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The Syslog Protocol
RFC 5424

Document type: RFC - Proposed Standard (March 2009; Errata)
Obsoletes RFC 3164
Document stream: IETF
Last updated: 2013-03-02
Other versions: plain text, pdf, html

IETF State: (None)
Consensus: Unknown
Document shepherd: No shepherd assigned

IESG State: RFC 5424 (Proposed Standard)
Responsible AD: Sam Hartman
Send notices to: syslog-chairs@tools.ietf.org

Network Working Group                                        R. Gerhards
Request for Comments: 5424                                  Adiscon GmbH
Obsoletes: 3164                                               March 2009
Category: Standards Track

                          The Syslog Protocol

Status of This Memo

   This document specifies an Internet standards track protocol for the
   Internet community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
   improvements.  Please refer to the current edition of the "Internet
   Official Protocol Standards" (STD 1) for the standardization state
   and status of this protocol.  Distribution of this memo is unlimited.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2009 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents in effect on the date of
   publication of this document (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info).
   Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights
   and restrictions with respect to this document.

   This document may contain material from IETF Documents or IETF
   Contributions published or made publicly available before November
   10, 2008.  The person(s) controlling the copyright in some of this
   material may not have granted the IETF Trust the right to allow
   modifications of such material outside the IETF Standards Process.
   Without obtaining an adequate license from the person(s) controlling
   the copyright in such materials, this document may not be modified
   outside the IETF Standards Process, and derivative works of it may
   not be created outside the IETF Standards Process, except to format
   it for publication as an RFC or to translate it into languages other
   than English.

Gerhards                    Standards Track                     [Page 1]
RFC 5424                  The Syslog Protocol                 March 2009

Abstract

   This document describes the syslog protocol, which is used to convey
   event notification messages.  This protocol utilizes a layered
   architecture, which allows the use of any number of transport
   protocols for transmission of syslog messages.  It also provides a
   message format that allows vendor-specific extensions to be provided
   in a structured way.

   This document has been written with the original design goals for
   traditional syslog in mind.  The need for a new layered specification
   has arisen because standardization efforts for reliable and secure
   syslog extensions suffer from the lack of a Standards-Track and
   transport-independent RFC.  Without this document, each other
   standard needs to define its own syslog packet format and transport
   mechanism, which over time will introduce subtle compatibility
   issues.  This document tries to provide a foundation that syslog
   extensions can build on.  This layered architecture approach also
   provides a solid basis that allows code to be written once for each
   syslog feature rather than once for each transport.

   This document obsoletes RFC 3164.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ....................................................4
   2. Conventions Used in This Document ...............................4
   3. Definitions .....................................................4
   4. Basic Principles ................................................5
      4.1. Example Deployment Scenarios ...............................6
   5. Transport Layer Protocol ........................................7
      5.1. Minimum Required Transport Mapping .........................7
   6. Syslog Message Format ...........................................8
      6.1. Message Length .............................................9
      6.2. HEADER .....................................................9
           6.2.1. PRI .................................................9
           6.2.2. VERSION ............................................11
           6.2.3. TIMESTAMP ..........................................11
           6.2.4. HOSTNAME ...........................................13
           6.2.5. APP-NAME ...........................................14
           6.2.6. PROCID .............................................14
           6.2.7. MSGID ..............................................14
      6.3. STRUCTURED-DATA ...........................................15
           6.3.1. SD-ELEMENT .........................................15
           6.3.2. SD-ID ..............................................15
           6.3.3. SD-PARAM ...........................................16
           6.3.4. Change Control .....................................17
           6.3.5. Examples ...........................................17

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