Comparing macro values in filters

In AxoSyslog you can compare macro values and templates as numerical and string values. String comparison is alphabetical: it determines if a string is alphabetically greater or equal to another string. For details on macros and templates, see Customize message format using macros and templates.

Use the following syntax to compare macro values or templates.

    filter <filter-id>
        {"<macro-or-template>" operator "<value-or-macro-or-template>"};

String and numerical comparison

AxoSyslog versions earlier than 4.0 used separate operators for string comparisons (for example, eq). In version 4.0 and later, you can simply use the mathematical symbols as operators (like ==, !=, >=), and AxoSyslog automatically determines how to compare the arguments from their type. The logic behind that is similar to JavaScript:

  • If both sides of the comparisons are strings, then the comparison is string.
  • If one of the arguments is numeric, then the comparison is numeric.
  • Literal numbers (numbers not enclosed in quotes) are numeric.
  • You can explicitly type-cast an argument into a number.

For example:

  • if ("${.apache.httpversion}" == 1.0)

    The right side of the == operator is 1.0, which is a floating point literal, so the comparison is numeric.

  • if (double("${.apache.httpversion}") == "1.0")

    The left side is explicitly type cast into double, the right side is string (because of the quotes), so the comparison is numeric.

  • if ("${.apache.request}" == "/wp-admin/login.php")

    The left side is not type-cast, so it’s a string, the right side is a string, so the comparison is string.

Note: You can still use the old string operators if you want to, they are available for backwards compatibility.

Example: Comparing macro values in filters

The following expression selects log messages containing a PID (that is, ${PID} macro is not empty):

    filter f_pid {"${PID}" != ""};

The following expression selects log messages that do not contain a PID. Also, it uses a template as the left argument of the operator and compares the values as strings:

    filter f_pid {"${HOST}${PID}" == "${HOST}"};

The following example selects messages with priority level higher than 5.

    filter f_level {"${LEVEL_NUM}" > 5};

Make sure to:

  • Enclose macros and templates in double-quotes.
  • Use the $ character before macros.

Note that:

  • You can use type casting anywhere where you can use templates to apply a type to the result of the template expansion.
  • Using comparator operators can be equivalent to using filter functions, but is somewhat slower. For example, using "${HOST}" == "myhost" is equivalent to using host("myhost" type(string)).
  • You can use any macro in the expression, including user-defined macros from parsers and results of pattern database classifications.
  • The results of filter functions are boolean values, so they cannot be compared to other values.
  • You can use boolean operators to combine comparison expressions.

Comparison operators

The following numerical and string comparison operators are available.

Numerical or string operatorString operatorMeaning
!=neNot equal to
>gtGreater than
<ltLess than
>=geGreater than or equal
=<leLess than or equal
Last modified July 15, 2023: Type support in comparison operators (a03eefb)