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syslog-ng Premium Edition 7.0.19 - 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) office365: Fetching logs from Office 365 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 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 udp-balancer: Receiving UDP messages at very high rate 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 sentinel: Sending logs to the Microsoft Azure Sentinel cloud smtp: Generating SMTP messages (email) 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 Glossary

Unsetting message fields

You can unset a macro or a field of the message, including any user-defined macros created using parsers (for details, see parser: Parse and segment structured messages and Processing message content with a pattern database). Hard macros cannot be modified. For details on hard and soft macros, see Hard versus soft macros). Note that the unset operation completely deletes any previous value of the field that you apply it on. Use the following syntax:

rewrite <name_of_the_rule> {
    unset(value("<field name>"));
Example: Unsetting a message field

The following example unsets the HOST field of the message.

rewrite r_rewrite_unset{unset(value("HOST"));};

To unset a group of fields, you can use the groupunset() rewrite rule.

rewrite <name_of_the_rule> {
Example: Unsetting a group of fields

The following rule clears all SDATA fields:

rewrite r_rewrite_unset_SDATA{ groupunset(values(".SDATA.*"));};

Creating custom SDATA fields

If you use RFC5424-formatted (IETF-syslog) messages, you can also create custom fields in the SDATA part of the message (For details on the SDATA message part, see The STRUCTURED-DATA message part). According to RFC5424, the name of the field (its SD-ID) must not contain the @ character for reserved SD-IDs. Custom SDATA fields must be in the following format:<private enterprise number>.field-name, for example, .SDATA.mySDATA-field-group@18372.4.mySDATA-field. (18372.4 is the private enterprise number of One Identity LLC, the developer of syslog-ng PE.)

Example: Rewriting custom SDATA fields

The following example sets the sequence ID field of the RFC5424-formatted (IETF-syslog) messages to a fixed value. This field is a predefined SDATA field with a reserved SD-ID, therefore its name does not contain the @ character.

rewrite r_sd {
    set("55555" value(".SDATA.meta.sequenceId"));

It is also possible to set the value of a field that does not exist yet, and create a new, custom name-value pair that is associated with the message. The following example creates the .SDATA.groupID.fieldID@18372.4 field and sets its value to yes. If you use the ${.SDATA.groupID.fieldID@18372.4} macro in a template or SQL table, its value will be yes for every message that was processed with this rewrite rule, and empty for every other message.

The next example creates a new SDATA field-group and field called custom and sourceip, respectively:

rewrite r_rewrite_set {
    set("${SOURCEIP}" value(".SDATA.custom@18372.4.sourceip"));

If you use the ${.SDATA.custom@18372.4.sourceip} macro in a template or SQL table, its value will be that of the SOURCEIP macro (as seen on the machine where the SDATA field was created) for every message that was processed with this rewrite rule, and empty for every other message.

You can verify whether or not the format is correct by looking at the actual network traffic. The SDATA field-group will be called custom@18372.4, and sourceip will become a field within that group. If you decide to set up several fields, they will be listed in consecutive order within the field-group's SDATA block.

Setting multiple message fields to specific values

The groupset() rewrite rule allows you to modify the value of multiple message fields at once, for example, to change the value of sensitive fields extracted using patterndb, or received in a JSON format.

  • The first parameter is the new value of the modified fields. This can be a simple string, a macro, or a template (which can include template functions as well).

  • The second parameter (values()) specifies the fields to modify. You can explicitly list the macros or fields (a space-separated list with the values enclosed in double-quotes), or use wildcards and glob expressions to select multiple fields.

  • Note that groupset() does not create new fields, it only modifies existing fields.

  • You can refer to the old value of the field using the $_ macro. This is resolved to the value of the current field, and is available only in groupset() rules.

rewrite <name_of_the_rule> {
    groupset("<new-value-of-the-fields>", values("<field-name-or-glob>" ["<another-field-name-or-glob>"]));
Example: Using groupset rewrite rules

The following examples show how to change the values of multiple fields at the same time.

  • Change the value of the HOST field to myhost.

    groupset ("myhost" values("HOST"))
  • Change the value of the HOST and FULLHOST fields to myhost.

    groupset ("myhost" values("HOST" "FULLHOST"))
  • Change the value of the HOST FULLHOST and fields to lowercase.

    groupset ("$(lowercase "$_")" values("HOST" "FULLHOST"))
  • Change the value of each field and macro that begins with .USER to nobody.

    groupset ("nobody" values(".USER.*"))
  • Change the value of each field and macro that begins with .USER to its SHA-1 hash (truncated to 6 characters).

    groupset ("$(sha1 --length 6 $_)" values(".USER.*"))

Conditional rewrites

Starting with 4 F1, it is possible to apply a rewrite rule to a message only if certain conditions are met. The condition() option effectively embeds a filter expression into the rewrite rule: the message is modified only if the message passes the filter. If the condition is not met, the message is passed to the next element of the log path (that is, the element following the rewrite rule in the log statement, for example, the destination). Any filter expression normally used in filters can be used as a rewrite condition. Existing filter statements can be referenced using the filter() function within the condition. For details on filters, see Filters.


Using conditions in rewrite rules can simplify your syslog-ng PE configuration file, as you do not need to create separate log paths to modify certain messages.

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