Tuesday, June 15, 2010

syslog-ng tips and tricks

Although I've been contemplating using scribe for our logging needs, for now I'm using syslog-ng. It's been doing the job well so far. Here are a couple of configuration tips:

1) Sending log messages for a given log facility to a given log file

Let's say you want to send all haproxy log messages to a file called /var/log/haproxy.log. In haproxy.cfg you can say:

 log local7 info

...which means -- log all messages to localhost, to log facility local7 and with a log level of info.

To direct these messages to a file called /var/log/haproxy.log, you need to define the following in /etc/syslog-ng/syslog-ng.conf:

i) a destination:

destination df_haproxy { file("/var/log/haproxy.log"); };

ii) a filter:

filter f_haproxy { facility(local7); };

iii) a log (which ties the destination to the filter):

log {

You also need to configure syslog-ng to allow log messages sent via UPD from localhost. Add this line to the source s_all element:

udp(ip( port(514));

Important note: since you're sending haproxy log messages to the local7 facility, this means that they'll also be captured by /var/log/syslog and /var/log/messages, since they are configured in syslog-ng.conf as destinations for the filters f_syslog and f_messages, which by default catch the local7 facility. As a result, you'll have triple logging of your haproxy messages. The solution? Add local7 to the list of facilities excluded from the f_syslog and f_messages filters.

2) Sending log messages to a remote log host

Assume you want to centralize log messages for a given service by sending them to a remote log host. Let's assume that the service logs via the local0 facility. The same procedure applies, with the creation of the following elements in syslog-ng.conf:

i) a destination

destination df_remote_log {
  udp("remote_loghost" port (5000));

ii) a filter:

filter f_myservice { facility(local0); };

iii) a log:

log {

Note that you can also send messages for this particular filter (corresponding to local0) to a local file, by creating a destination poining to that file and a log element tying the filter with that destination, like this:

destination df_local_log { file("/var/log/myservice.log"); };
log {

Finally, to finish the remote logging bit, you need to configure syslog-ng on the remote host to allow messages on UDP port 5000, and to log them to a local file. Here's my configuration on host "remote_loghost":

i) a new source allowing messages on port 5000:

source s_remote_logging {
    udp(ip( port(5000));

ii) a destination pointing to a local file:

destination df_common_log { file ("/var/log/myservice_common.log"); };

iii) a log combining the source and the destination above; I am using the predefined f_syslog filter here, because I don't need to select messages based on a given facility anymore:

log {

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