12.8. The Cisco Parser

The Cisco Parser can parse the log messages of various Cisco devices. The messages of these devices often do not completely comply with the syslog RFCs, making them difficult to parse. The cisco-parser() of syslog-ng OSE solves this problem, and can separate these log messages to name-value pairs, extracting also the Cisco-specific values, for example, the mnemonic. For details on using value-pairs in syslog-ng OSE see Section 2.10, Structuring macros, metadata, and other value-pairs. The parser can parse variations of the following message format:

<pri>(sequence: )?(origin-id: )?(timestamp? timezone?: )?%msg

For example:

<189>29: foo: *Apr 29 13:58:40.411: %SYS-5-CONFIG_I: Configured from console by console
<190>30: foo: *Apr 29 13:58:46.411: %SYS-6-LOGGINGHOST_STARTSTOP: Logging to host stopped - CLI initiated
<190>31: foo: *Apr 29 13:58:46.411: %SYS-6-LOGGINGHOST_STARTSTOP: Logging to host started - CLI initiated
<189>32: *Apr 29 13:59:12.491: %SYS-5-CONFIG_I: Configured from console by console

Note that not every Cisco log message conforms to this format. If you find a message that the cisco-parser() cannot properly parse, send it to so we can improve the parser.

The syslog-ng OSE application normalizes the parsed log messages into the following format:


By default, the Cisco-specific fields are extracted into the following name-value pairs:${.cisco.facility}, ${.cisco.severity}, ${.cisco.mnemonic}. You can change the prefix using the prefix option.


@version: 3.12
@include "scl.conf"
log {
    source { udp(flags(no-parse)); };
    parser { cisco-parser(); };
    destination { ... };

Note that you have to disable message parsing in the source using the flags(no-parse) option for the parser to work.

The cisco-parser() is actually a reusable configuration snippet configured to parse Cisco messages. For details on using or writing such configuration snippets, see Section 5.6.2, Reusing configuration blocks. You can find the source of this configuration snippet on GitHub.


Synopsis: prefix()

Description: Insert a prefix before the name part of the parsed name-value pairs to help further processing. For example:

  • To insert the my-parsed-data. prefix, use the prefix(my-parsed-data.) option.

  • To refer to a particular data that has a prefix, use the prefix in the name of the macro, for example, ${my-parsed-data.name}.

  • If you forward the parsed messages using the IETF-syslog protocol, you can insert all the parsed data into the SDATA part of the message using the prefix(.SDATA.my-parsed-data.) option.

Names starting with a dot (for example, .example) are reserved for use by syslog-ng OSE. If you use such a macro name as the name of a parsed value, it will attempt to replace the original value of the macro (note that only soft macros can be overwritten, see Section 11.1.4, Hard vs. soft macros for details). To avoid such problems, use a prefix when naming the parsed values, for example, prefix(my-parsed-data.)

By default, cisco-parser() uses the cisco. prefix. To modify it, use the following format:

parser { cisco-parser(prefix("myprefix.")); };