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LinuxFocus.org: Analyzing your internet applications' log files

Oct 07, 2001, 15:49 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Egon Willighagen)
"Most internet services have the ability to log their activity. For example, the Apache web server adds for each web page request a line with information to a log file. Depending on the log format the line includes information like the page that was requested, the size of the page, which web browser was used, and much more. In case of your email server, a similar log file is made. It contains the email address that sent the email, who received it, how large it was, etc. As a matter of fact, all internet services have this capability.

These log files contain a enormous amount of information, but the format is hard to interpret by hand. You need a tool that makes summaries of the data to help you analyze the content. In case of www services this converts to TopX lists for web browsers, domains and platforms, and a hits versus time plot. Most counters from third party products show these kinds of overviews.

For most log file type tools are available to analyze the content. lire is such a tool. But lire is different from most other tools. Lire is an integrated system which is able to analyze not just one type of internet service, but many. And the reports that summarize the interesting information from the log file are plugged in. You can add custom report types yourselves.

Lire can be used in different ways. You can run it from the command line or have a crontab job installed that send you reports by email. In the former case you can choose the output format for the report. Current output formats include plain text, HTML, DocBook, PDF and LogML. In case of the crontab the only format is plain text at this moment."

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