2.10. Structuring macros, metadata, and other value-pairs

Available in syslog-ng OSE 3.3 and later.

The syslog-ng OSE application allows you to select and construct name-value pairs from any information already available about the log message, or extracted from the message itself. You can directly use this structured information, for example, in the following places:

When using value-pairs, there are three ways to specify which information (that is, macros or other name-value pairs) to include in the selection.

  • Select groups of macros using the scope() parameter, and optionally remove certain macros from the group using the exclude() parameter.

  • List specific macros to include using the key() parameter.

  • Define new name-value pairs to include using the pair() parameter.

These parameters are detailed in Section value-pairs().

value-pairs()

Type: parameter list of the value-pairs() option
Default:
empty string

Description: The value-pairs() option allows you to select specific information about a message easily using predefined macro groups. The selected information is represented as name-value pairs and can be used formatted to JSON format, or directly used in a mongodb() destination.

Example 2.2. Using the value-pairs() option

The following example selects every available information about the log message, except for the date-related macros (R_* and S_*), selects the .SDATA.meta.sequenceId macro, and defines a new value-pair called MSGHDR that contains the program name and PID of the application that sent the log message.

value-pairs(
    scope(nv_pairs core syslog all_macros selected_macros everything)
    exclude("R_*")
    exclude("S_*")
    key(".SDATA.meta.sequenceId")
    pair("MSGHDR" "$PROGRAM[$PID]: ")
)

The following example selects the same information as the previous example, but converts it into JSON format.

$(format-json --scope nv_pairs,core,syslog,all_macros,selected_macros,everything \
  --exclude R_* --exclude S_* --key .SDATA.meta.sequenceId \
  --pair MSGHDR="$PROGRAM[$PID]: ")
Note

Every macro is included in the selection only once, but redundant information may appear if multiple macros include the same information (for example, including several date-related macros in the selection).

The value-pairs() option has the following parameters. The parameters are evaluated in the following order:

exclude()  
Type: Space-separated list of macros to remove from the selection created using the scope() option.
Default: empty string

Description: This option removes the specified macros from the selection. Use it to remove unneeded macros selected using the scope() parameter.

For example, the following example removes the SDATA macros from the selection.

value-pairs(
        scope(rfc5424 selected_macros)
        exclude(".SDATA*")
    )

The name of the macro to remove can include wildcards (*, ?). Regular expressions are not supported.

key()  
Type: Space-separated list of macros to be included in selection
Default: empty string

Description: This option selects the specified macros. The selected macros will be included as MACRONAME = MACROVALUE, that is using key("HOST") will result in HOST = $HOST. You can use wildcards (*, ?) to select multiple macros. For example:

value-pairs(
        scope(rfc3164)
        key("HOST"))
value-pairs(
        scope(rfc3164)
        key("HOST", "PROGRAM"))
pair()  
Type: name value pairs in "<NAME>" "<VALUE>" format
Default: empty string

Description: This option defines a new name-value pair to be included in the message. The value part can include macros, templates, and template functions as well. For example:

value-pairs(
        scope(rfc3164)
        pair("TIME" "$HOUR:$MIN")
        pair("MSGHDR" "$PROGRAM[$PID]: "))
rekey()  
Type: <pattern-to-select-names>, <list of transformations>
Default: empty string

Description: This option allows you to manipulate and modify the name of the value-pairs. You can define transformations, which are are applied to the selected name-value pairs. The first parameter of the rekey() option is a glob pattern that selects the name-value pairs to modify. If you omit the pattern, the transformations are applied to every key of the scope. For details on globs, see Section glob.

If you want to modify the names of several message fields, see also Section 11.2.6, map-value-pairs: Rename value-pairs to normalize logs.

  • If rekey() is used within a key() option, the name-value pairs specified in the glob of the key() option are transformed.

  • If rekey() is used outside the key() option, every name-value pair of the scope() is transformed.

The following transformations are available:

add-prefix("<my-prefix>")

Adds the specified prefix to every name. For example, rekey( add-prefix("my-prefix."))

replace-prefix("<prefix-to-replace>", "<new-prefix>")

Replaces a substring at the beginning of the key with another string. Only prefixes can be replaced. For example, replace-prefix(".class", ".patterndb") changes the beginning tag .class to .patterndb

This option was called replace() in syslog-ng OSE version 3.4.

shift("<number>")

Cuts the specified number of characters from the beginning of the name.

Example 2.3. Using the rekey() option

The following sample selects every value-pair that begins with .cee., deletes this prefix by cutting 4 characters from the names, and adds a new prefix (events.).

value-pairs(
    key(".cee.*"
        rekey(
            shift(4)
            add-prefix("events.")
        )
    )
)

The rekey() option can be used with the format-json template-function as well, using the following syntax:

$(format-json --rekey .cee.* --add-prefix events.)
scope()  
Type: space-separated list of macro groups to include in selection
Default: empty string

Description: This option selects predefined groups of macros. The following groups are available:

  • nv-pairs: Every soft macro (name-value pair) associated with the message, except the ones that start with a dot (.) character. Macros starting with a dot character are generated within syslog-ng OSE and are not originally part of the message, therefore are not included in this group.

  • dot-nv-pairs: Every soft macro (name-value pair) associated with the message which starts with a dot (.) character. For example, .classifier.rule_id and .sdata.*. Macros starting with a dot character are generated within syslog-ng OSE and are not originally part of the message.

  • all-nv-pairs: Include every soft macro (name-value pair). Equivalent to using both nv-pairs and dot-nv-pairs.

  • rfc3164: The macros that correspond to the RFC3164 (legacy or BSD-syslog) message format: $FACILITY, $PRIORITY, $HOST, $PROGRAM, $PID, $MESSAGE, and $DATE.

  • rfc5424: The macros that correspond to the RFC5424 (IETF-syslog) message format: $FACILITY, $PRIORITY, $HOST, $PROGRAM, $PID, $MESSAGE, $MSGID, $R_DATE, and the metadata from the structured-data (SDATA) part of RFC5424-formatted messages, that is, every macro that starts with .SDATA..

    The rfc5424 group also has the following alias: syslog-proto. Note that the value of $R_DATE will be listed under the DATE key.

    The rfc5424 group does not contain any metadata about the message, only information that was present in the original message. To include the most commonly used metadata (for example, the $SOURCEIP macro), use the selected-macros group instead.

  • all-macros: Include every hard macro. This group is mainly useful for debugging, as it contains redundant information (for example, the date-related macros include the date-related information several times in various formats).

  • selected-macros: Include the macros of the rfc3164 groups, and the most commonly used metadata about the log message: the $TAGS, $SOURCEIP, and $SEQNUM macros.

  • sdata: The metadata from the structured-data (SDATA) part of RFC5424-formatted messages, that is, every macro that starts with .SDATA.

  • everything: Include every hard and soft macros. This group is mainly useful for debugging, as it contains redundant information (for example, the date-related macros include the date-related information several times in various formats).

For example:

value-pairs(
        scope(rfc3164 selected-macros))