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syslog-ng Premium Edition 7.0.21 - 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 mssql, oracle, sql: collecting messages from an SQL database 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 google_pubsub: Sending logs to the Google Cloud Pub/Sub messaging service 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

udp-balancer: Receiving UDP messages at very high rate

The udp-balancer() source allows you to use multiple CPU cores to process the incoming UDP messages at a very high message rate, depending on the available hardware resources, incoming message size, and your syslog-ng PE configuration. Note that this feature requires a Linux kernel that supports the SO_REUSEPORT kernel option, so it is supported only selected platforms.

The udp-balancer() source uses multiple CPU cores that listen on a single UDP port. This allows the source to scale to very high message rates. Using a single port is convenient, because you do not need to use load balancing on the client side. You can set the number of listeners using the listeners() option. For the best performance, the value of the listeners() option should be equal to the number of cores available on the host running syslog-ng PE.

When to use the udp-balancer() source

One Identity recommends using the udp-balancer() source if all of the following apply:

  • You are running syslog-ng PE in relay or server mode on a platform that supports the udp-balancer() source. For details, see Limitations.

  • You must receive UDP message at a high message rate, and for some reason you cannot use TCP connections instead.

  • It is not critical for you to store the incoming messages in the order they were sent.

  • The udp-balancer() source is using eBPF, therefore it works only with kernels that support eBPF. From the platforms supported by syslog-ng PE, the following meet this requirement with the listed (or newer) kernel:

    • Oracle Linux 7.7, kernel version 4.14.35

    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 is NOT supported, because its kernel version is too old.

    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, kernel version 4.18.

    • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12.4, kernel version 4.12.14

    • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic Beaver), kernel version 4.15

    • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus), kernel version 4.15

  • Since the udp-balancer() source is multithreaded, there is no way to guarantee that the destination of the log path will receive the messages in the same order as the clients sent them. If you need to maintain the original order of the messages, make sure that the log messages contain a unique identifier (for example, a message ID or timestamp), and that your log processor (for example, a SIEM) can use this ID to reorder the messages.


By default, the udp-balancer() driver binds to, meaning that it listens on every available IPV4 interface on the UDP/514 port. To limit accepted connections to only one interface, use the localip() parameter. To listen on IPv6 addresses, use the ip-protocol(6) option.

Example: Using the udp-balancer() driver

Listening on (the default port for UDP is 514):

source s_network {

Listening on the IPv6 localhost, port 2222:

source s_network6 {

Listening for messages using the IETF-syslog message format. Note that for transferring IETF-syslog messages, generally you are recommended to use the syslog() driver on both the client and the server, as it uses both the IETF-syslog message format and the protocol. For details, see syslog: Collecting messages using the IETF syslog protocol (syslog() driver).

source s_network {

Using 8 listeners to receive logs on port 5514:

source s_net {

For details on the options of the udp-balancer() source, see udp-balancer() source options.

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