I'm trying to set up syslog-ng to properly parse RFC5424-compilant messages, thus far, with little success. According to the syslog-ng documentation,

The syslog-ng OSE application can automatically parse log messages that conform to the RFC3164 (BSD or legacy-syslog) or the RFC5424 (IETF-syslog) message formats. If syslog-ng OSE cannot parse a message, it results in an error.

This suggests that no extra parameters needed for syslog-ng for actually parse these messages. However, it just doesn't.

Here is the relevant part of my syslog-ng config:

template remote_message {
    template("${R_ISODATE} s=${SDATA} mesg=${MSGONLY}\n");

source s_remote {

destination d_remote {

log {

The server listens on port 514, and picks up logs from remote sources, but doesn't parse them at all. Sending the following message (which is copied from the RFC text):

<165>1 2003-10-11T22:14:15.003Z sender.computer.org evententry - ID47 [exampleSDID@32473 iut="3" eventSource="Application" eventID="1011"] Test message

yields the following log entry:

2016-04-26T16:22:31+02:00 s= mesg=2003-10-11T22:14:15.003Z sender.computer.org evententry - ID47 [exampleSDID@32473 iut="3" eventSource="Application" eventID="1011"] Test message

So as you can see, the message doesn't get parsed at all. Contrary to the documentation, this doesn't results an error: according to the documentation, if the on-error option is set to fallback-to-string, syslog-ng should "log an error message to the internal() source", but no such logs are made.

I have a feeling that I'm missing something very basic here, because it really should work. What am I missing?

1 Answer 1


your source seems to be misconfigured a bit:

source s_remote {

This is actually two sources:

  • the first line listens on port 514 for RFC3164 messages
  • the second line listens for RFC5424 messages on port 601 (the default port of the syslog() source)

So if you send your RFC5424 message to port 601, it should work (unless some firewall prevents listening on port 601).


Robert Fekete

  • Ah, thank you. So I was right in feeling I was missing something trivial :)
    – Lacek
    Apr 27, 2016 at 9:51

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