5.6.2. Reusing configuration blocks

To create a reusable configuration snippet and reuse parts of a configuration file, you have to define the block (for example, a source) once, and reference it later. (Such reusable blocks are sometimes called a Source Configuration Library, or SCL.) Any syslog-ng object can be a block. Use the following syntax to define a block:

block type name() {<contents of the block>};

Type must be one of the following: destination, filter, log, parser, rewrite, root, source. The root blocks can be used in the "root" context of the configuration file, that is, outside any other statements.

Blocks may be nested into each other, so for example a block can be built from other blocks. Blocks are somewhat similar to C++ templates.

The type and name combination of each block must be unique, that is, two blocks can have the same name if their type is different.

To use a block in your configuration file, you have to do two things:

  • Include the file defining the block in the syslog-ng.conf file — or a file already included into syslog-ng.conf. Version 3.7 and newer automatically includes the *.conf files from the <directory-where-syslog-ng-is-installed>/scl/*/ directories.

  • Reference the name of the block in your configuration file. This will insert the block into your configuration. For example, to use a block called myblock, include the following line in your configuration:

    myblock()

    Blocks may have parameters, but even if they do not, the reference must include opening and closing parentheses like in the previous example.

The contents of the block will be inserted into the configuration when syslog-ng OSE is started or reloaded.

Example 5.6. Reusing configuration blocks

Suppose you are running an application on your hosts that logs into the /opt/var/myapplication.log file. Create a file (for example, myblocks.conf) that stores a source describing this file and how it should be read:

block source myappsource() {
        file("/opt/var/myapplication.log" follow-freq(1) default-facility(syslog)); };

Include this file in your main syslog-ng configuration file, reference the block, and use it in a logpath:

@version: 3.13
@include "<correct/path>/myblocks.conf"
source s_myappsource { myappsource(); };
...
log { source(s_myappsource); destination(...); };

To define a block that defines more than one object, use root as the type of the block, and reference the block from the main part of the syslog-ng OSE configuration file.

Example 5.7. Defining blocks with multiple elements

The following example defines a source, a destination, and a log path to connect them.

block root mylogs() {
        source s_file { file("/var/log/mylogs.log" follow-freq(1)); };
        destination d_local { file("/var/log/messages"); };
        log { source(s_file); destination(d_local); };
};
Tip

Since the block is inserted into the syslog-ng OSE configuration when syslog-ng OSE is started, the block can be generated dynamically using an external script if needed. This is useful when you are running syslog-ng OSE on different hosts and you want to keep the main configuration identical.

If you want to reuse more than a single configuration object, for example, a logpath and the definitions of its sources and destinations, use the include feature to reuse the entire snippet. For details, see Section 5.6.1, Including configuration files.