Skip to main content

Forward syslog messages to IRC

Project description

syslog2IRC logo

Forward syslog messages to IRC

Code Status

Build Status Scrutinizer Code Coverage Scrutinizer Code Quality Code Climate



syslog2IRC and its dependencies can be installed via pip:

$ pip install syslog2irc



Setup your syslog.conf or rsyslog.conf (commonly found in /etc) to send syslog messages to syslog2IRC on the default syslog port (514, UDP, as assigned by IANA):

*.*     @host-to-send-log-messages-to-and-this-script-runs-on

Or, when syslog2IRC listens on a non-default port (here: 11514):

*.*     @host-to-send-log-messages-to-and-this-script-runs-on:11514


Configuration is done as a file in TOML format.

A simple configuration to route from the default syslog port, 514, to a single IRC channel looks like this:

host = "irc.server.example"

nickname = "syslog"

channels = [
  { name = "#syslog" },

"514/udp" = [ '#syslog' ]

In a more complex setup, syslog messages could be received on multiple ports (514/UDP and 55514/TCP in this example), with those received on the first port being forwarded to two IRC channels, and those received on the latter port being forwarded exclusively to the second channel.

Here is a full example of an advanced configuration with all optional properties being specified:

log_level = "warning"        # optional

host = "irc.server.example"  # optional
port = 6667                  # optional
ssl = false                  # optional
password = "t0ps3cr3t"       # optional
rate_limit = 0.5             # optional; limit of messages per second

nickname = "syslog"
realname = "syslog"          # optional

commands = [                 # optional
  "MODE syslog +i",
channels = [
  { name = "#examplechannel1" },
  { name = "#examplechannel2", password = "zePassword" },

# routing for syslog messages from the ports on which they are
# received to the IRC channels they should be announced on
"514/udp" = [ '#examplechannel1', '#examplechannel2' ]
"55514/tcp" = [ '#examplechannel2' ]

IRC Dummy Mode

If no value for is set (the property is missing or commented out), syslog2IRC will not attempt to connect to an IRC server and start in IRC dummy mode.

In this mode, it will still receive syslog messages, but it will write them to STDOUT. This can be helpful during setup of syslog message reception.

Abort execution by pressing <Control-C>.


Start syslog2IRC with a configuration file:

$ syslog2irc config.toml

Send some messages to syslog2IRC using your system’s syslog message sender tool (logger, in this example):

$ logger 'Hi there!'
$ logger -p kern.alert 'Whoa!'

Note that each message will appear twice on the console syslog2IRC was started because the handler itself will write it there anyway (so you have a log on what would be sent to IRC).

If receiving syslog messages works and you have been using IRC dummy mode so far, specify an IRC server in the configuration file, then start as above:

$ syslog2irc config.toml

After a moment, you should see that syslog2IRC has connected to the IRC server. The bot should then enter the channel(s) you have configured (see Configuration).

Custom Message Format

The application’s entry point is prepared to accept a custom callable to format messages.

Arguably the easiest way to make use of this without fiddling inside of the installed package’s sources:

  • Copy the Python code from src/syslog2irc/ to a new file outside of the package path, e.g.

  • Adjust the copy of the function format_message as desired.

  • Import the entry point function into the new file, then call it while passing the adjusted formatter function to it:

    from syslog2irc.main import main
    if __name__ == '__main__':
  • Run the new file in the shell:

    $ python config.toml

Further Reading

For more information, see RFC 3164, “The BSD syslog Protocol”.

Please note that there is RFC 5424, “The Syslog Protocol”, which obsoletes RFC 3164. syslog2IRC, however, only implements the latter.


2007-2021 Jochen Kupperschmidt


MIT, see LICENSE for details.


Version 0.12

Released 2021-05-05

  • Switched to using Python’s logging mechanism directly, with different log levels. Removed function util.log.

  • Made the application’s log level configurable.

  • Introduced an internal queue to decouple syslog message reception from message formatting and posting to IRC.

  • Added TCP support for syslog message receiving. Adjusted routes configuration format to support it.

  • Added support for custom IRC commands to send after connecting (authentication, cloaking, flood protection, etc.) (idea and essential patch provided by Jonas Alexandersson).

  • Prevent enabling of a joined IRC channel to receive messages if no ports are routed to it.

  • Remove leading and trailing newlines from message text to prevent additional lines on IRC (patch provided by Jonas Alexandersson).

  • Provided and documented an easier way to customize message formatting.

Version 0.11

Released 2021-04-21

  • Introduced configuration file. Removed the CLI arguments that have been replaced by it.

  • Moved configuration of IRC channels to join and ports-to-channels routes to configuration file.

  • Provided an actual syslog2irc command.

  • Published the package to the Python Package Index to allow installing from there.

  • Added support for IRC server password.

  • Added support for a rate limit for the IRC connection, i.e. the maximum number of messages per second to send. This can prevent the bot from getting kicked (or even banned) from a channel because of flooding.

  • Added Dockerfile.

  • Added command line option --version to show syslog2IRC’s version.

Version 0.10

Released 2021-04-20

  • Removed support for unsupported Python versions 2.7, 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5.

  • Added support for Python 3.7, 3.8, and 3.9.

  • Split the single module into several modules inside a namespace package and a start script. Refactored a lot.

  • Added type hints.

  • Expect channels in routing configuration to be in sets, not lists.

  • A custom formatter for syslog messages can be specified.

  • Made bot properly disconnect from IRC with a quit message on shutdown.

  • Removed handler to request shutdown via IRC private message.

  • Require blinker version 1.4.

  • Require irc version 19.0.1.

  • Require syslogmp version 0.4.

Version 0.9.1

Released 2015-09-09

  • Exposed programmatic entry point to pass arguments from Python code rather than the command line.

  • Introduced signal to indicate an approved message. Decoupled processor and announcer.

  • Wrapped print calls in a slightly higher-level, timestamped logging function.

  • Added and improved tests.

  • Created manifest template to package all files relevant for distribution.

Version 0.9

Released 2015-09-08

  • Adapted to version 0.2 of syslogmp.

  • Spread tests to separate modules.

  • Added support to connect to IRC servers via SSL (suggested by Jonas Alexandersson).

Version 0.8

Released 2015-08-10

  • Dropped support for Python 3.2.

  • The syslog message parser was moved into the new ‘syslogmp’ package.

Version 0.7

Released 2014-05-19

Version 0.6

Released 2014-05-15

Version 0.5

Released 2013-07-22

Version 0.2–0.4


Version 0.1

Released 2007-04-12

Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Source Distribution

syslog2irc-0.12.tar.gz (24.1 kB view hashes)

Uploaded Source

Built Distribution

syslog2irc-0.12-py3-none-any.whl (16.6 kB view hashes)

Uploaded Python 3

Supported by

AWS AWS Cloud computing and Security Sponsor Datadog Datadog Monitoring Fastly Fastly CDN Google Google Download Analytics Microsoft Microsoft PSF Sponsor Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Sentry Sentry Error logging StatusPage StatusPage Status page