JSON/CEE Structured Content Extraction Module (mmjsonparse)

Module Name:    mmjsonparse

Available since:6.6.0+

Author:Rainer Gerhards <rgerhards@adiscon.com>


This module provides support for parsing structured log messages that follow the CEE/lumberjack spec. The so-called “CEE cookie” is checked and, if present, the JSON-encoded structured message content is parsed. The properties are then available as original message properties.

As a convenience, mmjsonparse will produce a valid CEE/lumberjack log message if passed a message without the CEE cookie. A JSON structure will be created and the “msg” field will be the only field and it will contain the message. Note that in this case, mmjsonparse will nonetheless return that the JSON parsing has failed.

The “CEE cookie” is the character squence “@cee:” which must prepend the actual JSON. Note that the JSON must be valid and MUST NOT be followed by any non-JSON message. If either of these conditions is not true, mmjsonparse will not parse the associated JSON. This is based on the cookie definition used in CEE/project lumberjack and is meant to aid against an erroneous detection of a message as being CEE where it is not.

This also means that mmjsonparse currently is NOT a generic JSON parser that picks up JSON from whereever it may occur in the message. This is intentional, but future versions may support config parameters to relax the format requirements.

Action Parameters

Note: parameter names are case-insensitive.

cookie <string>

Default: “@cee:”

Permits to set the cookie that must be present in front of the JSON part of the message.

Most importantly, this can be set to the empty string (“”) in order to not require any cookie. In this case, leading spaces are permitted in front of the JSON. No non-whitespace characters are permitted after the JSON. If such is required, mmnormalize must be used.

useRawMsg <boolean>

Default: off

Specifies if the raw message should be used for normalization (on) or just the MSG part of the message (off).

container <word>

Default: $!

Specifies the JSON container (path) under which parsed elements should be placed. By default, all parsed properties are merged into root of message properties. You can place them under a subtree, instead. You can place them in local variables, also, by setting path=”$.”.

Check parsing result

You can check whether rsyslogd was able to successfully parse the message by reading the $parsesuccess variable :

if $parsesuccess == "OK" then {
   action(type="omfile" File="/tmp/output")
else if $parsesuccess == "FAIL" then {
   action(type="omfile" File="/tmp/parsing_failure")


This activates the module and applies normalization to all messages:


To permit parsing messages without cookie, use this action statement:

action(type="mmjsonparse" cookie="")

The same in legacy format:

$ModLoad mmjsonparse
*.* :mmjsonparse: