syslog-ng

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Revision as of 17:07, 11 November 2012 by Axanon (Talk | contribs) (Have syslog-ng reload the configuration file)

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Overview

syslog-ng takes incoming log messages from defined 'sources' and forwards them to the appropriate destinations, based on powerful filter directives. In a typical simple set-up, syslog-ng will read messages from three sources:

  1. the default /dev/log device, where most logs are sent
  2. syslog-ng "internal" log messages
  3. /proc/kmsg kernel messages

Sources are defined using the "source" directive. These incoming messages are then filtered according to defined filters ("filter" keyword), i.e. according to originating program or log level, and sent to the appropriate "destination". Destinations include log files (e.g. /var/log/messages.log), printing messages on a console and remote servers. The pivotal function is log. This function defines which filters should be applied to a certain source, and where the resulting messages should be sent to.

Example configuration file

For a quick start, here there is a classic configuration file slightly modified from the one in the Gentoo Security Guide, the default syslog-ng.conf provided with the source distribution, and my own personal preferences. This example includes logging from a chrooted bind source and logging to a remote server destination.

/etc/syslog-ng/syslog-ng.conf
@version: 3.0
# For a description of syslog-ng configuration file directives, please read
# the syslog-ng Administrator's guide at:
#
# http://www.balabit.com/dl/html/syslog-ng-admin-guide_en.html/bk01-toc.html
#

##########################################################
# OPTIONS
#
options {
   create_dirs(yes);
   # use_dns(no);
   use_dns(persist_only);
   dns_cache_hosts(/etc/hosts);
   dns_cache_expire(87600);

   # disable the chained hostname format in logs (default is enabled)
   chain_hostnames(0);

   # the number of lines fitting in the output queue
   log_fifo_size(512);

   # enable or disable directory creation for destination files
   create_dirs(yes);

   # default owner, group, and permissions for log files (defaults are 0, 0, 0600)
   owner(root);
   group(log);
   perm(0640);
   
   # default owner, group, and permissions for created directories (defaults are 0, 0, 0700)
   dir_owner(root);
   dir_group(root);
   dir_perm(0740);                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

   # the time to wait before a died connection is re-established (default is 60)
   time_reopen(10);

   # the time to wait before an idle destination file is closed (default is 60)
   time_reap(360);

   # default no
   use_fqdn(no);

   keep_hostname(yes);

   # disable stats
   stats_freq(0);
}; 


##########################################################
# SOURCES
#
source local_src {
   # message generated by syslog-ng
   internal();

   # standard Linux log source (this is the default place for the syslog() function to send logs to)
   unix-stream("/dev/log");

   # from a chrooted bind install
   unix-stream("/var/named/chroot/dev/log");

   # messages from the kernel
   file("/proc/kmsg" program_override("kernel: "));
};

# source s_syslog { syslog(ip(127.0.0.1) port(1999) transport("tcp")); };
# source s_pipe { pipe("/dev/pipe" pad_size(2048)); };



##########################################################
# DESTINATIONS
#
destination d_file { file("/var/log/$YEAR.$MONTH.$DAY/everything.log" template("$HOUR:$MIN:$SEC [$LEVEL] [$FACILITY] [$PROGRAM] $MSG\n") template_escape(no)); };

destination d_askapacheloghost {
  tcp("askapacheloghost.dyndns.org" port(65514));
  udp("askapacheloghost.dyndns.org" port(65514));
  udp("askapacheloghost.dyndns.org" port(514));
};
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
destination d_authlog { file("/var/log/auth.log"); };
destination d_cron { file("/var/log/cron.log"); };
destination d_daemon { file("/var/log/daemon.log"); };
destination d_kern { file("/var/log/kern.log"); };
destination d_lpr { file("/var/log/lpr.log"); };
destination d_user { file("/var/log/user.log"); };
destination d_uucp { file("/var/log/uucp.log"); };
destination d_ppp { file("/var/log/ppp.log"); };

destination d_mail { file("/var/log/mail.log"); };
destination d_mailinfo { file("/var/log/mail.info"); };
destination d_mailwarn { file("/var/log/mail.warn"); };
destination d_mailerr { file("/var/log/mail.err"); };

destination d_newscrit { file("/var/log/news/news.crit"); };
destination d_newserr { file("/var/log/news/news.err"); };
destination d_newsnotice { file("/var/log/news/news.notice"); };

destination d_debug { file("/var/log/debug"); };
destination d_messages { file("/var/log/messages"); };

destination d_everything { file("/var/log/everything"); };
destination d_console { usertty("root"); };
destination d_console_all { file("/dev/tty12"); };
destination d_loghost { udp("loghost" port(999)); };
destination d_xconsole { pipe("/dev/xconsole"); };



##########################################################
# FILTERS
#
filter f_auth { facility(auth); };
filter f_authpriv { facility(auth, authpriv); };                                                                                                                                                                                               
filter f_syslog { program(syslog-ng); };
filter f_cron { facility(cron); };
filter f_daemon { facility(daemon); };
filter f_kernel { facility(kern) and not filter(f_iptables); };
filter f_lpr { facility(lpr); };
filter f_mail { facility(mail); };
filter f_news { facility(news); };
filter f_user { facility(user); };
filter f_uucp { facility(cron); };
filter f_news { facility(news); };
filter f_ppp { facility(local2); };
filter f_debug { not facility(auth, authpriv, news, mail); };
filter f_messages { level(info..warn) and not facility(auth, authpriv, mail, news, cron) and not program(syslog-ng) and not filter(f_iptables); };
filter f_everything { level(debug..emerg); };
filter f_emergency { level(emerg); };
filter f_info { level(info); };
filter f_notice { level(notice); };
filter f_warn { level(warn); };
filter f_crit { level(crit); };
filter f_err { level(err); };
filter f_iptables { match("IN=" value("MESSAGE")) and match("OUT=" value("MESSAGE")); };
filter f_acpid { program("acpid"); };
filter f_failed { match("failed" value(MESSAGE)); };
filter f_denied { match("denied" value(MESSAGE)); };
filter f_noshorewall { not match("Shorewall" value(MESSAGE)); };              # Filter everything except regex keyword Shorewall
filter f_shorewall { match("Shorewall" value(MESSAGE)); };                    # Filter regex keyword Shorewall




##########################################################
# LOG
#
log { source(local_src); destination(d_askapacheloghost); };
log { source(local_src); destination(d_file); };

log { source(local_src); filter(f_authpriv); destination(d_authlog); };
log { source(local_src); filter(f_user); destination(d_user); };

log { source(local_src); filter(f_cron); destination(d_cron); };
log { source(local_src); filter(f_daemon); destination(d_daemon); };
log { source(local_src); filter(f_kern); destination(d_kern); };
log { source(local_src); filter(f_lpr); destination(d_lpr); };
log { source(local_src); filter(f_mail); destination(d_mail); };
log { source(local_src); filter(f_uucp); destination(d_uucp); };
log { source(local_src); filter(f_mail); filter(f_info); destination(d_mailinfo); };
log { source(local_src); filter(f_mail); filter(f_warn); destination(d_mailwarn); };
log { source(local_src); filter(f_mail); filter(f_err); destination(d_mailerr); };
log { source(local_src); filter(f_news); filter(f_crit); destination(d_newscrit); };
log { source(local_src); filter(f_news); filter(f_err); destination(d_newserr); };
log { source(local_src); filter(f_news); filter(f_notice); destination(d_newsnotice); };
log { source(local_src); filter(f_debug); destination(d_debug); };
log { source(local_src); filter(f_messages); destination(d_messages); };
log { source(local_src); filter(f_ppp); destination(d_ppp); };
log { source(local_src); destination(d_messages); };

#default log
log { source(local_src); destination(console_all); };

Sources

syslog-ng receives log messages from a source. To define a source you should follow the following syntax:

source <identifier> { source-driver(params); source-driver(params); ... };

You can look at the identifiers and source-drivers in the official manuals. This will follow the manual to explain the configuration file above. The unix-stream() source-driver opens the given AF_UNIX socket and starts listening on it for messages. The internal() source-driver gets messages generated by syslog-ng.

Therefore, the following means: src gets messages from the /dev/log socket and syslog-ng.

source src { unix-stream("/dev/log"); internal(); };

The kernel sends log messages to /proc/kmsg and the file() driver reads log messages from files. Therefore, the following means: kernsrc gets messages from file /proc/kmsg

source kernsrc { file("/proc/kmsg"); };


In the default configuration file after emerging syslog-ng, the source is defined as:

source src { unix-stream("/dev/log"); internal(); pipe("/proc/kmsg"); };

Reading messages by pipe("/proc/kmsg") gives a better performance but because it opens its argument in read-write mode can be a security hazard as the syslog-ng admin guide states in section 3.3.3:

"Pipe is very similar to the file() driver, but there are a few differences, for example pipe() opens its argument in read-write mode, therefore it is not recommended to be used on special files like /proc/kmsg." (You can follow this discussion in this post.)

To open a port to read data from a remote server a source must be defined with this syntax:

source s_net { udp(); };

for UDP or

source s_net { tcp(); };

to receive log messages via TCP. Both listen on port 514.

Destinations

In syslog-ng, log messages are sent to files. The syntax is very similar to sources:

destination <identifier> {destination-driver(params); destination-driver(params); ... };

You will be normally logging to a file, but you could log to a different destination-driver: pipe, Unix socket, TCP-UDP ports, terminals or to specific programs. Therefore, this means sending authlog messages to /var/log/auth.log:

destination authlog { file("/var/log/auth.log"); };

If the user is logged in, usertty() sends messages to the terminal of the specified user. If you want to send console messages to root's terminal if it is logged in:

destination console { usertty("root"); };

Messages can be sent to a pipe with pipe(). The following sends xconsole messages to the pipe /dev/xconsole. This needs some more configuration, so you could look at the sub-section xconsole below.

destination xconsole { pipe("/dev/xconsole"); };

To send messages on the network, use udp(). The following will send your log data out to another server.

destination remote_server { udp("10.0.0.2" port(514)); };

Creating Filters for Messages

The syntax for the filter statement is:

filter <identifier> { expression; };

Functions can be used in the expression, such as the function facility() which selects messages based on the facility codes. The Linux kernel has a few facilities you can use for logging. Each facility has a log-level; where debug is the most verbose, and panic only shows serious errors. You can find the facilities, log levels and priority names in /usr/include/sys/syslog.h. To filter those messages coming from authorization, like May 11 23:42:31 mimosinnet su(pam_unix)[18569]: session opened for user root by (uid=1000), use the following:

filter f_auth { facility(auth); };


The facility expression can use the boolean operators and, or, and not, so the following filter selects those messages not coming from authorization, network news or mail:

filter f_debug { not facility(auth, authpriv, news, mail); };

The function level() selects messages based on its priority level, so if you want to select informational levels:

filter f_info { level(info); };

Functions and boolean operators can be combined in more complex expressions. The following line filters messages with a priority level from informational to warning not coming from auth, authpriv, mail and news facilities:

filter f_messages { level(info..warn) and not facility(auth, authpriv, mail, news); };

Messages can also be selected by matching a regular expression in the message with the function match("regex" value("keyword")). For example:

filter f_failed { match("regex" value("failed")); };

To filter messages received from a particular remote host, the host() function must be used:

filter f_host { host( "192.168.1.1" ); };

Log Paths

syslog-ng connects sources, filters and destinations with log statements. The syntax is:

log {source(s1); source(s2); ...
filter(f1); filter(f2); ...
destination(d1); destination(d2); ...
flags(flag1[, flag2...]); };

The following for example sends messages from src source to mailinfo destination filtered by f_info filter.

log { source(src); filter(f_mail); filter(f_info); destination(mailinfo); };


Tips and Tricks

After understanding the logic behind syslog-ng, many possible and complex configuration are possible. Here there are some examples.

Have syslog-ng reload the configuration file

You can make syslog-ng re-evaluate the configuration file. You can do so manually by sending a SIGHUP to the process, or call the reload function with systemctl:

# systemctl reload syslog-ng

Failover Logging to Remote Host

This setup shows how to send the default unencrypted syslog packets across both TCP and UDP protocols, using the standard port (514) and an alternate port. This is sending the same output to the same machine 4 different ways to try and make sure packets make it. Mostly useful if you are debugging a remote server that fails to reboot. The different ports and protocols are to make it past any firewall filters or other network problems. Also useful for port-forwarding and using tunnels. Something like this setup is ideal to tunnel across an ssh connection that the prone-to-failover host initiates through a reverse connection.

#sending to a remote syslog server on TCP and UDP ports (not encrypted)
destination askapache_failover_loghost {
    tcp("208.86.158.195" port(25214));
    udp("208.86.158.195" port(25214));
    udp("mysyslog1.dyndns.org" port(514));
};
log { 
    source(src); 
    destination(askapache_failover_loghost);
};

And then on the loghost receiving these logs:

#a USB redirected console for flexible viewing
destination debugging_console {
    file("/dev/ttyU1");
};

# listens on IP addresses and ports, sets the incoming settings
source prone_to_failover_host {
    tcp(ip(208.86.158.195),port(25214));
    udp(ip(208.86.158.195) port(25214));

    udp(default-facility(syslog) default-priority(emerg));
    tcp(default-facility(syslog) default-priority(emerg));
}

# log it
log {
    source(prone_to_failover_host); 
    destination(debugging_console);
};

Move log to another file

In order to move some log from /var/log/messages to another file:

#sshd configuration
destination ssh { file("/var/log/ssh.log"); };
filter f_ssh { program("sshd"); };
log { source(src); filter(f_ssh); destination(ssh); };

Configuring as a loghost

Configuring your system to be a loghost is quite simple. Drop the following into your configuration, and create the needed directory. With this simple configuration, log filenames will be based on the FQDN of the remote host, and located in /var/log/remote/. After creating the remote directory, reload your syslog-ng configuration.

source net { udp(); };
destination remote { file("/var/log/remote/$FULLHOST"); };
log { source(net); destination(remote); };

Improve Performance

syslog-ng's performance can be improved in different ways:

Write every so often

It seems that the old sync(X) option is called flush_lines(X) now, where the writing to the file is buffered for X lines. Default is 0 (no buffering).

Avoid redundant processing and disk space

A single log message can be sent to different log files several times. For example, in the initial configuration file, we have the following definitions:

destination cron { file("/var/log/cron.log"); };
destination messages { file("/var/log/messages"); };
filter f_cron { facility(cron); };
filter f_messages { level(info..warn) 
       and not facility(auth, authpriv, mail, news); };
log { source(src); filter(f_cron); destination(cron); };
log { source(src); filter(f_messages); destination(messages); };

The same message from the cron facility will end up in both the cron.log and messages files. To change this behavior we can use the final flag, ending up further processing with the message. Therefore, in this example, if we want messages from the cron facility not ending up in the messages file, we should change the cron's log sentence by:

 log { source(src); filter(f_cron); destination(cron); flags(final); };

another way is to exclude the cron facility from f_messages filter:

 filter f_messages { level(info..warn) and not facility(cron, auth, authpriv, mail, news); };

PostgreSQL Destination

This section will use two roles: syslog and logwriter. syslog will be the administrator of the database syslog and logwriter will only be able to add records to the logs table.

No longer needed to create table for logs. syslog-ng will create automatically.

psql -U postgres
postgres=# CREATE ROLE syslog WITH LOGIN;
postgres=# \password syslog    # Using the \password function is secure because
postgres=# \password logwriter # the password isn't saved in history.
postgres=# CREATE DATABASE syslog OWNER syslog;
postgres=# \q # You're done here for the moment

Edit pg_hba.conf to allow syslog and logwriter to establish a connection to PostgreSQL.

/var/lib/postgresql/8.4/data/pg_hba.conf
# TYPE  DATABASE    USER        CIDR-ADDRESS          METHOD

host    syslog      logwriter   192.168.0.1/24        md5
host    syslog      syslog      192.168.0.10/32       md5

Tell PostgreSQL to reload the configuration files:

/etc/rc.d/postgresql-8.4 reload

Edit /etc/syslog-ng.conf so that it knows where and how to write to PostgreSQL. syslog-ng will utilize the logwriter role.

...
#
# SQL logging support
#

destination d_pgsql {
  sql(type(pgsql)
  host("127.0.0.1") username("logwriter") password("password")
  database("syslog")
  table("logs_${HOST}_${R_YEAR}${R_MONTH}${R_DAY}") #or whatever you want, example ${HOST}" for hosts, ${LEVEL}" for levels.. etc
  columns("datetime timestamp with time zone", "host varchar(32)", "program varchar(16)", "pid varchar(16)", "message varchar(200)")
  values("$R_ISODATE", "$HOST", "$PROGRAM", "$PID", "$MSG")
  indexes("datetime", "host", "program", "pid", "message"));
};


log { source(src); destination(d_pgsql); };

Finally, restart syslog-ng.

/etc/rc.d/syslog-ng restart

And check to see if things are being logged.

psql -U logwriter -d syslog
syslog=> SELECT * FROM <your table name> ORDER BY datetime DESC LIMIT 10;

ISO 8601 timestamps

Before :

#logger These timestamps are not optimal.
#tail -n 1 /var/log/messages.log
Feb 18 14:25:01 hostname logger: These timestamps are not optimal.
#

Add ts_format(iso); to /etc/syslog-ng/syslog-ng.conf in the options section. Example:

options {
  stats_freq (0);
  flush_lines (0);
  time_reopen (10);
  log_fifo_size (1000);
  long_hostnames(off); 
  use_dns (no);
  use_fqdn (no);
  create_dirs (no);
  keep_hostname (yes);
  perm(0640);
  group("log");
  ts_format(iso);      #make ISO-8601 timestamps
};

Then:

# /etc/rc.d/syslog-ng reload

After :

#logger Now THAT is a timestamp!
#tail -n 2 /var/log/messages.log
Feb 18 14:25:01 hostname logger: These timestamps are not optimal.
2010-02-18T20:23:58-05:00 electron logger: Now THAT is a timestamp!
#

RFC 3339 timestamps

Same as above, except use rfc3339 instead of iso for ts_format

Log Levels

Log levels are defined separately for each logged facility in syslog-ng config. Available log levels are listed in /usr/include/sys/syslog.h :

define LOG_EMERG       0       /* system is unusable */
define LOG_ALERT       1       /* action must be taken immediately */
define LOG_CRIT        2       /* critical conditions */
define LOG_ERR         3       /* error conditions */
define LOG_WARNING     4       /* warning conditions */
define LOG_NOTICE      5       /* normal but significant condition */
define LOG_INFO        6       /* informational */
define LOG_DEBUG       7       /* debug-level messages */


See Also

  • Netconsole A kernel module that sends all kernel log messages (i.e. dmesg) over the network to another computer, without involving user space (e.g. syslogd).

External Links