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In order to effectively manage and monitor your infrastructure, a web admin needs clear and transparent information about the types of activity going on within their servers. Server logs provide a documented footprint of all traffic and errors that occur within an environment. Apache has two main log files, Error Logs, and Access Logs.
If you’re reading this article, you probably already use Apache, and are familiar with its features and functionality. Users of Apache and any technology should also be aware of the importance of monitoring application logs to ensure that they are running optimally, and of using them to identify problems before they cause problems for the consumers of a site.
Apache, an open source web server that dates back to the mid-1990s, is one of the oldest web servers still in widespread use today. It remains one of the most popular web server platforms out there (even though NGINX has been slowly eroding its market share for a while). This means that there is a good chance that you’ll find yourself at some point working with Apache logs, if you’re not already. Below, I explain how logging in Apache works, where to find logs, what to look for in them and which tools can help you work with them. For this post, I’ll focus on Apache error logs. Some of these tips apply to Apache error logs as well.