How to process apache logs

About access log

Access log is one text file. Each line contains one record about accessing client to webserver (your pages). Typical Common Log Format contains clients IP address, identity, username, access date and time, request line from client and status code sent from server to client. Another more detailed log format is called Combined Log Format or it can be defined by user. More information you will find in Log files documentation.

Locate and get logs

If you are running your web pages on Apache, probably you can locate log files of you pages and process them to get some interesting information. If you are running on some hosting, you have to ask your admin to get access logs. Quantity of information stored in logs can be very large, so all logs are rotated in some interval. Old log file is moved somewhere, zipped and new one is used for another run of web server. You can get only logs for some period of time (for example only one day) till log rotation is processed.

Processing Apache Logs

To process apache log files you need some processing tools. There is no problem if you are running Linux. If you are running Windows, you have to get some tools not installed on Windows – GNU utilities for Win32 or simulate Linux environment in CygWin.

Getting information from access logs

There is to many ways to get all interesting information from Access Logs. You can use any of log processing applications or do it yourself. I'll try to show some useful examples how can get it.