Nginx sending json formatted logs over syslog

I’ve playing with Nginx since its what I’ll be using going forward. One big advantage the newer version of Nginx has over Apache is that it can natively send logs to somewhere else using the syslog protocol. Here is how to do this, I also format the log in JSON for easier parsing by LogStash.

This goes into the http{} directive:

First, lets create a JSON log format:

log_format syslog_json ‘”time”: “$time_iso8601″, ‘
‘”remote_addr”: “$remote_addr”, ‘
‘”remote_user”: “$remote_user”, ‘
‘”body_bytes_sent”: “$body_bytes_sent”, ‘
‘”request_time”: “$request_time”, ‘
‘”status”: “$status”, ‘
‘”request”: “$request”, ‘
‘”request_method”: “$request_method”, ‘
‘”http_referrer”: “$http_referer”, ‘
‘”http_user_agent”: “$http_user_agent”‘
‘”upstream_response_time”: “$upstream_response_time”‘;

Ok, now lets send that over to LogStash:

error_log syslog:server= debug;
access_log syslog:server=,facility=local7,tag=nginx,severity=info syslog_json;


Make sure that LogStash is listening on UDP 5000. Currently, LogStash is just processing them like ‘syslog’ but I will adjust that later.

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