11.1.4. Hard vs. soft macros

Hard macros contain data that is directly derived from the log message, for example, the ${MONTH} macro derives its value from the timestamp. Hard macros are read-only. Soft macros (sometimes also called name-value pairs) are either built-in macros automatically generated from the log message (for example, ${HOST}), or custom user-created macros generated by using the syslog-ng pattern database or a CSV-parser. In contrast to hard macros, soft macros are writable and can be modified within syslog-ng OSE, for example, using rewrite rules.

Hard and soft macros are rather similar and often treated as equivalent. Macros are most commonly used in filters and templates, which does not modify the value of the macro, so both soft and hard macros can be used. However, it is not possible to change the values of hard macros in rewrite rules or via any other means.

The following macros in syslog-ng OSE are hard macros and cannot be modified: BSDTAG, CONTEXT_ID, DATE, DAY, FACILITY_NUM, FACILITY, FULLDATE, HOUR, ISODATE, LEVEL_NUM, LEVEL, MIN, MONTH_ABBREV, MONTH_NAME, MONTH, MONTH_WEEK, , PRIORITY, PRI, RCPTID, SDATA, SEC, SEQNUM, SOURCEIP, STAMP, TAG, TAGS, TZOFFSET, TZ, UNIXTIME, WEEK_DAY_ABBREV, WEEK_DAY_NAME, WEEK_DAY, WEEK, YEAR_DAY, YEAR.

The following macros can be modified:FULLHOST_FROM, FULLHOST, HOST_FROM, HOST, LEGACY_MSGHDR, MESSAGE, MSG,MSGID, MSGONLY, PID, PROGRAM, SOURCE. Custom values created using rewrite rules or parsers can be modified as well, just like stored matches of regular expressions ($0 ... $255).