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7.4.2. Procedure – How syslog-ng PE interacts with HDFS

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

  1. After syslog-ng PE 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 PE will repeatedly attempt to connect again after the period set in time-reopen() expires.

  2. syslog-ng PE checks if the path to the logfile exists. If a directory does not exist syslog-ng PE automatically creates it. syslog-ng PE creates the destination file (using the filename set in the syslog-ng PE 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 PE will write all incoming messages into the hdfs destination.


    When the hdfs-append-enabled() option is set to true, syslog-ng PE 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 PE application to influence when the messages are actually written to disk. This means that syslog-ng PE cannot guarantee that a message sent to HDFS is actually written to disk. When using flow-control, syslog-ng PE 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 PE 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 PE drops the message.

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

    • syslog-ng PE is reloaded

    • syslog-ng PE is restarted

    • The HDFS client returns an error.

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