Proposal: More structured logging

From: Ronan Dunklau <ronan(dot)dunklau(at)aiven(dot)io>
To: pgsql-hackers(at)lists(dot)postgresql(dot)org
Subject: Proposal: More structured logging
Date: 2021-08-13 13:23:03
Message-ID: 3207907.AWbSqkKDnR@aivenronan
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The logging system already captures a lot of information in the ErrorData. But
at present there is no way for a log message authors to include more metadata
about the log outside of the log message itself. For example, including the
extension name which can be useful for filtering / dispatching log messages.
This can be done in the log message itself, but that requires specialized
parsing in the log output.

Even though among the available loggers in core, only the csv logger would be
able to make sense of it, I feel it would be beneficial to add a tagging system
to logs, by adding different (tag, value) combinations to a log entry, with an
API similar to what we do for other ErrorData fields:

(errmsg("My log message")),
(errtag("MSG-ID", "%d", error_message_id))

Please find attached a very small POC patch to better demonstrate what I

Third party logging hooks could then exploit those values to output them
correctly. For example the json loggger written by Michael Paquier here:, or the
seeminlgy-abandonned journald hook here:
could add those information in a structured way.

I think the pgaudit extension (or something similar) could also make good use
of such a feature instead of dumping a CSV entry in the log file.

As for Postgres own log messages, I'm sure we could find practical use cases
for tagging messages like this.

On a related note, the only structured logger we have in-core is the CSV
logger. Many users nowadays end up feeding the logs to journald either by
capturing the stderr output with systemd, or by having syslog implemented by
journald itself. Would there be any interest in having native journald support
as a logging_destination ?

Best regards,

Ronan Dunklau

Attachment Content-Type Size
v1-0001-Add-ErrorTag-support.patch text/x-patch 4.0 KB


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