How To Check Server Log – Wondering how to check logs from your server and why? Web server, application server, file server or otherwise, your servers are constantly generating log files based on activity and events, and your ability to review these files is critical to fast and effective troubleshooting. Server log files offer a “behind the scenes” view of server activity, so you can get a line-by-line analysis of what happened and when.
Of course, knowing how to manually check server logs in raw form can be difficult, especially if you’re trying to spot problems in hundreds or thousands of log lines. I recommend using an automated tool, such as SolarWinds® Log Analyzer (LA), to collect, analyze, and view your server logs, all in real time.
How To Check Server Log
Your system and applications, including servers, automatically create logs when events occur. Any number of services can generate logs. For example, backup software creates logs that provide detailed information about the backup process. Servers continuously generate log files that administrators can examine to see raw data about relevant server activity: for example, you can examine a web server to get information about site traffic. Server log files can also give administrators the granularity and information needed for effective troubleshooting.
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Because log files record various activities and events, administrators can dig into log files to get a complete “behind the scenes” view of what happened before and after a problem occurred. Different types of registry files can be useful in solving such problems. On web servers, for example, access logs relate to site visitors, agent logs record web client requests, error logs show failed server requests, and referrer logs provide information about which web pages they direct traffic to the server.
If you’re wondering how to check server logs when necessary, simply opening a server log file is usually a simple matter. In some cases, there are bureaucratic difficulties associated with accessing server logs, as you may be assigned strict security restrictions, but I assume that you have the necessary access to work with server log files. The most important question is: how to check server logs in the simplest and most effective way possible?
You can open these files manually using programs already present on your system. Many log files are recorded in plain text format, which means you can use a program like Notepad or Microsoft Office to open and view a server log file. Double-click the log file and it will likely open it in a text program by default, or you can choose the program you want to use to open the file by right-clicking it and using the “Open with” option. Another option is to use a web browser and open the server log file in HTML. You may need to drag the file into a tab within your browser window.
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Another option for reading Windows Server log files is through Event Viewer, a utility software with more features than the previous options. On a Mac computer, you can use the Terminal app, a command-line program (which requires familiarity with Unix commands), or the Console app, which is similar to Event Viewer. Simply locate the appropriate program on your server and open it in administrator mode. From within the interface, you can click on the appropriate folders to find what you’re looking for.
You will find a variety of information recorded in server logs, which capture events such as requests from other computers, server responses, and internal server processes. Typically, we recommend reviewing access logs and error logs first. For example, check the access logs if you want to know the requests made to the web server, including the pages viewed, the success of the request and the response times.
Of course, once you open a server log file, the next step is to interpret the file itself. Plain text or Common Log Format (CLF) is common, if not easily readable. A log usually shows a timestamp and includes some information about the event, usually in the form of terms, codes, or numbers. For example, the word “GET” refers to a specific action, while “200” means the task has been completed. Reading raw log lines correctly takes a bit of research and practice.
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In Event Viewer, reading the server log can be a little easier, but it still requires some searching. Each event has a unique ID that you can use to further analyze the log information. In Event Viewer, you’ll also find server log files organized into a few different categories, including application, system, and security logs. You can also view errors and warnings. These might be small, as small errors are common in any system, but if you’re troubleshooting a problem, you can get to the bottom of the problem using these tips.
What’s in your server’s log files, or where they are located, may depend partly on the server you’re using. For example, if you use Apache, you have some options for how to view server logs, making the process of checking logs a little different. With Apache you can set specific parameters for the logging task. For example, you can set severity level guidelines, so that only critical logs are sent to a specific file. You can check the server logs in that file for a quick overview of critical errors Apache allows you to control some format options, so you can use the LogFormat directive to specify formats outside of the default CLF. You can choose to include more fields, including HTTP status codes, URL paths, client IP addresses, and more. When you start looking at the records, you can make sure that the information you need is in the records
With a web server like Apache, you have access to data about your site, users, and servers, and get ways to customize log organization, but it can still take effort to extract data from raw logs. If you want a server logging solution designed to streamline the process and make your life easier, an automated log aggregation and analysis tool is your best bet.
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While you can manually open and check server log files using BASIC programs, they are not the most effective or efficient option. An automated logging solution offers much more functionality, making it easier to not only open server log files, but also collect, filter, and analyze them to help troubleshoot issues.
SolarWinds Log Analyzer is designed to collect log data on your system, so you can more easily get the information you need. Log Analyzer integrates with other SolarWinds products to enable a comprehensive view of your nodes and is designed to collect a variety of log data formats, including syslog, SNMP traps, Windows events, and VMware events.
Once log data is collected, Log Analyzer makes it easy to use. There is no need to manually open and check server log files individually. Instead, you can take advantage of a real-time interactive log stream to discover the logs you want to view. Log Analyzer offers interactive graphs for quick viewing of search results, log volume, and more.
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Sorting through your many server logs shouldn’t be difficult. Log Analyzer offers ready-to-use filters designed to make it easy to sort through data and start forensic analysis. Use color-coded tags to better filter log data and quickly identify performance issues
Log Analyzer speeds up troubleshooting by making it easy to view and analyze logs. But it’s also designed to speed up the process by offering built-in alerts. Typically, an administrator should be proactive in manually sorting through logs and looking for relevant error messages. But with Log Analyzer, you are automatically alerted to potential problems and can take action faster.
With the insights above, you should have an idea of how to manually check log files. But if your business needs continuous logging capabilities, manual methods won’t get you very far. With a dedicated logging solution, you can gain deeper insights into your logs and resolve issues faster. There’s no reason to wait until registration becomes easy: the SolarWinds Log Analyzer free trial is fully functional for 30 days. You can download the program, discover devices, and take advantage of automatic log aggregation and simple filtering and tagging tools to easily monitor server log anomalies and keep systems up and running. A great source of SQL Server error log information for DBAs to monitor server errors and operations. Greg Larsen explains in detail how to configure the SQL Server error log.
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Most applications have some type of log that tracks activity. SQL Server is no different. An instance of SQL Server has a log file known as an error log to keep track of what is happening. server. Each instance of SQL Server has its own set of error log files. This article will explain what the error log is, how SQL Server handles it, and where you can find it. I’ll show you how to set up SQL Server error logging.
The error log is a file that keeps track