Lightweight replacement to both epylog and fail2ban.
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configure.md 4.7KB

Configuration tips

In contrast with legacy log parsers, Pyruse works with structured systemd-journal entries. This allows for better performance, since targeted comparisons become possible.

The general intent, when writing the configuration file, should be to handle the log entries that appear the most often first, in as few steps as possible. For example, I ran some stats on my server on the log entries of the past week; I got:

SYSLOG_IDENTIFIER number of journal entries
uwsgi (for Nextcloud) 55930
gitea 38923
prosody 25596
haproxy 21877
postgres 12990
nginx 12808
dovecot 7062
exim 2540
systemd 1997
su 1458
ownCloud (Nextcloud) 1067
sshd 1051
mandb 953
spamd 855
pyruse 615
kernel 420
msmtp 295
sa-compile 255
ansible-* 103
systemd-logind 102
python 78
rpc.mountd 52
ldapwhoami 42
prosody_auth 42
minidlnad 39
kill 28
sudo 26
loolwsd 17
exportfs 15
dehydrated 6
sa-update 5
nslcd 4
rpc.idmapd 1

For reference, here is the command that gives these statistics:

$ bash ./extra/examples/get-systemd-stats.sh >~/systemd-units.stats.tsv

One should also remember, that numeric comparison are faster that string comparison, which in turn are faster than regular expression pattern-matching. Further more, some log entries are not worth checking for, because they are too rare: it costs more to grab them with filters (that most log entries will have to pass through), than letting them get caught by the catch-all last execution chain, which typically uses the action_dailyReport module.

An efficient way to organize the configuration file is by handling Syslog-identifiers from the most verbose to the least verbose, and for each one, filter-out useless entries based on the PRIORITY (which is an integer number) whenever it is possible. In short, filtering on the actual message, while not entirely avoidable, is the last-resort operation.

NOTE: I used to group my log entries (and Pyruse execution chains) by _SYSTEMD_UNIT, which seemed logical at the time. However, for some reason, there is some “leaking” of logs from some units to others; for example, I had Nginx logs appearing in the Exim _SYSTEMD_UNIT… The reason probably lies somewhere in inter-process communication, or with the launching of external commands. Anyway, I found that grouping by SYSLOG_IDENTIFIER actually gives better results:

  • SYSLOG_IDENTIFIER names are shorter than _SYSTEMD_UNIT names, hence probably quicker to compare :-p
  • Several _SYSTEMD_UNIT names from generic units (like unit-name@instance-name) end up into the same SYSLOG_IDENTIFIER, which allows to occasionaly replace filter_pcre with filter_equals.
  • A single program often does several tasks, and SYSLOG_IDENTIFIER reflects this diversity, which makes writing rules much easier.
    For example, Pyruse sends emails using msmtp; I do not care about msmtp’s logs, but I do about pyruse’s. Filtering-out logs from the msmtp SYSLOG_IDENTIFIER is much easier to do than getting rid of email-related logs from the pyruse.service systemd unit.

An example based on the above statistics is available in the extra/examples/ source directory.