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The syslog-ng application is a highly portable syslog solution to create secure, flexible and reliable logging infrastructure in production environments.

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syslog-ng intro

The syslog-ng application supports reliable and encrypted transport using TCP and TLS, and offers powerful message filtering, sorting, pre-processing and log normalization capabilities. Utilizing message parsing and classification, syslog-ng is able to correlate log messages both real-time and offline, making it especially suited to implement the artificial ignorance principle.

Syslog-ng is available in openSUSE since many years. For a long time it meant syslog-ng version 2.0.9, but recently newer versions of syslog-ng with added features reached openSUSE. This page summarizes the most important changes.

... openSUSE 11.2

We can call this the base line. Up to openSUSE 11.2, the included syslog-ng version was 2.0.9

openSUSE 11.3

openSUSE 11.3 has syslog-ng version 3.1.1, which is a new major version. Some of its new features like SSL and database support are not enabled due to /usr dependency. From the desktop users point of view, nothing is changed, logging works just as earlier. But under the hood many new features arrived for those willing to change the configuration file.

The following list is just a highlight of new features:

  • NEWS from 2.0 to 3.0
 * Version 3.0 of syslog-ng supports the new syslog protocol
   standards by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).
 * Log statements can be embedded into each other, making it
   possible to design complex log paths. That way for example
   the results of a filter can be sent to multiple destinations,
   or it can be sent to a destination unchanged, and partly
   rewritten for the other destination.
 * The encoding of source files can be set for proper character
   conversion (internally syslog-ng represents every message in
 * The syslog-ng application assigns a unique message
   identification number to every log message, making it easy
   to detect if any messages are lost.
 * The syslog-ng application can read, process, and rewrite
   structured messages (e.g., Apache webserver logs) using
   templates and regular expressions. Both messages with fixed
   field sizes and fields separated with delimiters (e.g.,
   comma-separated values) are supported.
  • NEWS from 3.0 to 3.1
 * Support for patterndb v2 and v3 format, along with a bunch
   to new parsers: ANYSTRING, IPv6, IPvANY and FLOAT.
 * Added a new "pdbtool" utility to manage patterndb files:
   convert them from v1 or v2 format, merge mulitple patterndb
   files into one and look up matching patterns given a specific
 * Support for message tags: tags can be assigned to log messages
   as they enter syslog-ng: either by the source driver or via
   Later it these tags can be used for efficient filtering.
 * Added support for rewriting structured data.
 * Macros and name-value pairs got a little tighter integration,
   in filters where syslog-ng 3.0 was limited to only use
   name-value pairs, with 3.1 you can also use macros.
 * Enhanced dynamic name-value performance by a factor of three.
 * Some parsers got additional features: NUMBER is now able to
   parse hexadecimal numbers, ESTRING is now able to search for
   multiple characters as the end of the string.
 * Added non-standard and non-portable facility codes (range
   10-15), decouple syslog-ng facility name information from
   the system used to compile syslog-ng on.

openSUSE 11.4

Factory has syslog-ng version 3.1.2, but Base:System is already at version 3.2.1 which brings modularization, many new features, SSL enabled, etc. Database support is pending, as it needs libdbi, which is still not in factory.


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