The Graylog Extended Log Format (GELF) is a log format that avoids the shortcomings of classic plain Syslog and is perfect for logging from your application layer. It comes with optional compression, chunking, and, most importantly, a clearly defined structure. The Input of GELF messages can be UDP, TCP, or HTTP. Additionally, a queue is possible.

Some applications like Docker can send GELF messages native. Also, fluentd speaks GELF.

There are dozens of GELF libraries for many frameworks and programming languages to get you started. Read more about GELF in the specification.


You can send in all GELF types via HTTP, including uncompressed GELF that is just a plain JSON string.

After launching a GELF HTTP input you can use the following endpoints to send messages:

Copy[port]/gelf (POST)

Try sending an example message using curl:

curl -XPOST -p0 -d '{"short_message":"Hello there", "host":"", "facility":"test", "_foo":"bar"}'

Both keep-alive and compression are supported via the common HTTP headers. The server will return a  202 Accepted  when the message was accepted for processing.

Enable Bulk Receiving Option for HTTP GELF Input

Graylog offers users a new configuration option to Enable Bulk Receiving via HTTP GELF input, which supports bulk receiving of messages separated by new lines.

The input will automatically separate multiple GELF messages, which are new lines delimited (\n or \r\n) when this option is enabled.

Example cURL request:

Warning: Individual GELF messages must be formatted as a valid JSON (containing no line breaks within). Attempts to post formatted JSON to this input will result in an error.

curl -XPOST -v -p0 \
-d $'{"short_message":"Bulk message 1", "host":"", "facility":"test", "_foo":"bar"}\r\n\
{"short_message":"Bulk message 2", "host":"", "facility":"test", "_foo":"bar"}\r\n\
{"short_message":"Bulk message 3", "host":"", "facility":"test", "_foo":"bar"}\r\n\
{"short_message":"Bulk message 4", "host":"", "facility":"test", "_foo":"bar"}\r\n\
{"short_message":"Bulk message 5", "host":"", "facility":"test", "_foo":"bar"}'

Hint: Existing support for Transfer-Encoding: chunked is present in the HTTP GELF input, and that support now extends to the new Bulk Receiving feature (when the new Enable Bulk Receiving config option is turned on.