How do I view the raw "access logs" and "error logs" for my Web site?

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If you're an advanced user and you would like to use your own Web statistics program, or you need to see the technical details of every connection made to your Web site for some other reason, you can access the "raw" log files yourself. These are the somewhat cryptic files generated by the Apache Web server that show each "hit" to your site.

The server generates "access logs" showing each "hit", and "error logs" showing error messages from the Web server and any script you install.

The access log files are generated daily. The previous day's log files are usually available by 4 AM Pacific time.

The error log files are generated live (in realtime), and are available for five days.

Viewing logs in a Web browser

You can view some information about the logs in your Web browser. Our control panel shows daily summaries of the access logs, as well as the last 200 lines from the error logs:

  1. Login to the “My Account” control panel (having trouble?)
  2. Click Statistics and Logs

Accessing the raw log files

If you need more details, you can download the full "raw log files".

One way to get access to these files is to download them using an FTP program. To do so, create an additional FTP account that has access to your "Web server logs directory", then connect to our server using that FTP account.

Alternately, if you're installing your own statistics program as a CGI script on our server, the raw log files can be found in the "logs/web" directory of your home directory.

It's also possible to download the logs using SFTP or "scp", if you're familiar with those tools and comfortable making ssh connections.

Recent daily access log files are stored in gzip (.gz) format, and older monthly access log files are stored in bzip2 (.bz2) format for greater compression to minimize disk space usage. We keep raw log files for 3 years; you should make your own copies of them on your own computer or elsewhere if you need to access them for a longer period.

Gzip and bzip2 are standard Unix compression formats; you can decompress them with programs like WinZip or PKZIP on Windows or Stuffit Expander on the Macintosh. Many Web statistics programs are also able to work directly with gzip and bzip2 files, even if you don't decompress them.