Monday, May 11, 2009

rsyslog configuration graphs

I worked today on adding a configuration graphing capability to rsyslog. This was inspired by many discussions about how the rule engine works. From a high-level perspective, rsyslog is "just" a configurable message router, that routes messages from a set of inputs to a set of outputs, potentially with transformations doing to the messages. Rsyslog does so via the rule set, which is the most important part of the configuration file. In that sense, rsyslog is a configurable state machine and the rule set is its configuration.

While typical syslog configurations are rather simple and easy to understand, complex ones can be challenging. The graphing capability we now have provide a high-level, human-readable representation of rsyslogd's internal control structures. The beauty with that is that every user can create an exact right diagram from his own configuration.

I hope this is a useful tool for documenting a system setup, but I also think it is a very valuable tool for learning to understand rsyslog as well troubleshooting problems with message processing.

With that said, I now send you to the new graphing feature manual page, which I hope provides sufficient insight into how this feature is used.

But... here is a sample graph to whet your appetite:
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