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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

default-network-drivers: Receive and parse common syslog messages

The default-network-drivers() source is a special source that uses multiple source drivers to receive and parse several different types of syslog messages from the network. Available in version 7.0.9 and later.

To use the default-network-drivers() source, the scl.conf file must be included in your syslog-ng PE configuration:

@include "scl.conf"

Also, make sure that your SELinux, AppArmor, and firewall settings permit syslog-ng Premium Edition to access the ports where you want to receive messages, and that no other application is using these ports. By default, the default-network-drivers() source accepts messages on the following ports:

  • 514, both TCP and UDP, for RFC3164 (BSD-syslog) formatted traffic

  • 601 TCP, for RFC5424 (IETF-syslog) formatted traffic

  • 6514 TCP, for TLS-encrypted traffic

In addition to receiving messages on different ports and in different formats, this source tries to parse the messages automatically. If successful, it sets the ${} name-value pair to the name of the application that sent the log message. Currently it uses the following procedures.


If you do not configure the TLS keys to dislay to the clients, syslog-ng PE cannot accept encrypted connections. The application starts and listens on TCP:6514, and can receive messages on other ports, but will display a warning messages about missing keys.

Parsing RFC3164-formatted messages

For RFC3164-formatted messages (that is, messages received on the ports set in options udp-port() and tcp-port() which default to port 514), syslog-ng PE attempts to use the following parsers. If a parser cannot parse the message, it passes the original message to the next parser.

  1. Parse the incoming raw message as a message from a Cisco device.

  2. Parse the incoming message as an RFC3164-formatted message.

    • If the incoming message was sent by a syslog-ng PE client using the syslog-ng() destination, parse its fields as a syslog-ng message.

      The Enterprise-wide message model or EWMM allows you to deliver structured messages from the initial receiving syslog-ng component right up to the central log server, through any number of hops. It does not matter if you parse the messages on the client, on a relay, or on the central server, their structured results will be available where you store the messages. Optionally, you can also forward the original raw message as the first syslog-ng component in your infrastructure has received it, which is important if you want to forward a message for example, to a SIEM system. To make use of the enterprise-wide message model, you have to use the syslog-ng() destination on the sender side, and the default-network-drivers() source on the receiver side.

    • Otherwise, apply the application adapters if the message was sent from an application that already has a specific parser in syslog-ng PE (for example, Splunk Common Information Model (CIM), iptables, or sudo).

Parsing RFC5424-formatted messages

For RFC5424-formatted messages (that is, messages received on the ports set in options rfc5424-tls-port() and rfc5424-tcp-port(), which default to port 6514 and 601), syslog-ng PE parses the message according to RFC5424, then attempts apply the application adapters if the message was sent from an application that already has a specific parser in syslog-ng PE (for example, Splunk Common Information Model (CIM), iptables, or sudo).

Example: Using the default-network-drivers() driver

The following example uses only the default settings.

source s_network {

The following example can receive TLS-encrypted connections on the default port (port 6514).

source s_network {
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