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syslog-ng Open Source Edition


7.6.2. Procedure – How syslog-ng OSE interacts with HDFS

The syslog-ng OSE application sends the log messages to the official HDFS client library, which forwards the data to the HDFS nodes. The way how syslog-ng OSE interacts with HDFS is described in the following steps.

  1. After syslog-ng OSE is started and the first message arrives to the hdfs destination, the hdfs destination tries to connect to the HDFS NameNode. If the connection fails, syslog-ng OSE will repeatedly attempt to connect again after the period set in time-reopen() expires.

  2. syslog-ng OSE checks if the path to the logfile exists. If a directory does not exist syslog-ng OSE automatically creates it. syslog-ng OSE creates the destination file (using the filename set in the syslog-ng OSE configuration file, with a UUID suffix to make it unique, for example, /usr/hadoop/logfile.txt.3dc1c59e-ab3b-4b71-9e81-93db477ed9d9) and writes the message into the file. After the file is created, syslog-ng OSE will write all incoming messages into the hdfs destination.


    When the hdfs-append-enabled() option is set to true, syslog-ng OSE will not assign a new UUID suffix to an existing file, because it is then possible to open a closed file and append data to that.


    You cannot set when log messages are flushed. Hadoop performs this action automatically, depending on its configured block size, and the amount of data received. There is no way for the syslog-ng OSE application to influence when the messages are actually written to disk. This means that syslog-ng OSE cannot guarantee that a message sent to HDFS is actually written to disk. When using flow-control, syslog-ng OSE acknowledges a message as written to disk when it passes the message to the HDFS client. This method is as reliable as your HDFS environment.

  3. If the HDFS client returns an error, syslog-ng OSE attempts to close the file, then opens a new file and repeats sending the message (trying to connect to HDFS and send the message), as set in the retries() parameter. If sending the message fails for retries() times, syslog-ng OSE drops the message.

  4. The syslog-ng OSE application closes the destination file in the following cases:

    • syslog-ng OSE is reloaded

    • syslog-ng OSE is restarted

    • The HDFS client returns an error.

  5. If the file is closed and you have set an archive directory, syslog-ng OSE moves the file to this directory. If syslog-ng OSE cannot move the file for some reason (for example, syslog-ng OSE cannot connect to the HDFS NameNode), the file remains at its original location, syslog-ng OSE will not try to move it again.