it will be truncated to 255 characters.

The STRUCTURED-DATA message part

The STRUCTURED-DATA message part may contain meta- information about the syslog message, or application-specific information such as traffic counters or IP addresses. STRUCTURED-DATA consists of data blocks enclosed in brackets ([]). Every block includes the ID of the block, and one or more name=value pairs. The syslog-ng application automatically parses the STRUCTURED-DATA part of syslog messages, which can be referenced in macros (for details, see Macros of syslog-ng PE). An example STRUCTURED-DATA block looks like:

[exampleSDID@0 iut="3" eventSource="Application" eventID="1011"][examplePriority@0 class="high"]
The MSG message part

The MSG part contains the text of the message itself. The encoding of the text must be UTF-8 if theBOM1character is present in the message. If the message does not contain the BOM character, the encoding is treated as unknown. Usually messages arriving from legacy sources do not include the BOM character. CRLF characters will not be removed from the message.

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