12.3. Parsing key=value pairs

The syslog-ng OSE application can separate a message consisting of whitespace or comma-separated key=value pairs (for example, Postfix log messages) into name-value pairs. You can also specify other separator character instead of the equal sign, for example, colon (:) to parse MySQL log messages. The syslog-ng OSE application automatically trims any leading or trailing whitespace characters from the keys and values, and also parses values that contain unquoted whitespace. For details on using value-pairs in syslog-ng OSE see Section 2.10, Structuring macros, metadata, and other value-pairs.

You can refer to the separated parts of the message using the key of the value as a macro. For example, if the message contains KEY1=value1,KEY2=value2, you can refer to the values as ${KEY1} and ${KEY2}.

Note

If a log message contains the same key multiple times (for example, key1=value1, key2=value2, key1=value3, key3=value4, key1=value5), then syslog-ng OSE stores only the last (rightmost) value for the key. Using the previous example, syslog-ng OSE will store the following pairs: key1=value5, key2=value2, key3=value4.

Warning

If the names of keys in the message is the same as the names of syslog-ng OSE soft macros, the value from the parsed message will overwrite the value of the macro. For example, the PROGRAM=value1, MESSAGE=value2 content will overwrite the ${PROGRAM} and ${MESSAGE} macros. To avoid overwriting such macros, use the prefix() option.

Hard macros cannot be modified, so they will not be overwritten. For details on the macro types, see Section 11.1.4, Hard vs. soft macros.

The parser discards message sections that are not key=value pairs, even if they appear between key=value pairs that can be parsed.

To parse key=value pairs, define a parser that has the kv-parser() option. Defining the prefix is optional. By default, the parser will process the ${MESSAGE} part of the log message. You can also define the parser inline in the log path.

Declaration: 

parser parser_name {
    kv-parser(
        prefix()
    );
};
Example 12.6. Using a key=value parser

In the following example, the source is a log message consisting of comma-separated key=value pairs, for example, a Postfix log message:

Jun 20 12:05:12 mail.example.com <info> postfix/qmgr[35789]: EC2AC1947DA: from=<me@example.com>, size=807, nrcpt=1 (queue active)

The kv-parser inserts the ".kv." prefix before all extracted name-value pairs. The destination is a file, that uses the format-json template function. Every name-value pair that begins with a dot (".") character will be written to the file (dot-nv-pairs). The log line connects the source, the destination and the parser.

source s_kv {
    network(port(21514));
};

destination d_json {
    file("/tmp/test.json"
        template("$(format-json --scope dot-nv-pairs)\n"));
};

parser p_kv {
    kv-parser (prefix(".kv."));
};

log {
    source(s_kv);
    parser(p_kv);
    destination(d_json);
};

You can also define the parser inline in the log path.

source s_kv {
    network(port(21514));
};

destination d_json {
    file("/tmp/test.json"
        template("$(format-json --scope dot-nv-pairs)\n"));
};

log {
    source(s_kv);
    parser {
        kv-parser (prefix(".kv."));
    };
    destination(d_json);
};

You can set the separator character between the key and the value to parse for example key:value pairs, like MySQL logs:

Mar  7 12:39:25 myhost MysqlClient[20824]: SYSTEM_USER:'oscar', MYSQL_USER:'my_oscar', CONNECTION_ID:23, DB_SERVER:'127.0.0.1', DB:'--', QUERY:'USE test;'
parser p_mysql { kv-parser(value-separator(":") prefix(".mysql."));