Open Source

Tech Tip: Analyze Apache logs with Analog

Learn how to analyze Apache logs with Analog.

If you're looking for a useful log analysis program, check out Analog. This powerful, fast tool creates Web pages based on the analysis of Apache log files.

If your Linux vendor doesn't provide binary packages, you may have to download and install the program from source. After installation, create a configuration file that tells Analog what logs to read and where to place the output.

If installed via RPM or DEB, Analog will typically place a default configuration file in /etc/analog.cfg. Make a copy of this file, and customize it to fit your needs. Here are the essentials you need to set:

LOGFILE /var/log/httpd/access_log
HOSTNAME www.myhost.com
HOSTURL http://www.myhost.com
OUTFILE /var/www/html/logs/report.html
CHARTDIR /logs/images
LOCALCHARTDIR /var/www/html/logs/images

This tells Analog which log file to analyze, provides information on the host it's analyzing (i.e., hostname and URL), and indicates where to place the report file. (In this case, the resulting URL would be http://www.mysite.com/logs/report.html.) It also tells Analog where to write the image files for the charts that it creates.

Analog creates a very comprehensive output that includes a number of statistics, such as monthly page views, daily and hourly summaries of page requests, most used search requests to reach the site, and more.

For an up-to-date report, run Analog every day by using the following:

# analog -G +g/etc/myanalog.cfg

This assumes your customized configuration file is /etc/myanalog.cfg, and it tells Analog to use the specified configuration file instead of the default configuration file. This comes in handy if you've configured Apache to create log files for different virtual hosts and want a different report for each virtual host.

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