Apache Log Files

by on June 8, 2008 · 21 comments· LAST UPDATED June 8, 2008

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Q. How do I find out Apache http server log files location? How do I change the location of Apache log file under Linux / UNIX operating system?

A. There are two type of apache httpd server log files:

Apache Error Log File

All apache errors / diagnostic information other errors found during serving requests are logged to this file. Location of error log is set using ErrorLog directive. If there is any problem, you should first take a look at this file using cat, grep or any other UNIX / Linux text utilities. This apache log file often contain details of what went wrong and how to fix it. Default error log file location:

  • RHEL / Red Hat / CentOS / Fedora Linux Apache error file location - /var/log/httpd/error_log
  • Debian / Ubuntu Linux Apache error log file location - /var/log/apache2/error.log
  • FreeBSD Apache error log file location - /var/log/httpd-error.log

To find exact apache log file location, you can use grep command:
# grep ErrorLog /usr/local/etc/apache22/httpd.conf
# grep ErrorLog /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
# grep ErrorLog /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf

Sample output:

# ErrorLog: The location of the error log file.
# If you do not specify an ErrorLog directive within a 
ErrorLog "/var/log/httpd-error.log"

Apache Access Log File

Apache server records all incoming requests and all requests processed to a log file. The format of the access log is highly configurable. The location and content of the access log are controlled by the CustomLog directive. Default apache access log file location:

  • RHEL / Red Hat / CentOS / Fedora Linux Apache access file location - /var/log/httpd/access_log
  • Debian / Ubuntu Linux Apache access log file location - /var/log/apache2/access.log
  • FreeBSD Apache access log file location - /var/log/httpd-access.log

To find exact apache log file location, you can use grep command:
# grep CustomLog /usr/local/etc/apache22/httpd.conf
# grep CustomLog /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
# grep CustomLog /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf

Sample output:

  # a CustomLog directive (see below).
    #CustomLog "/var/log/httpd-access.log" common
    CustomLog "/var/log/httpd-access.log" combined

How do I change Apache log file location?

Simply edit apache configuration file and change the location. You need define new location using CustomLog or ErrorLog:

ErrorLog "/home/httpd/cyberciti.biz/rawlogs/httpd-error.log"
CustomLog "/home/httpd/cyberciti.biz/rawlogs/httpd-access.log" combined

Save and close the file. Restart httpd:
# service httpd restart

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 r00tUser June 14, 2008 at 2:34 pm

You can also use the following command to find the log files if the apache instance is running.

lsof -p |grep -i logs

This would give the access and the error logs.

Cheers,
rOOtUser

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2 john kamenos October 26, 2011 at 3:21 pm

thanks

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3 r00tUser June 14, 2008 at 2:35 pm

Disregard the previous command.

lsof -p pid-of-httpd | grep -i logs

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4 Uncle Weasel January 6, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Good one r00tUser that is a neat one-liner.

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5 AHmed December 15, 2008 at 10:44 pm

Thank you too much

Reply

6 Arif August 26, 2009 at 9:13 am

how to learn the number of requests for a file in apache logs?

thanks.

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7 THOTA SIVA PRASAD October 22, 2009 at 12:34 pm

i want log file formats for server log,access log,user log,browser log,proxy log ,error log ect.

Reply

8 robert August 9, 2010 at 11:29 am

How can I move my /var/log directory to RAM (tmpfs) and not have Apache fail to load because it can’t find “error.log” when I reboot?

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9 Techie September 6, 2010 at 6:44 pm

Thanks. I didn’t know where the logs were and I just wanted to manually look through the access log.

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10 Tasman Hayes March 8, 2011 at 1:30 pm

Thanks for covering the the Apache log file locations for Red Hat, CentOS and Ubuntu. Very useful!

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11 Joe Johnson June 27, 2011 at 1:35 am

Excellent guide; thank you very much!

Reply

12 Rakshtiha Megha July 18, 2011 at 9:54 am

Hi,
wat are the different command to retrive the contents of Server LOG file and fhow do it accecc the contens of Serevr LOG file.

Reply

13 ebi July 22, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Forbidden

You don’t have permission to access / on this server.

Additionally, a 403 Forbidden error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

Reply

14 Shruthi November 23, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Hi,

Please help me out with this Apache Log file settings that i want to achieve:
1. The Log file size should be restricted to 100 MB
2. Once the log file reaches 100 MB, it should create a new log file
3. Maximum we should be backing up 10 log files.

I need this on urgent basis, please help

Reply

15 TonyRiver December 29, 2011 at 10:25 am

Is this the same in CentOS, Fedora, and Redhat?

Reply

16 tony b January 26, 2012 at 6:10 am

What would a file called _PO.log be?

Reply

17 Haris Ibrahim K. V. February 25, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Thanks mate. I was checking out where to find the error log files of apache and this one solved it for me.

Reply

18 Marek March 30, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Have you ever had this error after changing access_log file destination folder?

[error] (13)Permission denied: could not open transfer log file /tmp/apache2/access.log
I’ve set chmod of apache2 to 777 and owner to apache, working on new installation of Centos 6.2

Reply

19 phusitw April 8, 2012 at 5:00 pm

good krub

Reply

20 asaad April 19, 2012 at 9:05 am

Hello everyone,
please i want to know how i can find and download a search log file ( For example for a Google or Yahoo ) , because i need the log file to study and analysis the queries that made by the user of these search engines.

Best regard
Asaad

Reply

21 vinod April 30, 2013 at 11:20 am

Hi,

Please help me out with this maillog Log file settings that i want to achieve:
1. The Log file size should be restricted to 20 GB
2. Once the log file reaches 4GB, it should create a new log file
3. Maximum we should be backing up 10 log files.

I need this on urgent basis, please help

Reply

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