How to process Syslog messages from Solaris 8/9 systems?

Wednesday, March 15th, 2006

How to process Syslog messages from Solaris 8/9 systems?

Created 2006-03-15 by Andre Lorbach.

This article describes how to workaround problems which occur when you are receiving and processing Syslog messages from Solaris 8/9 systems.

  • The Problem: The problem exists in the way, the Syslog messages are formatted from Solaris 8/9. As an example, we take the following sample Syslog message:
<38>Aug  2 11:49:23 su: [ID 366847 auth.info] ‘su root’ succeeded for root on /dev/console

This message is missing the source, which has to be before the Syslogtag, as it is defined in RFC3164. So correctly, the Syslog would have to look like this:

<38>Aug  2 11:49:23 mymaschine su: [ID 366847 auth.info] ‘su root’ succeeded for root on /dev/console

In the first message, our Syslog Server treats the SyslogTag value as Source, and doesn’t continue to parse the SyslogTag Value. This will result in an empty SyslogTag, and wrong parsed source. The problem is that our Syslog Server does not expect such a message, and so it can’t be handled directly.

  • The Workaround: The best way to workaround this problem is to disable RFC3164 Parsing in the Syslog Server, and implement your own preprocessing of the Syslog message with the help of the Postprocess Action. The following steps explain and show how this can be done.

1. Reconfigure your Syslog Server configuration and disable the following options:

  • Use original message timestamp (RFC 3164)
  • Take source system from Syslog message
  • Enable RFC 3164 Parsing

2. Create a PostProcess Action for preprocessing the Solaris Syslog messages:

First create a new Rule in your Main RuleSet and move it on top of all Rules. This is important as these actions will do the job of the "Enable RFC 3164 parsing" option of the Syslog Server. In this Rule, create a new PostProcess Action with the following template definition like in screenshot below. You can download the predefined PostProcess template from here. Use the Import Template button to load the predefined PostProcess template into your configuration.

The SyslogTag will now be correctly set by the PostProcess Actions, and the source is taken from the network connection from where the Syslog message is received. Please note that only "wrong" formatted messages will now be correctly parsed. So if you have other Syslog devices, you should let them send their logs to another Syslog Server where normal processing is used.