Logging Configuration

Table of Contents

Collecting Logs for Help

To collect logs for help and issue report, see Support Options.

Log Groups

The fundamental thing to be aware of in Gitea is that there are several log groups:

  • The “Default” logger
  • The Router logger
  • The Access logger
  • The XORM logger

There is also the go log logger.

The go log logger

Go provides its own extremely basic logger in the log package, however, this is not sufficient for our purposes as it does not provide a way of logging at multiple levels, nor does it provide a good way of controlling where these logs are logged except through setting of a writer.

We have therefore redirected this logger to our Default logger, and we will log anything that is logged using the go logger at the INFO level.

The “Default” logger

Calls to log.Info, log.Debug, log.Error etc. from the code.gitea.io/gitea/modules/log package will log to this logger.

You can configure the outputs of this logger by setting the MODE value in the [log] section of the configuration.

Each output sublogger is configured in a separate [log.sublogger.default] which inherits from the sublogger [log.sublogger] section and from the generic [log] section, but there are certain default values. These will not be inherited from the [log] section:

  • FLAGS is stdflags (Equal to date,time,medfile,shortfuncname,levelinitial)
  • FILE_NAME will default to %(ROOT_PATH)/gitea.log
  • EXPRESSION will default to ""
  • PREFIX will default to ""

The provider type of the sublogger can be set using the MODE value in its subsection, but will default to the name. This allows you to have multiple subloggers that will log to files.

The “Router” logger

The Router logger has been substantially changed in v1.17. If you are using the router logger for fail2ban or other monitoring you will need to update this configuration.

You can disable Router log by setting DISABLE_ROUTER_LOG or by setting all of its sublogger configurations to none.

You can configure the outputs of this router log by setting the ROUTER value in the [log] section of the configuration. ROUTER will default to console if unset and will default to same level as main logger.

The Router logger logs the following:

  • started messages will be logged at TRACE level
  • polling/completed routers will be logged at INFO
  • slow routers will be logged at WARN
  • failed routers will be logged at WARN

The logging level for the router will default to that of the main configuration. Set [log.<mode>.router] LEVEL to change this.

Each output sublogger for this logger is configured in [log.sublogger.router] sections. There are certain default values which will not be inherited from the [log] or relevant [log.sublogger] sections:

  • FILE_NAME will default to %(ROOT_PATH)/router.log
  • FLAGS defaults to date,time
  • EXPRESSION will default to ""
  • PREFIX will default to ""

NB: You can redirect the router logger to send its events to the Gitea log using the value: ROUTER = ,

The “Access” logger

The Access logger is a new logger for version 1.9. It provides a NCSA Common Log compliant log format. It’s highly configurable but caution should be taken when changing its template. The main benefit of this logger is that Gitea can now log accesses in a standard log format so standard tools may be used.

You can enable this logger using ENABLE_ACCESS_LOG. Its outputs are configured by setting the ACCESS value in the [log] section of the configuration. ACCESS defaults to file if unset.

Each output sublogger for this logger is configured in [log.sublogger.access] sections. There are certain default values which will not be inherited from the [log] or relevant [log.sublogger] sections:

  • FILE_NAME will default to %(ROOT_PATH)/access.log
  • FLAGS defaults to `` or None
  • EXPRESSION will default to ""
  • PREFIX will default to ""

If desired the format of the Access logger can be changed by changing the value of the ACCESS_LOG_TEMPLATE.

Please note, the access logger will log at INFO level, setting the LEVEL of this logger to WARN or above will result in no access logs.

NB: You can redirect the access logger to send its events to the Gitea log using the value: ACCESS = ,


This value represent a go template. It’s default value is:

{{.Ctx.RemoteAddr}} - {{.Identity}} {{.Start.Format "[02/Jan/2006:15:04:05 -0700]" }} "{{.Ctx.Req.Method}} {{.Ctx.Req.URL.RequestURI}} {{.Ctx.Req.Proto}}" {{.ResponseWriter.Status}} {{.ResponseWriter.Size}} "{{.Ctx.Req.Referer}}\" \"{{.Ctx.Req.UserAgent}}"

The template is passed following options:

  • Ctx is the context.Context
  • Identity is the SignedUserName or "-" if the user is not logged in
  • Start is the start time of the request
  • ResponseWriter is the http.ResponseWriter

Caution must be taken when changing this template as it runs outside of the standard panic recovery trap. The template should also be as simple as it runs for every request.

The “XORM” logger

The XORM logger is a long-standing logger that exists to collect XORM log events. It is enabled by default but can be switched off by setting ENABLE_XORM_LOG to false in the [log] section. Its outputs are configured by setting the XORM value in the [log] section of the configuration. XORM defaults to , if unset, meaning it is redirected to the main Gitea log.

XORM will log SQL events by default. This can be changed by setting the LOG_SQL value to false in the [database] section.

Each output sublogger for this logger is configured in [log.sublogger.xorm] sections. There are certain default values which will not be inherited from the [log] or relevant [log.sublogger] sections:

  • FILE_NAME will default to %(ROOT_PATH)/xorm.log
  • FLAGS defaults to date,time
  • EXPRESSION will default to ""
  • PREFIX will default to ""

Log outputs

Gitea provides 4 possible log outputs:

  • console - Log to os.Stdout or os.Stderr
  • file - Log to a file
  • conn - Log to a keep-alive TCP connection
  • smtp - Log via email

Certain configuration is common to all modes of log output:

  • LEVEL is the lowest level that this output will log. This value is inherited from [log] and in the case of the non-default loggers from [log.sublogger].
  • STACKTRACE_LEVEL is the lowest level that this output will print a stacktrace. This value is inherited.
  • MODE is the mode of the log output. It will default to the sublogger name. Thus [log.console.router] will default to MODE = console.
  • COLORIZE will default to true for console as described, otherwise it will default to false.

Non-inherited default values

There are several values which are not inherited as described above but rather default to those specific to type of logger, these are: EXPRESSION, FLAGS, PREFIX and FILE_NAME.


EXPRESSION represents a regular expression that log events must match to be logged by the sublogger. Either the log message, (with colors removed), must match or the longfilename:linenumber:functionname must match. NB: the whole message or string doesn’t need to completely match.

Please note this expression will be run in the sublogger’s goroutine not the logging event subroutine. Therefore it can be complicated.


FLAGS represents the preceding logging context information that is printed before each message. It is a comma-separated string set. The order of values does not matter.

Possible values are:

  • none or , - No flags.
  • date - the date in the local time zone: 2009/01/23.
  • time - the time in the local time zone: 01:23:23.
  • microseconds - microsecond resolution: 01:23:23.123123. Assumes time.
  • longfile - full file name and line number: /a/b/c/d.go:23.
  • shortfile - final file name element and line number: d.go:23.
  • funcname - function name of the caller: runtime.Caller().
  • shortfuncname - last part of the function name. Overrides funcname.
  • utc - if date or time is set, use UTC rather than the local time zone.
  • levelinitial - Initial character of the provided level in brackets eg. [I] for info.
  • level - Provided level in brackets [INFO]
  • medfile - Last 20 characters of the filename - equivalent to shortfile,longfile.
  • stdflags - Equivalent to date,time,medfile,shortfuncname,levelinitial

Console mode

For loggers in console mode, COLORIZE will default to true if not on windows, or the windows terminal can be set into ANSI mode or is a cygwin or Msys pipe.

If STDERR is set to true the logger will use os.Stderr instead of os.Stdout.

File mode

The FILE_NAME defaults as described above. If set it will be relative to the provided ROOT_PATH in the master [log] section.

Other values:

  • LOG_ROTATE: true: Rotate the log files.
  • MAX_SIZE_SHIFT: 28: Maximum size shift of a single file, 28 represents 256Mb.
  • DAILY_ROTATE: true: Rotate logs daily.
  • MAX_DAYS: 7: Delete the log file after n days
  • COMPRESS: true: Compress old log files by default with gzip
  • COMPRESSION_LEVEL: -1: Compression level

Conn mode

  • RECONNECT_ON_MSG: false: Reconnect host for every single message.
  • RECONNECT: false: Try to reconnect when connection is lost.
  • PROTOCOL: tcp: Set the protocol, either “tcp”, “unix” or “udp”.
  • ADDR: :7020: Sets the address to connect to.

SMTP mode

It is not recommended to use this logger to send general logging messages. However, you could perhaps set this logger to work on FATAL.

  • USER: User email address to send from.
  • PASSWD: Password for the smtp server.
  • HOST: The SMTP host to connect to.
  • RECEIVERS: Email addresses to send to.
  • SUBJECT: Diagnostic message from Gitea

Debugging problems

When submitting logs in Gitea issues it is often helpful to submit merged logs obtained by either by redirecting the console log to a file or copying and pasting it. To that end it is recommended to set your logging to:

LOG_SQL = false ; SQL logs are rarely helpful unless we specifically ask for them


MODE = console
LEVEL = debug ; please set the level to debug when we are debugging a problem
ROUTER = console
COLORIZE = false ; this can be true if you can strip out the ansi coloring
ENABLE_SSH_LOG = true ; shows logs related to git over SSH.

Sometimes it will be helpful get some specific TRACE level logging restricted to messages that match a specific EXPRESSION. Adjusting the MODE in the [log] section to MODE = console,traceconsole to add a new logger output traceconsole and then adding its corresponding section would be helpful:

[log.traceconsole] ; traceconsole here is just a name
MODE = console ; this is the output that the traceconsole writes to
LEVEL = trace
EXPRESSION = ; putting a string here will restrict this logger to logging only those messages that match this expression

(It’s worth noting that log messages that match the expression at or above debug level will get logged twice so don’t worry about that.)

STACKTRACE_LEVEL should generally be left unconfigured (and hence kept at none). There are only very specific occasions when it useful.

Empty Configuration

The empty configuration is equivalent to:

MODE = console
LEVEL = Info
XORM = ,

MODE = console
FLAGS = stdflags
COLORIZE = true # Or false if your windows terminal cannot color

This is equivalent to sending all logs to the console, with default go log being sent to the console log too.

Releasing-and-Reopening, Pausing and Resuming logging

If you are running on Unix you may wish to release-and-reopen logs in order to use logrotate or other tools. It is possible force Gitea to release and reopen it’s logging files and connections by sending SIGUSR1 to the running process, or running gitea manager logging release-and-reopen.

Alternatively, you may wish to pause and resume logging - this can be accomplished through the use of the gitea manager logging pause and gitea manager logging resume commands. Please note that whilst logging is paused log events below INFO level will not be stored and only a limited number of events will be stored. Logging may block, albeit temporarily, slowing Gitea considerably whilst paused - therefore it is recommended that pausing only done for a very short period of time.

Adding and removing logging whilst Gitea is running

It is possible to add and remove logging whilst Gitea is running using the gitea manager logging add and remove subcommands. This functionality can only adjust running log systems and cannot be used to start the access or router loggers if they were not already initialized. If you wish to start these systems you are advised to adjust the app.ini and (gracefully) restart the Gitea service.

The main intention of these commands is to easily add a temporary logger to investigate problems on running systems where a restart may cause the issue to disappear.

Log colorization

Logs to the console will be colorized by default when not running on Windows. Terminal sniffing will occur on Windows and if it is determined that we are running on a terminal capable of color we will colorize.

Further, on *nix it is becoming common to have file logs that are colored by default. Therefore file logs will be colorised by default when not running on Windows.

You can switch on or off colorization by using the COLORIZE value.

From a development point of view. If you write log.Info("A %s string", "formatted") the formatted part of the log message will be Bolded on colorized logs.

You can change this by either rendering the formatted string yourself. Or you can wrap the value in a log.ColoredValue struct.

The log.ColoredValue struct contains a pointer to value, a pointer to string of bytes which should represent a color and second set of reset bytes. Pointers were chosen to prevent copying of large numbers of values. There are several helper methods:

  • log.NewColoredValue takes a value and 0 or more color attributes that represent the color. If 0 are provided it will default to a cached bold. Note, it is recommended that color bytes constructed from attributes should be cached if this is a commonly used log message.
  • log.NewColoredValuePointer takes a pointer to a value, and 0 or more color attributes that represent the color.
  • log.NewColoredValueBytes takes a value and a pointer to an array of bytes representing the color.

These functions will not double wrap a log.ColoredValue. They will also set the resetBytes to the cached resetBytes.

The colorBytes and resetBytes are not exported to prevent accidental overwriting of internal values.

ColorFormat & ColorFormatted

Structs may implement the log.ColorFormatted interface by implementing the ColorFormat(fmt.State) function.

If a log.ColorFormatted struct is logged with %-v format, its ColorFormat will be used instead of the usual %v. The full fmt.State will be passed to allow implementers to look at additional flags.

In order to help implementers provide ColorFormat methods. There is a log.ColorFprintf(...) function in the log module that will wrap values in log.ColoredValue and recognise %-v.

In general it is recommended not to make the results of this function too verbose to help increase its versatility. Usually this should simply be an ID:Name. If you wish to make a more verbose result, it is recommended to use %-+v as your marker.

Log Spoofing protection

In order to protect the logs from being spoofed with cleverly constructed messages. Newlines are now prefixed with a tab and control characters except those used in an ANSI CSI are escaped with a preceding \ and their octal value.

Creating a new named logger group

Should a developer wish to create a new named logger, NEWONE. It is recommended to add an ENABLE_NEWONE_LOG value to the [log] section, and to add a new NEWONE value for the modes.

A function like func newNewOneLogService() is recommended to manage construction of the named logger. e.g.

func newNewoneLogService() {
	EnableNewoneLog = Cfg.Section("log").Key("ENABLE_NEWONE_LOG").MustBool(false)
	Cfg.Section("log").Key("NEWONE").MustString("file") // or console? or "," if you want to send this to default logger by default
	if EnableNewoneLog {
		options := newDefaultLogOptions()
		options.filename = filepath.Join(LogRootPath, "newone.log")
		options.flags = "stdflags"
		options.bufferLength = Cfg.Section("log").Key("BUFFER_LEN").MustInt64(10000)
		generateNamedLogger("newone", options)

You should then add newOneLogService to NewServices() in modules/setting/setting.go

Using logrotate instead of built-in log rotation

Gitea includes built-in log rotation, which should be enough for most deployments. However, if you instead want to use the logrotate utility:

  • Disable built-in log rotation by setting LOG_ROTATE to false in your app.ini.
  • Install logrotate.
  • Configure logrotate to match your deployment requirements, see man 8 logrotate for configuration syntax details. In the postrotate/endscript block send Gitea a USR1 signal via kill -USR1 or kill -10 to the gitea process itself, or run gitea manager logging release-and-reopen (with the appropriate environment). Ensure that your configurations apply to all files emitted by Gitea loggers as described in the above sections.
  • Always do logrotate /etc/logrotate.conf --debug to test your configurations.
  • If you are using docker and are running from outside of the container you can use docker exec -u $OS_USER $CONTAINER_NAME sh -c 'gitea manager logging release-and-reopen' or docker exec $CONTAINER_NAME sh -c '/bin/s6-svc -1 /etc/s6/gitea/' or send USR1 directly to the Gitea process itself.

The next logrotate jobs will include your configurations, so no restart is needed. You can also immediately reload logrotate with logrotate /etc/logrotate.conf --force.