What are “Trusted Properties”?

Rsyslog can annotate messages from system log sockets (via imuxsock) with so-called “Trusted Properties”. These are message properties not provided by the logging client application itself, but rather obtained from the system. As such, they can not be faked by the user application and are trusted in this sense. This bases on the similar idea introduced in systemd.

The following trusted properties are available:

_UIDThe userid under which the logging process is being executed.
_GIDThe group id under which the logging process is being executed.
_PIDThe PID of the logging process. Note that this PID, if configured, is also put into the syslog tag.
_EXEPath to the binary that is logging
_COMMThe name (as visible by top) of the logging process.
_EXEThe full command line of the logging process. Note that this string can contain spaces, thus it is always provided in quoted form.

Property names are deliberately based on property names in the systemd proposal. Additional properties can be added upon request. User- and Group-IDs as well as the PID are obtained via SCM_CREDENTIALS and as such should be always available on a relatively recent Linux system. The other properties are obtained from the /proc virtual file system. Note that this can be somewhat racy. Most importantly, these properties can not be obtained if the process has already been terminated when the message is being processed by rsyslogd. This can occur for very quick processes (logger being a prime example) and has happened in practice (for the same reason, it is theoretical possible that invalid information is reported, if the PID are reused extremely quickly – this is so unlikely we did not care about this case).

All annotations are currently (Nov 2011) placed at the end of the message, starting with ” @[” (the first character being a space). The annotation is ended with “]”. This is done to keep consistent with legacy syslog implementations. However, the format will probably changed and is intended to be moved over to a RFC5424 structured data item. Also, the property names were currently chosen for best fit with systemd. As systemd does not follow the relevant standards, we may at later time change to standard names, once they become fully available. So please be prepared for some future change if you begin to use this feature. You may guess that we will preserve legacy format when doing changes, but we do not promise that ;)

A sample of a message with trusted properties looks as follows:

2011-11-29T16:57:13.634852+01:00 testhost su: pam_unix(su-l:session): session opened for user root by examp(uid=677) @[_PID=5933 _UID=0 _GID=677 _COMM=su _EXE=/bin/su _CMDLINE="su - "]

The annotation is given in boldface. Note that this is all on one line. It is broken across several lines just for readability.

This feature is available starting with version 5.9.4 in the v5 rsyslog branches.

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