[syslog-ng-announce] syslog-ng 3.6.0alpha1 has been released

devel at balabit.hu devel at balabit.hu
Wed Jul 30 15:59:02 CEST 2014

PACKAGE             : syslog-ng
VERSION             : 3.6.0alpha1
SUMMARY             : new alpha release
DATE                : Jul 30, 2014


  The first alpha version of syslog-ng Open Source Edition (3.6.0alpha1) has
  been released. This being an alpha release, testing is most welcome, but
  production use is not recommended!


	Wed, 30 Jul 2014 15:40:42 +0200

This is the first alpha release of the upcoming syslog-ng OSE 3.6
branch, a result of about seven months of work, by more than a dozen
contributors, touching 379 files, and changing over twenty thousand

Compared to the latest stable release (3.5.5), this alpha release
contains the following noteworthy changes:

New dependencies

PCRE is now a required dependency of syslog-ng, and is not optional


### New options

* A new `custom-domain()` global setting was introduced, which allows
  the administrator to override the local domain name used by
  syslog-ng. It affects all locally generated log messages.

* Added a `use-rcptid()` global option, that tells syslog-ng to assign
  a reception ID to each message received and generated by syslog-ng.
  This ID is available as the `$RCPTID` macro, and is unique on a
  given host. The counter wraps around at 48 bits and is never zero.

### New drivers

* The `pseudofile()` destination driver is a very simple driver, aimed
  at delivering messages to special files in `/proc` or `/dev`. It
  opens and closes the file on each message, instead of keeping it
  open. It does not support templates in the filename, and does not
  have a queue (and as such, is not adequate in high traffic

* The new `nodejs()` source driver (implemented as an SCL macro) adds
  a source driver that allows syslog-ng to accept messages from
  node.js applications that use the `winston` logging API.

### Miscellaneous new features

* The `multi-line-mode()` option gained a new setting:
  `prefix-suffix`, which works similarly to the `prefix-garbage`
  (which is the new name for `regexp`), except it appends the garbage
  part to the message, instead of discarding it.

  This new mode can be used to work around the absence of a timeout.

* Filters default to PCRE matching, instead of the previous POSIX
  regexp default.

### Statistics

* The stats counter for PROGRAM counters now includes the timestamp of
  the last update.

* A new `stats-lifetime()` global option was introduced, which
  controls how often dynamic counters are expired. The timer is not
  exact, some timers may live a little bit longer than the specified

* Dynamic counters are now cleaned up every `stats-lifetime()` minutes
  (defaulting to 10 minutes) instead of only on reloads. This change
  was done to reduce the memory used by dynamic counters.

* There is now an `internal_queue_length` statistic, which shows the
  length of the internal queue. This is most useful to see if the
  `internal()` source is not connected, or if it is not being emptied
  fast enough (which, again, indicates a more serious error).

### MongoDB

* The `mongodb()` driver now supports authentication, even when using
  replica sets. When re-connecting to another member of the set, the
  driver will automatically re-authenticate.

* The `--with-libmongo-client` option of the configure script now
  supports `auto` as a value, and will then detect whether to use the
  system version of the library or the internal copy. We default to
  `auto` now, which prefers the system library over the internal copy.

* The driver does not automatically add an `_id` field to the message:
  the server will do that automatically, if none is present. This
  allows users to override the field from within their syslog-ng

* A new `retries()` option can be used to tell the driver how many
  times it should try to insert a message into the database before
  giving up (defaults to 3). This fixes the case where a rogue message
  could hold up the entire queue, as it was retried forever.

* The driver now enables `safe-mode()` by default.

* There is now a one-minute timeout for MongoDB operations. If an
  operation times out, it will be considered failed.

* The driver can now connect to MongoDB via UNIX domain sockets.

* The `double()` type hint is now supported by the driver.

### Unix Domain Sockets

* The `unix-dgram()` and `unix-stream()` sources now extract UNIX
  credentials (PID, UID and GID of the sending application) from the
  passed messages, if any. On Linux, and FreeBSD, the path of the
  executable belonging to PID is extracted too, along with
  command-line arguments.

  The extracted values are available in `${.unix.pid}`,
  `${.unix.uid}`, `${.unix.gid}`, `${.unix.exe}` and
  `${.unix.cmdline}`, respectively.

* The `system()` source will overwrite the PID macro with the value of
  `${.unix.pid}`, if present.

### JSON

* The json-parser gained an `extract-prefix()` option, which can be
  used to tell the parser to only extract JSON members from a specific
  subtree of the incoming object.

  Example: `json-parser(extract-prefix("foo.bar[5]"));`

  Assuming that the incoming object is named msg, this is equivalent
  to the following javascript code: `msg.foo.bar[5]`

  The resulting expression must be a JSON object, so that syslog-ng
  can extract its members into LogMessage name-value pairs.

  This also works when the top-level object is an array, as
  `extract-prefix()` allows the use of an array index at the first
  indirection level, for example:
  `json-parser(extract-prefix("[5]"));`, which translates to `msg[5]`.

* The `$(format-json)` template function now handles the `double()`
  type hint.

### Debugging

* When sending messages to stderr in debug mode, prepend a timestamp
  to the messages.

* The new `$RUNID` macro is available for templates, which changes its
  value every time syslog-ng is restarted, but not when reloaded.

* A Valgrind suppression file was added (available under
  `contrib/valgrind/`), to aid in debugging memory leaks in syslog-ng.
  It supresses a couple of known false positives, and a few other
  things in third-party libraries.

* A new utility, `system-expand`, was added, which returns what the
  `system()` source would expand to.


* With the MongoDB destination, successfully inserted messages are not
  counted as "stored" anymore: stored messages are those that are in a
  memory or disk buffer.

* In the MongoDB destination, reconnecting in a replica-set
  environment now works correctly, and reliably.

* The reliability of the `usertty()` destination driver was greatly
  improved. Previously, some parts of it were not thread-safe, which
  could result in strange behaviour.

* The handling of escape related flags of `csvparser()` was changed:
  instead of these flags overwriting all other (even non-escape
  related) flags, if the flag to set is an escape-flag, it will keep
  all non-escape flags, and set the new one. If it is a not such a
  flag, then it will clear all flags, and set the previous escape
  flags, and the new flag.

  This, in essence, means that when setting flags on a `csvparser()`,
  if it is an escape flag, only escape flags will be affected. If not,
  then escape flags will not be affected at all.

* The SQL destination now correctly continues $SEQNUM counting after a
  reload, instead of starting afresh.

* When tring to stop syslog-ng while a reload is in progress,
  syslog-ng will now correctly shut down cleanly.

* When the local hostname is not an FQDN, and the local resolver fails
  to return an FQDN too, syslog-ng does not abort anymore, but
  continues using a non-FQDN hostname after emitting a warning on the
  internal source.

  Furthermore, syslog-ng will try to resolve the FQDN harder: when
  multiple names are returned, it will search for the first FQDN one,
  instead of stopping at the primary name.

* The `update-patterndb` script will now work correctly when the
  current working directory contains .pdb files.

* We will now correctly handle time going backwards in patterndb: it
  will realign its idea of current time with the system. This corrects
  a bug where timeouts did not function properly when system time was
  set backwards.

* The Linux capability support is now correctly auto-detected by the
  configure script, and defaults to off on FreeBSD 9+, as it should.

* Various memory leak fixes around the code base.

Developer notes

The code base went through a lot of refactoring, too many to list in a
simple NEWS file. Groundwork has been laid out for future features
which are yet to hit the 3.6 branch.


syslog-ng is developed as a community project, and as such it relies
on volunteers, to do the work necessarily to produce syslog-ng.

Reporting bugs, testing changes, writing code or simply providing
feedback are all important contributions, so please if you are a user
of syslog-ng, contribute.

We would like to thank the following people for their contribution:

Andras Mitzki, Andres Tamayo, Balazs Scheidler, Csaba Karsai, Daniel
Gados, Evan Rempel, Fabien Wernli, Gergely Nagy, Igor Ippolitov, Imre
Lazar, Jakub Wilk, Laszlo Budai, Lucas McLane, Martin Bagge, Matyas
Koszik, Nick Alcock, Otto Berger, Peter Czanik, Peter Gyongyosi,
Sebastien Badia, Sebastiaan Hoogeveen, Tamas Pal, Tibor Benke, Tobias
Schwab, Viktor Juhasz, Viktor Tusa, Xufeng Zhang


  You can download the source or binary packages from:


  The documentation of the syslog-ng Open Source Edition is available in
  The syslog-ng Open Source Edition Administrator's Guide at


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