Use this documentation with care! It describes the heavily outdated version 5, which was actively developed around 2010 and is considered dead by the rsyslog team for many years now.

This documentation reflects the latest update of the previously existing (now removed) v5-stable branch. It describes the 5.10.2 version, which was never released. As such, it contains some content that does not apply to any released version.

To obtain the doc that properly matches your installed v5 version, obtain the doc set from your distro. Each version of rsyslog contained the version that exactly matches it.

As general advise, it is strongly suggested to upgrade to the current version supported by the rsyslog project. The current version can always be found on the right-hand side info box on the rsyslog web site.

Note that there is no rsyslog community support available for this heavily outdated version. If you need to stick with it, please ask your distribution for support.


Below are example for templates and selector lines. I hope they are self-explanatory.


Please note that the samples are split across multiple lines. A template MUST NOT actually be split across multiple lines.

A template that resembles traditional syslogd file output:
$template TraditionalFormat,”%timegenerated% %HOSTNAME% %syslogtag%%msg:::drop-last-lf%\n”
A template that tells you a little more about the message:
$template precise,”%syslogpriority%,%syslogfacility%,%timegenerated%,%HOSTNAME%, %syslogtag%,%msg%\n”
A template for RFC 3164 format:
$template RFC3164fmt,”<%PRI%>%TIMESTAMP% %HOSTNAME% %syslogtag%%msg%”
A template for the format traditonally used for user messages:
$template usermsg,” XXXX%syslogtag%%msg%\n\r”
And a template with the traditonal wall-message format:
$template wallmsg,”\r\n\7Message from syslogd@%HOSTNAME% at %timegenerated%
A template that can be used for the database write (please note the SQL template option)
$template MySQLInsert,”insert iut, message, receivedat values (‘%iut%’, ‘%msg:::UPPERCASE%’, ‘%timegenerated:::date-mysql%’) into systemevents\r\n”, SQL

The following template emulates WinSyslog format (it’s an Adiscon format, you do not feel bad if you don’t know it ;)). It’s interesting to see how it takes different parts out of the date stamps. What happens is that the date stamp is split into the actual date and time and the these two are combined with just a comma in between them.

$template WinSyslogFmt,"%HOSTNAME%,%timegenerated:1:10:date-rfc3339%,

Selector lines

# Store critical stuff in critical
*.=crit;kern.none /var/adm/critical

This will store all messages with the priority crit in the file /var/adm/critical, except for any kernel message.

# Kernel messages are first, stored in the kernel
# file, critical messages and higher ones also go
# to another host and to the console. Messages to
# the host are forwarded in RFC 3164
# format (using the template defined above).
kern.* /var/adm/kernel
kern.crit /dev/console;kern.!err /var/adm/kernel-info

The first rule direct any message that has the kernel facility to the file /var/adm/kernel.

The second statement directs all kernel messages of the priority crit and higher to the remote host This is useful, because if the host crashes and the disks get irreparable errors you might not be able to read the stored messages. If they’re on a remote host, too, you still can try to find out the reason for the crash.

The third rule directs these messages to the actual console, so the person who works on the machine will get them, too.

The fourth line tells rsyslogd to save all kernel messages that come with priorities from info up to warning in the file /var/adm/kernel-info. Everything from err and higher is excluded.

# The tcp wrapper loggs with, we display
# all the connections on tty12
mail.=info /dev/tty12

This directs all messages that uses (in source LOG_MAIL | LOG_INFO) to /dev/tty12, the 12th console. For example the tcpwrapper tcpd(8) uses this as it’s default.

# Store all mail concerning stuff in a file
mail.\*;mail.!=info /var/adm/mail

This pattern matches all messages that come with the mail facility, except for the info priority. These will be stored in the file /var/adm/mail.

# Log all and messages to info
mail,news.=info /var/adm/info

This will extract all messages that come either with or with and store them in the file /var/adm/info.

# Log info and notice messages to messages file
mail.none /var/log/messages

This lets rsyslogd log all messages that come with either the info or the notice facility into the file /var/log/messages, except for all messages that use the mail facility.

# Log info messages to messages file
mail,news.none /var/log/messages

This statement causes rsyslogd to log all messages that come with the info priority to the file /var/log/messages. But any message coming either with the mail or the news facility will not be stored.

# Emergency messages will be displayed to all users
*.=emerg :omusrmsg:*

This rule tells rsyslogd to write all emergency messages to all currently logged in users.

# Messages of the priority alert will be directed
# to the operator
*.alert root,rgerhards

This rule directs all messages with a priority of alert or higher to the terminals of the operator, i.e. of the users “root’’ and “rgerhards’’ if they’re logged in.


This rule would redirect all messages to a remote host called This is useful especially in a cluster of machines where all syslog messages will be stored on only one machine.

In the format shown above, UDP is used for transmitting the message. The destination port is set to the default auf 514. Rsyslog is also capable of using much more secure and reliable TCP sessions for message forwarding. Also, the destination port can be specified. To select TCP, simply add one additional @ in front of the host name (that is, @host is UPD, @@host is TCP). For example:


To specify the destination port on the remote machine, use a colon followed by the port number after the machine name. The following forwards to port 1514 on


This syntax works both with TCP and UDP based syslog. However, you will probably primarily need it for TCP, as there is no well-accepted port for this transport (it is non-standard). For UDP, you can usually stick with the default auf 514, but might want to modify it for security reasons. If you would like to do that, it’s quite easy:

*.* >dbhost,dbname,dbuser,dbpassword;dbtemplate

This rule writes all message to the database “dbname” hosted on “dbhost”. The login is done with user “dbuser” and password “dbpassword”. The actual table that is updated is specified within the template (which contains the insert statement). The template is called “dbtemplate” in this case.


This rule forwards all messages that contain the word “error” in the msg part to the server “errorServer”. Forwarding is via UDP. Please note the colon in fron

This documentation is part of the rsyslog project. Copyright © 2008-2014 by Rainer Gerhards and Adiscon. Released under the GNU GPL version 2 or higher.

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