As you might know, I’m the original creator of syslog-ng, and after all those long years working on it (25 and still counting), I’m still passionate not only about syslog-ng but also logging and observability in general. For a long time, an important “selling point” of syslog-ng was its documentation, which was – according to user feedback – quite good, usable, and fast. Unfortunately, for various reasons this has somewhat faded in the recent years, but I am now hopeful that things will improve once again.

I was excited to see that recently One Identity has updated the license of the syslog-ng Open Source documentation, to a license that makes it possible to modify, update, and re-publish the documentation. Many thanks and a big shoutout for everyone who made that happen, I’m sure that this will give a big boost to the project and its community.

We would like to share with you how we plan to update and publish the syslog-ng docs, and show you what we did to comply with the license. To make the docs more approachable for the community and open for contributions, we have converted the original MadCap Flare source files to Markdown. (MadCap is a commercial product with a proprietary file format, and it’s difficult to build and edit the docs without buying a license.)


    AxoSyslog Core documentation

    To comply with the license, we have:

    • Removed the syslog-ng trademarks. In compliance with the The syslog-ng OSE Documentation License, syslog-ng is used only to refer to the binary of the application, or in filenames, pathnames, and similar technical terms. For all other references, we use AxoSyslog, the name of our syslog-ng distribution.
    • Added a disclaimer to all the source files that are based on the syslog-ng documentation to our repository, and one to the output docs.
    • Removed the trademarks from the images/figures.

    Note that new files and modifications compared to the syslog-ng Open Source Edition documentation are under the copyright of Axoflow, and licensed under Apache License 2.0, except for the use of the Axoflow and AxoSyslog logos and trademarks, which remain trademarks of Axoflow Inc.

    Even though the version in the new docs says 4.0, at the time of this writing the content basically corresponds to syslog-ng Open Source Edition version 3.38, but we’re slowly updating it to reference the 4.0 code base. Other features, like the AxoSyslog Helm charts and docker images we have blogged about and that came out in the 4.x releases, we plan to cover in a separate documentation. Initially we want to cover the new features, and – after a review and update – gradually include the reference and conceptual chapters from the 4.0 docs. 

    You can check the AxoSyslog 4.0 docs at

    Even though we spent a lot of time on getting the conversion right and fixing errors, we’re pretty sure that we didn’t spot everything, so if you find formatting errors or similar problems, just open a documentation issue. Also, feel free to contribute, pull requests and feedback are welcome 🙂

    Warning: conversion errors in the docs

    We would like to express our gratitude to everyone involved with the project, including the syslog-ng developers, advocates, and documentation maintainers who worked at BalaBit or are still working at One Identity, as well as the entire syslog-ng community.

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    We are excited to be realizing our vision above with a full Axoflow product suite.

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