Ruby Logger that sends directly to a remote syslog endpoint
Latest commit 14f7797 Jan 25, 2016 @troy troy Merge pull request #20 from papertrail/document-long-default-program-…

Document long program name h/t @cjackson

Remote Syslog Logger

This library providers an ActiveSupport compatible logger that logs directly to a remote syslogd via UDP.


The easiest way to install remote_syslog_logger is with Bundler. Add remote_syslog_logger to your Gemfile.

If you are not using a Gemfile, run:

$ [sudo] gem install remote_syslog_logger


Use from Rails:

config.logger ='', 514,
                  :program => "rails-#{RAILS_ENV}",
                  :local_hostname => "optional_hostname")

With Rails 3+ if you want to use tagged logging wrap in a TaggedLogging instance:

config.logger =
                    '', 514,
                    :program => "rails-#{RAILS_ENV}",
                    :local_hostname => "optional_hostname"

Use from Ruby:

$logger ='', 514)

To point the logs to your local system, use localhost and ensure that the system's syslog daemon is bound to


Remote Syslog Logger is available on GitHub, which can be browsed at:

and cloned with:

$ git clone git://


If the specified host cannot be resolved, in the example under the usage section above, remote_syslog_logger will block for approximately 20 seconds before displaying an error. This could result in the application failing to start or even stopping responding.

Workarounds for this include:

  • use an IP address instead of a hostname.
  • put a hosts entry in /etc/hosts or equivalent, so that DNS is not actually consulted
  • instead of logging directly to the network, write to a file and transmit new entries with a standalone daemon like remote_syslog,

Message length

All log lines are truncated to a maximum of 1024 characters. This restriction comes from RFC 3164 section 4.1:

The total length of the packet MUST be 1024 bytes or less.

Additionally, the generally-accepted MTU of the Internet is 1500 bytes, so regardless of the RFC, UDP syslog packets longer than 1500 bytes would not arrive. For details or to use TCP syslog for longer messages, see

Default program name

By default, the program value is set to the name and ID of the invoking process. For example, puma[12345] or rack[3456].

The program value is used to populate the syslog "tag" field, must be 32 or fewer characters. In a few cases, an artifact of how the app is launched may lead to a default program value longer than 32 characters. For example, the thin Web server may generate a default program value such as:

thin server ([11179]

If this occurs, the following exception will be raised when a RemoteSyslogLogger is instantiated:

Tag must not be longer than 32 characters (ArgumentError)

To remedy this, explicitly provide a program argument which is shorter than 32 characters. See Usage.


Once you've made your great commits:

  1. Fork remote_syslog_logger
  2. Create a topic branch - git checkout -b my_branch
  3. Push to your branch - git push origin my_branch
  4. Create a Pull Request or an Issue with a link to your branch
  5. That's it!

You might want to checkout Resque's Contributing wiki page for information on coding standards, new features, etc.


Copyright (c) 2011-2016 Eric Lindvall. See LICENSE for details.