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syslog-ng Premium Edition 7.0.20 - 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 snmp: Sending SNMP traps 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

network() source options

The network() driver has the following options.

encoding()
Type: string
Default:

Description: Specifies the characterset (encoding, for example, UTF-8) of messages using the legacy BSD-syslog protocol. To list the available character sets on a host, execute the iconv -l command. For details on how encoding affects the size of the message, see Message size and encoding.

flags()
Type: assume-utf8, empty-lines, expect-hostname, guess-timezone, kernel, no-hostname, no-multi-line, no-parse, sanitize-utf8, store-legacy-msghdr, store-raw-message, syslog-protocol, validate-utf8
Default: empty set

Description: Specifies the log parsing options of the source.

  • assume-utf8: The assume-utf8 flag assumes that the incoming messages are UTF-8 encoded, but does not verify the encoding. If you explicitly want to validate the UTF-8 encoding of the incoming message, use the validate-utf8 flag.

  • empty-lines: Use the empty-lines flag to keep the empty lines of the messages. By default, syslog-ng PE removes empty lines automatically.

  • expect-hostname: If the expect-hostname flag is enabled, syslog-ng PE will assume that the log message contains a hostname and parse the message accordingly. This is the default behavior for TCP sources. Note that pipe sources use the no-hostname flag by default.

  • kernel: The kernel flag makes the source default to the LOG_KERN | LOG_NOTICE priority if not specified otherwise.

  • no-hostname: Enable the no-hostname flag if the log message does not include the hostname of the sender host. That way syslog-ng PE assumes that the first part of the message header is ${PROGRAM} instead of ${HOST}. For example:

    source s_dell {
        network(
            port(2000)
            flags(no-hostname)
        );
    };
  • no-multi-line: The no-multi-line flag disables line-breaking in the messages: the entire message is converted to a single line. Note that this happens only if the underlying transport method actually supports multi-line messages. Currently the file() and pipe() drivers support multi-line messages.

  • no-parse: By default, syslog-ng PE parses incoming messages as syslog messages. The no-parse flag completely disables syslog message parsing and processes the complete line as the message part of a syslog message. The syslog-ng PE application will generate a new syslog header (timestamp, host, and so on) automatically and put the entire incoming message into the MESSAGE part of the syslog message (available using the ${MESSAGE} macro). This flag is useful for parsing messages not complying to the syslog format.

    If you are using the flags(no-parse) option, then syslog message parsing is completely disabled, and the entire incoming message is treated as the ${MESSAGE} part of a syslog message. In this case, syslog-ng PE generates a new syslog header (timestamp, host, and so on) automatically. Note that since flags(no-parse) disables message parsing, it interferes with other flags, for example, disables flags(no-multi-line).

  • dont-store-legacy-msghdr: By default, syslog-ng stores the original incoming header of the log message. This is useful if the original format of a non-syslog-compliant message must be retained (syslog-ng automatically corrects minor header errors, for example, adds a whitespace before msg in the following message: Jan 22 10:06:11 host program:msg). If you do not want to store the original header of the message, enable the dont-store-legacy-msghdr flag.

  • sanitize-utf8: When using the sanitize-utf8 flag, syslog-ng PE converts non-UTF-8 input to an escaped form, which is valid UTF-8.

  • store-raw-message: Save the original message as received from the client in the ${RAWMSG} macro. You can forward this raw message in its original form to another syslog-ng node using the syslog-ng() destination, or to a SIEM system, ensuring that the SIEM can process it. Available only in 7.0.9 and later.

  • syslog-protocol: The syslog-protocol flag specifies that incoming messages are expected to be formatted according to the new IETF syslog protocol standard (RFC5424), but without the frame header. Note that this flag is not needed for the syslog driver, which handles only messages that have a frame header.

  • validate-utf8: The validate-utf8 flag enables encoding-verification for messages formatted according to the new IETF syslog standard (for details, see IETF-syslog messages). If theBOM1character is missing, but the message is otherwise UTF-8 compliant, syslog-ng automatically adds the BOM character to the message.

  • threaded: The threaded flag enables multithreading for the source. For details on multithreading, see Multithreading and scaling in syslog-ng PE.

    NOTE:

    The syslog source uses multiple threads only if the source uses the tls or tcp transport protocols.

host-override()
Type: string
Default:

Description: Replaces the ${HOST} part of the message with the parameter string.

ip() or localip()
Type: string
Default: 0.0.0.0

Description: The IP address to bind to. By default, syslog-ng PE listens on every available interface. Note that this is not the address where messages are accepted from.

If you specify a multicast bind address and use the udp transport, syslog-ng PE automatically joins the necessary multicast group. TCP does not support multicasting.

ip-protocol()
Type: number
Default: 4

Description: Determines the internet protocol version of the given driver (network() or syslog()). The possible values are 4 and 6, corresponding to IPv4 and IPv6. The default value is ip-protocol(4).

Note that listening on a port using IPv6 automatically means that you are also listening on that port using IPv4. That is, if you want to have receive messages on an IP-address/port pair using both IPv4 and IPv6, create a source that uses the ip-protocol(6). You cannot have two sources with the same IP-address/port pair, but with different ip-protocol() settings (it causes an Address already in use error).

For example, the following source receives messages on TCP, using the network() driver, on every available interface of the host on both IPv4 and IPv6.

source s_network_tcp {
    network(
        transport("tcp")
        ip("::")
        ip-protocol(6)
        port(601)
    );
};
ip-tos()
Type: number
Default: 0

Description: Specifies the Type-of-Service value of outgoing packets.

ip-ttl()
Type: number
Default: 0

Description: Specifies the Time-To-Live value of outgoing packets.

keep-alive()
Type: yes or no
Default: yes

Description: Specifies whether connections to sources should be closed when syslog-ng is forced to reload its configuration (upon the receipt of a SIGHUP signal). Note that this applies to the server (source) side of the syslog-ng connections, client-side (destination) connections are always reopened after receiving a HUP signal unless the keep-alive option is enabled for the destination.

keep-hostname()
Type: yes or no
Default: no

Description: Enable or disable hostname rewriting.

  • If enabled (keep-hostname(yes)), syslog-ng PE assumes that the incoming log message was sent by the host specified in the HOST field of the message.

  • If disabled (keep-hostname(no)), syslog-ng PE rewrites the HOST field of the message, either to the IP address (if the use-dns() parameter is set to no), or to the hostname (if the use-dns() parameter is set to yes and the IP address can be resolved to a hostname) of the host sending the message to syslog-ng PE. For details on using name resolution in syslog-ng PE, see Using name resolution in syslog-ng.

NOTE:

If the log message does not contain a hostname in its HOST field, syslog-ng PE automatically adds a hostname to the message.

  • For messages received from the network, this hostname is the address of the host that sent the message (this means the address of the last hop if the message was transferred via a relay).

  • For messages received from the local host, syslog-ng PE adds the name of the host.

This option can be specified globally, and per-source as well. The local setting of the source overrides the global option if available.

NOTE:

When relaying messages, enable this option on the syslog-ng PE server and also on every relay, otherwise syslog-ng PE will treat incoming messages as if they were sent by the last relay.

keep-timestamp()
Type: yes or no
Default: yes

Description: Specifies whether syslog-ng should accept the timestamp received from the sending application or client. If disabled, the time of reception will be used instead. This option can be specified globally, and per-source as well. The local setting of the source overrides the global option if available.

Caution:

To use the S_ macros, the keep-timestamp() option must be enabled (this is the default behavior of syslog-ng PE).

log-fetch-limit()
Type: number
Default: 10

Description: The maximum number of messages fetched from a source during a single poll loop. The destination queues might fill up before flow-control could stop reading if log-fetch-limit() is too high.

log-iw-size()
Type: number
Default: 100

Description: The size of the initial window, this value is used during flow control. For details on flow control, see Managing incoming and outgoing messages with flow-control.

If the max-connections() option is set, the log-iw-size() will be divided by the number of connections, otherwise log-iw-size() is divided by 10 (the default value of the max-connections() option). The resulting number is the initial window size of each connection. For optimal performance when receiving messages from syslog-ng PE clients, make sure that the window size is larger than the flush-lines() option set in the destination of your clients.

Example: Initial window size of a connection

If log-iw-size(1000) and max-connections(10), then each connection will have an initial window size of 100.

log-msg-size()
Type: number (bytes)
Default: Use the global log-msg-size() option, which defaults to 65536.

Description: Maximum length of a message in bytes. This length includes the entire message (the data structure and individual fields). The maximal value that can be set is 268435456 bytes (256MB). For messages using the IETF-syslog message format (RFC5424), the maximal size of the value of an SDATA field is 64kB.

In most cases, it is not recommended to set log-msg-size() higher than 10 MiB.

For details on how encoding affects the size of the message, see Message size and encoding.

Uses the value of the global option if not specified.

max-connections()
Type: number
Default: 10

Description: Specifies the maximum number of simultaneous connections.

pad-size()
Type: number
Default: 0

Description: Specifies input padding. Some operating systems (such as HP-UX) pad all messages to block boundary. This option can be used to specify the block size. The syslog-ng PE application will pad reads from the associated device to the number of bytes set in pad-size(). Mostly used on HP-UX where /dev/log is a named pipe and every write is padded to 2048 bytes. If pad-size() was given and the incoming message does not fit into pad-size(), syslog-ng will not read anymore from this pipe and displays the following error message:

Padding was set, and couldn't read enough bytes
port() or localport()
Type: number
Default:

In case of TCP transport: 601

In case of UDP transport: 514

Description: The port number to bind to.

program-override()
Type: string
Default:

Description: Replaces the ${PROGRAM} part of the message with the parameter string. For example, to mark every message coming from the kernel, include the program-override("kernel") option in the source containing /proc/kmsg.

so-broadcast()
Type: yes or no
Default: no

Description: This option controls the SO_BROADCAST socket option required to make syslog-ng send messages to a broadcast address. For details, see the socket(7) manual page.

so-keepalive()
Type: yes or no
Default: no

Description: Enables keep-alive messages, keeping the socket open. This only effects TCP and UNIX-stream sockets. For details, see the socket(7) manual page.

so-rcvbuf()
Type: number
Default: 0

Description: Specifies the size of the socket receive buffer in bytes. For details, see the socket(7) manual page.

Caution:

When receiving messages using the UDP protocol, increase the size of the UDP receive buffer on the receiver host (that is, the syslog-ng PE server or relay receiving the messages). Note that on certain platforms, for example, on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, even low message load (~200 messages per second) can result in message loss, unless the so-rcvbuf() option of the source is increased. In this cases, you will need to increase the net.core.rmem_max parameter of the host (for example, to 1024000), but do not modify net.core.rmem_default parameter.

As a general rule, increase the so-rcvbuf() so that the buffer size in kilobytes is higher than the rate of incoming messages per second. For example, to receive 2000 messages per second, set the so-rcvbuf() at least to 2 097 152 bytes.

so-sndbuf()
Type: number
Default: 0

Description: Specifies the size of the socket send buffer in bytes. For details, see the socket(7) manual page.

tags()
Type: string
Default:

Description: Label the messages received from the source with custom tags. Tags must be unique, and enclosed between double quotes. When adding multiple tags, separate them with comma, for example, tags("dmz", "router"). This option is available only in syslog-ng 3.1 and later.

time-zone()
Type: name of the timezone, or the timezone offset
Default:

Description: The default timezone for messages read from the source. Applies only if no timezone is specified within the message itself.

The timezone can be specified as using the name of the (for example, time-zone("Europe/Budapest")), or as the timezone offset in +/-HH:MM format (for example, +01:00). On Linux and UNIX platforms, the valid timezone names are listed under the /usr/share/zoneinfo directory.

transport()
Type:

altp, udp, tcp, or tls

Default: tcp

Description: Specifies the protocol used to receive messages from the source.

Caution:

When receiving messages using the UDP protocol, increase the size of the UDP receive buffer on the receiver host (that is, the syslog-ng PE server or relay receiving the messages). Note that on certain platforms, for example, on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, even low message load (~200 messages per second) can result in message loss, unless the so-rcvbuf() option of the source is increased. In this cases, you will need to increase the net.core.rmem_max parameter of the host (for example, to 1024000), but do not modify net.core.rmem_default parameter.

As a general rule, increase the so-rcvbuf() so that the buffer size in kilobytes is higher than the rate of incoming messages per second. For example, to receive 2000 messages per second, set the so-rcvbuf() at least to 2 097 152 bytes.

trim-large-messages()
Type: yes|no
Default: Use the global trim-large-messages() option, which defaults to no.

Description: Determines what syslog-ng PE does with incoming log messages that are received using the IETF-syslog protocol using the syslog() driver, and are longer than the value of log-msg-size(). Other drivers ignore the trim-large-messages() option.

  • If set to no, syslog-ng PE drops the incoming log message.

  • If set to yes, syslog-ng PE trims the incoming log message to the size set in log-msg-size(), and adds the trimmed tag to the message. The rest of the message is dropped. You can use the tag to filter on such messages.

    filter f_trimmed {
        tags("trimmed");
    };

    If syslog-ng PE trims a log message, it sends a debug-level log message to its internal() source.

    As a result of trimming, a parser could fail to parse the trimmed message. For example, a trimmed JSON or XML message will not be valid JSON or XML.

Available in syslog-ng PE version 7.0.14 and later.

Uses the value of the global option if not specified.

tls()
Type: tls options
Default: n/a

Description: This option sets various options related to TLS encryption, for example, key/certificate files and trusted CA locations. TLS can be used only with tcp-based transport protocols. For details, see TLS options.

use-dns()
Type: yes, no, persist_only
Default: yes

Description: Enable or disable DNS usage. The persist_only option attempts to resolve hostnames locally from file (for example, from /etc/hosts). The syslog-ng PE application blocks on DNS queries, so enabling DNS may lead to a Denial of Service attack. To prevent DoS, protect your syslog-ng network endpoint with firewall rules, and make sure that all hosts which may get to syslog-ng are resolvable. This option can be specified globally, and per-source as well. The local setting of the source overrides the global option if available.

NOTE:

This option has no effect if the keep-hostname() option is enabled (keep-hostname(yes)) and the message contains a hostname.

use-fqdn()
Type: yes or no
Default: no

Description: Add Fully Qualified Domain Name instead of short hostname. This option can be specified globally, and per-source as well. The local setting of the source overrides the global option if available.

NOTE:

This option has no effect if the keep-hostname() option is enabled (keep-hostname(yes)) and the message contains a hostname.

office365: Fetching logs from Office 365

Starting with syslog-ng PE version 7.0.17, you can fetch logs from your Office 365 account using the Office 365 Management Activity API.

The syslog-ng PE application supports every content type of the Management Activity API using a corresponding source driver:

  • Audit.AzureActiveDirectory: office365-azure-active-directory()

  • Audit.Exchange: office365-exchange()

  • Audit.General: office365-general()

  • Audit.SharePoint: office365-sharepoint()

  • DLP.All: office365-dlp()

Limitations
  • In some cases, the logs will appear only 24-48 hours after successfully configuring syslog-ng PE and Office 365.

  • Due to the distributed nature of the Office 365 log management architecture, there is a synchronization interval in the Office 365 Management Activity API. During this interval, the messages returned to queries can be inconsistent. To avoid this synchronization window, syslog-ng PE does not fetch the logs in real-time, only 15 minutes after the message becomes available in the management API. This means that there is a 15-minute latency between the logs available in the Office 365 Management Activity API and syslog-ng PE.

Declaration
source s_office365 {
    office365-<content-type>(
        tenant_id('tenant-id')
        client_id('client-id')
        client_secret('client-secret')
    );
};
Example: Fetching Azure Active Directory logs from Office 365

The following example configuration fetches logs from and Audit.AzureActiveDirectory subscription using the office365-azure-active-directory() source driver.

@version: 7.0
@include "scl.conf"

source s_o365_ad {
    office365-azure-active-directory(
        tenant_id('tenant-id')
        client_id('client-id')
        client_secret('client-secret')
    );
};

destination d_file { file("/tmp/o365_ad_out.log"); };

log {
    source(s_o365_ad);
    destination(d_file);
    flags(flow-control);
};

Configuring Office 365 to permit fetching logs

This procedure summarizes how to configure Office 365 to permit syslog-ng Premium Edition (syslog-ng PE) to fetch log messages using the Office 365 Management Activity API.

Prerequisites
  • A valid Office 365 account (for example: Azure Active Directory Premium P2).

  • Administrator permissions to the Office 365 account.

  • Content subscription must be enabled for the content types you want to fetch logs from.

  • syslog-ng Premium Edition version 7.0.15 or later.

  1. The syslog-ng PE application communicates with the Management Activity API through a service app registered in Azure. Complete the following steps to register a service app. For details on registering an app, see the Office 365 documentation.

    1. Login to https://portal.azure.com.

    2. Register a new web application (for example, syslog-service-app).

    3. Grant all application permissions and delegated permissions to the created app.

    4. Create secret (password) for the app. Record the password somewhere, as you will need it later to configure syslog-ng PE. If you set an expiration to the password, make sure to renew the password and update it in your syslog-ng PE configuration file before it expires.

    5. In the authentication settings of the new app, enable Access Tokens.

  2. Enabling audit logging in Office 365. Note that your user must have an administrator permissions to enable audit logging. For details on enabling audit logging, see the Office 365 documentation. If you have problems enabling audit logging, see Troubleshooting audit logging in Office 365

  3. Start content subscriptions for the content types you want to fetch logs from using the following command. The office365subscriptiontool utility is automatically installed with syslog-ng PE version 7.0.15 and newer.

    %syslog-ng-installation-directory%/bin/office365subscriptiontool start --tenant-id=[your tenant-id] --client-id=[your client-id] --client-secret=[your client-secret in escaped format] --content-type=[content-type-to-fetch-logs-from]

    Note that special characters (for example, ?/*+!$) in the client secret must be escaped (according to the rules of escaping in bash/shell) when starting the content subscription.

    In your syslog-ng PE configuration, you will have to use the source driver matching the content type of the content subscription. For example, use the office365-azure-active-directory() driver for the Audit.AzureActiveDirectory content type.

    Repeat this step for every content type you want to fetch logs from.

    NOTE:

    When a subscription is created, it can take up to 12 hours for the first content blobs to become available for that subscription.

office365() source options

The office365() drivers have the following options. The tenant-id(), client-id(), and client-secret() option is required, the others are optional.

client-id()
Type: string
Default:

Description: The ID of the service app. For details, see Configuring Office 365 to permit fetching logs.

client-secret()
Type: string
Default:

Description: The password of the service app. For details, see Configuring Office 365 to permit fetching logs.

If you set an expiration to the password, make sure to renew the password and update it in your syslog-ng PE configuration file before it expires.

fetch-no-data-delay()
Type: integer [seconds]
Default:

The value of time-reopen()

Description: When there are no messages available in a poll event, the Office 365 Management Activity API waits fetch-no-data-delay() seconds before the next poll.

persist-name()
Type: string
Default:

None

Description:If you receive the following error message during syslog-ng PE startup, set the persist-name() option of the duplicate drivers:

Error checking the uniqueness of the persist names, please override it with persist-name option. Shutting down.

This error occurs if you use identical drivers in multiple sources, for example, if you configure two file sources to read from the same file. In this case, set the persist-name() of the drivers to a custom string, for example, persist-name("example-persist-name1").

tenant-id()
Type: string
Default:

Description: The ID of the Tenant that the Office 365 account belongs to.

time-reopen()
Accepted values: number [seconds]
Default: 60

Description: The time to wait in seconds before a dead connection is reestablished.

By default, this option uses the value set in the time-reopen() global option.

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