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Rsyslog - what is it?

Help Contribute to Open Source

Rsyslog is a rocket-fast system for log processing.

It offers high-performance, great security features and a modular design. While it started as a regular syslogd, rsyslog has evolved into a kind of swiss army knife of logging, being able to accept inputs from a wide variety of sources, transform them, and output to the results to diverse destinations.

Rsyslog can deliver over one million messages per second to local destinations when limited processing is applied (based on v7, December 2013). Even with remote destinations and more elaborate processing the performance is usually considered "stunning".

Mailing List

Installing rsyslog

Most distributions carry rsyslog in their repository. So you usually just need to use the package manager to install it. Note that on non-systemd systems (most notably Ubuntu), rsyslog usually is already installed.

Project-Provided Packages

Unfortunately, distributions often do not catch up with the pace of rsyslog development and as such only offer old versions. To solve that problem, we have created packages for current versions ourselves.

They are available for:

Building from Source

Follow the instructions at:

Build Environment

In general, you need

  • pkg-config
  • libestr
  • liblogging (stdlog component, for testbench)

It is best to build these from source.

CentOS 6 / RHEL

For json-c, we need:

export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/lib64/pkgconfig/
sudo yum install git valgrind autoconf automake flex bison python-docutils python-sphinx json-c-devel libuuid-devel libgcrypt-devel zlib-devel openssl-devel libcurl-devel gnutls-devel mysql-devel postgresql-devel libdbi-dbd-mysql libdbi-devel net-snmp-devel


Add Adiscon repository:

apt-get update && apt-get install -y software-properties-common
add-apt-repository -y ppa:adiscon/v8-stable

Note: if you are a developer who wants to work with git master branch, adding the Adiscon repository is probably not a good idea. It then is better to also compile the supporting libraries from source, because newer versions of rsyslog may need newer versions of the libraries than there are in the repositories. Libraries in question are at least: libestr, liblognorm, libfastjson.

Needed packages to build with omhiredis support:

apt-get update && apt-get install -y build-essential pkg-config libestr-dev libfastjson-dev zlib1g-dev uuid-dev libgcrypt20-dev libhiredis-dev uuid-dev libgcrypt11-dev liblogging-stdlog-dev flex bison

Aditional packages for other modules:

libdbi-dev libmysqlclient-dev postgresql-client libpq-dev libnet-dev librdkafka-dev libgrok-dev libgrok1 libgrok-dev libpcre3-dev libtokyocabinet-dev libglib2.0-dev libmongo-client-dev

For KSI, from the Adiscon PPA:

sudo apt-get install libksi0 libksi-devel


sudo apt install build-essential pkg-config libestr-dev libfastjson-dev zlib1g-dev uuid-dev libgcrypt20-dev libcurl4-gnutls-dev zlib1g-dev liblogging-stdlog-dev flex bison

Note: For certain libraries version requirements might be higher, in that case adding debian backports repositories might help. For example installing with apt libfastjson-dev -t stretch-backports.

Aditional packages for other modules:

libdbi-dev libmysqlclient-dev postgresql-client libpq-dev libnet-dev librdkafka-dev libgrok-dev libgrok1 libgrok-dev libpcre3-dev libtokyocabinet-dev libglib2.0-dev libmongo-client-dev

openSUSE 13

sudo zypper install gcc make autoconf automake libtool libcurl-devel flex bison valgrind python-docutils libjson-devel uuid-devel libgcrypt-devel libgnutls-devel libmysqlclient-devel libdbi-devel libnet-devel postgresql-devel net-snmp-devellibuuid-devel libdbi-drivers-dbd-mysql

For the testbench VMs:

sudo zypper install gvim mutt

SUSE LINUX Enterprise Server 11

Available packages:

zypper install gcc make autoconf libtool flex bison

Missing packages:

libcurl-devel valgrind python-docutils uuid-devel libgcrypt-devel libgnutls-devel libmysqlclient-devel libdbi-devel postgresql-devel net-snmp-devel libdbi-drivers-dbd-mysql json-c zlib-dev libdbi

Reporting Bugs

Talk to the mailing list if you think something is a bug. Often, it's just a matter of doing some config trickery.

File bugs at:

How to Contribute

Contributions to rsyslog are very welcome. Fork and send us your Pull Requests.

For more information about contributing, see the CONTRIBUTING file.

Note that it is easy to add output plugins using languages like Python or Perl. So if you need to connect to a system which is not yet supported, you can easily do so via an external plugin. For more information see the README file in the external plugin directory.


The main rsyslog documentation is available in HTML format. To read it, point your web browser to ./doc/manual.html. Alternatively, you can view the documentation for the most recent rsyslog version online at:

Project Philosophy

We are an open source project in all aspects and very open to outside feedback and contribution. We base our work on standards and try to solve all real-world needs (of course, we occasionally fail tackling actually all needs ;)). While the project is primarily sponsored by Adiscon, technical development is independent from company goals and most decisions are solely based on mailing list discussion results. There is an active community around rsyslog.

There is no such thing like being an official member of the rsyslog team. The closest to that is being subscribed to the mailing list:

This method of open discussions is modelled after the IETF process, which is probably the best-known and most successive collaborative standards body.

Project Funding

Rsyslog's main sponsor Adiscon tries to fund rsyslog by selling custom development and support contracts. Adiscon does NOT license rsyslog under a commercial license (this is simply impossible for anyone due to rsyslog's license structure).

Any third party is obviously also free to offer custom development, support and rsyslog consulting. We gladly merge results of such third-party work into the main repository (assuming it matches the few essential things written down in our contribution policy).