Logger v1.7.2 Logger View Source

A logger for Elixir applications.

It includes many features:

  • Provides debug, info, warn, and error levels.

  • Supports multiple backends which are automatically supervised when plugged into Logger.

  • Formats and truncates messages on the client to avoid clogging Logger backends.

  • Alternates between sync and async modes to remain performant when required but also apply backpressure when under stress.

  • Plugs into Erlang’s :logger (from Erlang/OTP 21) to convert terms to Elixir syntax or wraps Erlang’s :error_logger in earlier Erlang/OTP versions to prevent it from overflowing.

Logging is useful for tracking when an event of interest happens in your system. For example, it may be helpful to log whenever a user is deleted.

def delete_user(user) do
  Logger.info "Deleting user from the system: #{inspect(user)}"
  # ...
end

The Logger.info/2 macro emits the provided message at the :info level. Note the arguments given to info/2 will only be evaluated if a message is logged. For instance, if the Logger level is set to :warn, :info messages are never logged and therefore the arguments given above won’t even be executed.

There are additional macros for other levels.

Logger also allows log commands to be removed altogether via the :compile_time_purge_matching option (see below).

For dynamically logging messages, see bare_log/3. But note that bare_log/3 always evaluates its arguments (unless the argument is an anonymous function).

Levels

The supported levels are:

  • :debug - for debug-related messages
  • :info - for information of any kind
  • :warn - for warnings
  • :error - for errors

Configuration

Logger supports a wide range of configurations.

This configuration is split in three categories:

  • Application configuration - must be set before the :logger application is started

  • Runtime configuration - can be set before the :logger application is started, but may be changed during runtime

  • Erlang configuration - options that handle integration with Erlang’s logging facilities

Application configuration

The following configuration must be set via config files (such as config/config.exs) before the :logger application is started.

  • :backends - the backends to be used. Defaults to [:console]. See the “Backends” section for more information.

  • :compile_time_application - sets the :application metadata value to the configured value at compilation time. This configuration is usually only useful for build tools to automatically add the application to the metadata for Logger.debug/2, Logger.info/2, etc. style of calls.

  • :compile_time_purge_matching - purges at compilation time all calls that match the given conditions. This means that Logger calls with level lower than this option will be completely removed at compile time, accruing no overhead at runtime. This configuration expects a list of keyword lists. Each keyword list contains a metadata key and the matching value that should be purged. A special key named :level_lower_than can be used to purge all messages with a lower logger level. Remember that if you want to purge log calls from a dependency, the dependency must be recompiled.

For example, to configure the :backends and purge all calls that happen at compile time with level lower than :info in a config/config.exs file:

config :logger,
  backends: [:console],
  compile_time_purge_matching: [
    [level_lower_than: :info]
  ]

If you want to purge all log calls from an application named :foo and only keep errors from Bar.foo/3, you can set up two different matches:

config :logger,
  compile_time_purge_matching: [
    [application: :foo],
    [module: Bar, function: "foo/3", level_lower_than: :error]
  ]

Runtime Configuration

All configuration below can be set via config files (such as config/config.exs) but also changed dynamically during runtime via Logger.configure/1.

  • :level - the logging level. Attempting to log any message with severity less than the configured level will simply cause the message to be ignored. Keep in mind that each backend may have its specific level, too.

  • :utc_log - when true, uses UTC in logs. By default it uses local time (i.e., it defaults to false).

  • :truncate - the maximum message size to be logged (in bytes). Defaults to 8192 bytes. Note this configuration is approximate. Truncated messages will have " (truncated)" at the end. The atom :infinity can be passed to disable this behavior.

  • :sync_threshold - if the Logger manager has more than :sync_threshold messages in its queue, Logger will change to sync mode, to apply backpressure to the clients. Logger will return to async mode once the number of messages in the queue is reduced to sync_threshold * 0.75 messages. Defaults to 20 messages. :sync_threshold can be set to 0 to force sync mode.

  • :discard_threshold - if the Logger manager has more than :discard_threshold messages in its queue, Logger will change to discard mode and messages will be discarded directly in the clients. Logger will return to sync mode once the number of messages in the queue is reduced to discard_threshold * 0.75 messages. Defaults to 500 messages.

  • :translator_inspect_opts - when translating OTP reports and errors, the last message and state must be inspected in the error reports. This configuration allow developers to change how much and how the data should be inspected.

For example, to configure the :level and :truncate options in a config/config.exs file:

config :logger,
  level: :warn,
  truncate: 4096

Error logger configuration

The following configuration applies to Logger’s wrapper around Erlang’s logging functionalities. All the configurations below must be set before the :logger application starts.

  • :handle_otp_reports - redirects OTP reports to Logger so they are formatted in Elixir terms. This effectively disables Erlang standard logger. Defaults to true.

  • :handle_sasl_reports - redirects supervisor, crash and progress reports to Logger so they are formatted in Elixir terms. Your application must guarantee :sasl is started before :logger. This means you may see some initial reports written in Erlang syntax until the Logger application kicks in. Defaults to false.

From Erlang/OTP 21, :handle_sasl_reports only has an effect if :handle_otp_reports is true.

The following configurations apply only for Erlang/OTP 20 and earlier:

  • :discard_threshold_for_error_logger - if :error_logger has more than discard_threshold messages in its inbox, messages will be dropped until the message queue goes down to discard_threshold * 0.75 entries. The threshold will be checked once again after 10% of threshold messages are processed, to avoid messages from being constantly dropped. For example, if the threshold is 500 (the default) and the inbox has 600 messages, 225 messages will dropped, bringing the inbox down to 375 (0.75 threshold) entries and 50 (0.1 threshold) messages will be processed before the threshold is checked once again.

For example, to configure Logger to redirect all Erlang messages using a config/config.exs file:

config :logger,
  handle_otp_reports: true,
  handle_sasl_reports: true

Furthermore, Logger allows messages sent by Erlang to be translated into an Elixir format via translators. Translators can be added at any time with the add_translator/1 and remove_translator/1 APIs. Check Logger.Translator for more information.

Backends

Logger supports different backends where log messages are written to.

The available backends by default are:

  • :console - logs messages to the console (enabled by default)

Developers may also implement their own backends, an option that is explored in more detail below.

The initial backends are loaded via the :backends configuration, which must be set before the :logger application is started.

Console backend

The console backend logs messages by printing them to the console. It supports the following options:

  • :level - the level to be logged by this backend. Note that messages are filtered by the general :level configuration for the :logger application first.

  • :format - the format message used to print logs. Defaults to: "\n$time $metadata[$level] $levelpad$message\n". It may also be a {module, function} tuple that is invoked with the log level, the message, the current timestamp and the metadata.

  • :metadata - the metadata to be printed by $metadata. Defaults to an empty list (no metadata). Setting :metadata to :all prints all metadata. See the “Metadata” section for more information.

  • :colors - a keyword list of coloring options.

  • :device - the device to log error messages to. Defaults to :user but can be changed to something else such as :standard_error.

  • :max_buffer - maximum events to buffer while waiting for a confirmation from the IO device (default: 32). Once the buffer is full, the backend will block until a confirmation is received.

The supported keys in the :colors keyword list are:

  • :enabled - boolean value that allows for switching the coloring on and off. Defaults to: IO.ANSI.enabled?/0

  • :debug - color for debug messages. Defaults to: :cyan

  • :info - color for info messages. Defaults to: :normal

  • :warn - color for warn messages. Defaults to: :yellow

  • :error - color for error messages. Defaults to: :red

See the IO.ANSI module for a list of colors and attributes.

Here is an example of how to configure the :console backend in a config/config.exs file:

config :logger, :console,
  format: "\n$time $metadata[$level] $levelpad$message\n",
  metadata: [:user_id]

Metadata

In addition to the keys provided by the user via Logger.metadata/1, the following extra keys are available to the :metadata list:

  • :application - the current application

  • :module - the current module

  • :function - the current function

  • :file - the current file

  • :line - the current line

  • :pid - the current process identifier

  • :crash_reason - a two-element tuple with the throw/error/exit reason as first argument and the stacktrace as second. A throw will always be {:nocatch, term}. An error is always an Exception struct. All other entries are exits. The console backend ignores this metadata by default but it can be useful to other backends, such as the ones that report errors to third-party services

  • :initial_call - the initial call that started the process

  • :registered_name - the process registered name as an atom

Note that all metadata is optional and may not always be available. The :module, :function, :line, and similar metadata are automatically included when using Logger macros. Logger.bare_log/3 does not include any metadata beyond the :pid by default. Other metadata, such as :crash_reason, :initial_call, and :registered_name are extracted from Erlang/OTP crash reports and available only in those cases.

Custom formatting

The console backend allows you to customize the format of your log messages with the :format option.

You may set :format to either a string or a {module, function} tuple if you wish to provide your own format function. Here is an example of how to configure the :console backend in a config/config.exs file:

config :logger, :console,
  format: {MyConsoleLogger, :format}

And here is an example of how you can define MyConsoleLogger.format/4 from the above configuration:

defmodule MyConsoleLogger do
  def format(level, message, timestamp, metadata) do
    # Custom formatting logic...
  end
end

It is extremely important that the formatting function does not fail, as it will bring that particular logger instance down, causing your system to temporarily lose messages. If necessary, wrap the function in a rescue and log a default message instead:

defmodule MyConsoleLogger do
  def format(level, message, timestamp, metadata) do
    # Custom formatting logic...
  rescue
    _ -> "could not format: #{inspect({level, message, metadata}})"
  end
end

The {module, function} will be invoked with four arguments:

  • the log level: an atom
  • the message: this is usually chardata, but in some cases it may not be. Since the formatting function should never fail, you need to prepare for the message being anything (and do something like the rescue in the example above)
  • the current timestamp: a term of type Logger.Formatter.time/0
  • the medatata: a keyword list

You can read more about formatting in Logger.Formatter.

Custom backends

Any developer can create their own Logger backend. Since Logger is an event manager powered by :gen_event, writing a new backend is a matter of creating an event handler, as described in the :gen_event documentation.

From now on, we will be using the term “event handler” to refer to your custom backend, as we head into implementation details.

Once the :logger application starts, it installs all event handlers listed under the :backends configuration into the Logger event manager. The event manager and all added event handlers are automatically supervised by Logger.

Once initialized, the handler should be designed to handle events in the following format:

{level, group_leader, {Logger, message, timestamp, metadata}} | :flush

where:

  • level is one of :debug, :info, :warn, or :error, as previously described
  • group_leader is the group leader of the process which logged the message
  • {Logger, message, timestamp, metadata} is a tuple containing information about the logged message:

    • the first element is always the atom Logger
    • message is the actual message (as chardata)
    • timestamp is the timestamp for when the message was logged, as a {{year, month, day}, {hour, minute, second, millisecond}} tuple
    • metadata is a keyword list of metadata used when logging the message

It is recommended that handlers ignore messages where the group leader is in a different node than the one where the handler is installed. For example:

def handle_event({_level, gl, {Logger, _, _, _}}, state)
    when node(gl) != node() do
  {:ok, state}
end

In the case of the event :flush handlers should flush any pending data. This event is triggered by flush/0.

Furthermore, backends can be configured via the configure_backend/2 function which requires event handlers to handle calls of the following format:

{:configure, options}

where options is a keyword list. The result of the call is the result returned by configure_backend/2. The recommended return value for successful configuration is :ok.

It is recommended that backends support at least the following configuration options:

  • :level - the logging level for that backend
  • :format - the logging format for that backend
  • :metadata - the metadata to include in that backend

Check the implementation for Logger.Backends.Console, for examples on how to handle the recommendations in this section and how to process the existing options.

Link to this section Summary

Functions

Adds a new translator

Compares log levels

Configures the logger

Configures the given backend

Disables logging for the current process

Enables logging for the current process

Flushes the logger

Retrieves the Logger level

Logs a message with the given level

Reads the current process metadata

Alters the current process metadata according the given keyword list

Removes a translator

Resets the current process metadata to the given keyword list

Logs a warning message

Link to this section Types

Link to this type level() View Source
level() :: :error | :info | :warn | :debug
Link to this type metadata() View Source
metadata() :: keyword()

Link to this section Functions

Link to this function add_backend(backend, opts \\ []) View Source
add_backend(atom(), keyword()) :: Supervisor.on_start_child()

Adds a new backend.

Options

  • :flush - when true, guarantees all messages currently sent to Logger are processed before the backend is added
Link to this function add_translator(translator) View Source
add_translator({module(), function :: atom()}) :: :ok

Adds a new translator.

Link to this function bare_log(level, chardata_or_fun, metadata \\ []) View Source
bare_log(
  level(),
  message() | (() -> message() | {message(), keyword()}),
  keyword()
) :: :ok | {:error, :noproc} | {:error, term()}

Logs a message dynamically.

Opposite to log/3, debug/2, info/2, and friends, the arguments given to bare_log/3 are always evaluated. However, you can pass anonymous functions to bare_log/3 and they will only be evaluated if there is something to be logged.

Link to this function compare_levels(level, level) View Source
compare_levels(level(), level()) :: :lt | :eq | :gt

Compares log levels.

Receives two log levels and compares the left level against the right level and returns:

  • :lt if left is less than right
  • :eq if left and right are equal
  • :gt if left is greater than right

Examples

iex> Logger.compare_levels(:debug, :warn)
:lt
iex> Logger.compare_levels(:error, :info)
:gt
Link to this function configure(options) View Source
configure(keyword()) :: :ok

Configures the logger.

See the “Runtime Configuration” section in the Logger module documentation for the available options.

Link to this function configure_backend(backend, options) View Source
configure_backend(backend(), keyword()) :: term()

Configures the given backend.

The backend needs to be started and running in order to be configured at runtime.

Link to this macro debug(chardata_or_fun, metadata \\ []) View Source (macro)

Logs a debug message.

Returns :ok or an {:error, reason} tuple.

Examples

Logger.debug "hello?"
Logger.debug fn -> "dynamically calculated debug" end
Logger.debug fn -> {"dynamically calculated debug", [additional: :metadata]} end
Link to this function disable(pid) View Source
disable(pid()) :: :ok

Disables logging for the current process.

Currently the only accepted PID is self().

Link to this function enable(pid) View Source
enable(pid()) :: :ok

Enables logging for the current process.

Currently the only accepted PID is self().

Link to this macro error(chardata_or_fun, metadata \\ []) View Source (macro)

Logs an error message.

Returns :ok or an {:error, reason} tuple.

Examples

Logger.error "oops"
Logger.error fn -> "dynamically calculated error" end
Logger.error fn -> {"dynamically calculated error", [additional: :metadata]} end

Flushes the logger.

This guarantees all messages sent to Logger prior to this call will be processed. This is useful for testing and it should not be called in production code.

Link to this macro info(chardata_or_fun, metadata \\ []) View Source (macro)

Logs an info message.

Returns :ok or an {:error, reason} tuple.

Examples

Logger.info "mission accomplished"
Logger.info fn -> "dynamically calculated info" end
Logger.info fn -> {"dynamically calculated info", [additional: :metadata]} end

Retrieves the Logger level.

The Logger level can be changed via configure/1.

Link to this macro log(level, chardata_or_fun, metadata \\ []) View Source (macro)

Logs a message with the given level.

Returns :ok or an {:error, reason} tuple.

The macros debug/2, warn/2, info/2, and error/2 are preferred over this macro as they can automatically eliminate the call to Logger altogether at compile time if desired (see the documentation for the Logger module).

Reads the current process metadata.

Link to this function metadata(keyword) View Source
metadata(metadata()) :: :ok

Alters the current process metadata according the given keyword list.

This function will merge the given keyword list into the existing metadata, with the exception of setting a key to nil, which will remove that key from the metadata.

Link to this function remove_backend(backend, opts \\ []) View Source
remove_backend(atom(), keyword()) :: :ok | {:error, term()}

Removes a backend.

Options

  • :flush - when true, guarantees all messages currently sent to Logger are processed before the backend is removed
Link to this function remove_translator(translator) View Source
remove_translator({module(), function :: atom()}) :: :ok

Removes a translator.

Link to this function reset_metadata(keywords \\ []) View Source
reset_metadata(metadata()) :: :ok

Resets the current process metadata to the given keyword list.

Link to this macro warn(chardata_or_fun, metadata \\ []) View Source (macro)

Logs a warning message.

Returns :ok or an {:error, reason} tuple.

Examples

Logger.warn "knob turned too far to the right"
Logger.warn fn -> "dynamically calculated warning" end
Logger.warn fn -> {"dynamically calculated warning", [additional: :metadata]} end