Python has a very rich logging system. It's very easy to add structured or unstructured log output to your python code, and have it written to a file, or output to the console, or sent to syslog, or to customize the output format.
Here are a few tips and tricks that have really helped me with python logging:
There can be
only more than one
Well, there can be only one logger with a given name. There is a special
"root" logger with no name. Multiple
getLogger(name) calls with the same name will return the same logger
object. This is an important property because it means you don't need to
explicitly pass logger objects around in your code. You can retrieve them
by name if you wish. The logging module is maintaining a global registry of
You can have multiple loggers active, each specific to its own module or even class or instance.
Each logger has a name, typically the name of the module it's being used from. A common pattern you see in python modules is this:
# in module foo.py import logging log = logging.getLogger(__name__)
This works because inside
__name__ is equal to "foo". So inside
this module the
log object is specific to this module.
Loggers are hierarchical
The names of the loggers form their own namespace, with "." separating
levels. This means that if you have have loggers called
you can do things on logger
foo that will impact both of the children. In
particular, you can set the logging level of
foo to show or ignore debug
messages for both submodules.
# Let's enable all the debug logging for all the foo modules import logging logging.getLogger('foo').setLevel(logging.DEBUG)
Log messages are like events that flow up through the hierarchy
Let's say we have a module foo.bar:
import logging log = logging.getLogger(__name__) # __name__ is "foo.bar" here def make_widget(): log.debug("made a widget!")
When we call
make_widget(), the code generates a debug log message. Each
logger in the hierarchy has a chance to output something for the message,
ignore it, or pass the message along to its parent.
configuration for loggers is to have their levels unset (or set to
NOTSET). This means the logger will just pass the message on up to its parent. Rinse & repeat until you get up to the root logger.
So if the
foo.bar logger hasn't specified a level, the message will
continue up to the
foo logger. If the
foo logger hasn't specified a
level, the message will continue up to the root logger.
This is why you typically configure the logging output on the root logger;
it typically gets ALL THE MESSAGES!!! Because this is so common, there's a
dedicated method for configuring the root logger:
This also allows us to use mixed levels of log output depending on where the message are coming from:
import logging # Enable debug logging for all the foo modules logging.getLogger("foo").setLevel(logging.DEBUG) # Configure the root logger to log only INFO calls, and output to the console # (the default) logging.basicConfig(level=logging.INFO) # This will output the debug message logging.getLogger("foo.bar").debug("ohai!")
If you comment out the
setLevel(logging.DEBUG) call, you won't see the
message at all.
exc_info is teh awesome
All the built-in logging calls support a keyword called
if isn't false, causes the current exception information to be logged in
addition to the log message.
import logging logging.basicConfig(level=logging.INFO) log = logging.getLogger(__name__) try: assert False except AssertionError: log.info("surprise! got an exception!", exc_info=True)
There's a special case for this,
log.exception(), which is equivalent to
Python 3.2 introduced a new keyword,
stack_info, which will output the
current stack to the current code. Very handy to figure out how you got
to a certain point in the code, even if no exceptions have occurred!
"No handlers found..."
You've probably come across this message, especially when working with 3rd party modules. What this means is that you don't have any logging handlers configured, and something is trying to log a message. The message has gone all the way up the logging hierarchy and fallen off the...top of the chain (maybe I need a better metaphor).
import logging log = logging.getLogger() log.error("no log for you!")
No handlers could be found for logger "root"
There are two things that can be done here:
Configure logging in your module with
I really recommend that you read the logging documentation and cookbook which have a lot more great information (and are also very well written!) There's a lot more you can do, with custom log handlers, different output formats, outputting to many locations at once, etc. Have fun!