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Structured Server Logs

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With Helix Server 2012.1 and later, a new logging feature was added that allows for additional information to be recorded about server and user activity in structured server logs. Structured logs are written in comma separated value (CSV) format and are easily parsed using the p4 logparse command. 

Structured server logs can be extremely verbose and grow rapidly so a process for managing them should be put in place. Structured logs can be configured to auto-rotate on size and also with a retention policy to automatically purge older logs. 

Structured server logs are meant to supplement standard Helix Server logs not replace them. 


For detailed information on setting up and managing structured server logs, see the HELIX VERSIONING ENGINE ADMINISTRATOR GUIDE

This article supplements the main documentation providing details and examples of following:

  • Structured Server Log Records
  • Log File Format 
  • Log Parsing 
  • Using Custom Log Names

Basic Configuration

The basic setup for a structured log is to configure the log file name and optionally set an auto-rotation and retention policy. For example, to set up an errors.csv structured log to auto-rotate when it reaches 100MB and to retain the last 10 logs:

p4 configure set servername#serverlog.file.1=errors.csv
p4 configure set servername#serverlog.maxmb.1=100
p4 configure set servername#serverlog.retain.1=10

Auto-rotation and retention policies are optional but recommended as best practice to manage the size of structured logs. If you do not specify a servername with your p4 configure set command, the configurable is set for all servers in a Helix distributed environment, including edge and replica servers should those servers not override the global configuration with their own configurable setting. 

Structured log files are automatically rotated on checkpoint, journal rotation, overflow of associated serverlog.maxmb.N limit if configured, and the p4 logrotate command. To disable structured log rotation after checkpoint or journal rotation, set the dm.rotatelogwithinjnl configurable to 0. 

Use the p4-ztag logstat -s command to get a current summary of journal and log sizes:

p4 -F '%file% %fileSize% %fileNum%' -ztag logstat -s
journal 1789 44
log 86101111 
all.csv 729498 21
commands.csv 120266 8
errors.csv 1890 4
audit.csv 0 2
track.csv 607348 16
user.csv 0 0
events.csv 0 4
integrity.csv 0 1
auth.csv 0 0
route.csv 0 0

The configuration of structured logs is dynamic; after p4 configure set is run, no server restart is required and the server generates the log and starts using it when it processes the next server command.

The name of a structured log automatically configures the events that log will capture. If you want to use custom log names, see the Using Custom Log Names section below on how to configure specific events for a custom log name. 

Structured Server Log Records

All structured server log records contain an event number (f_eventtype) written as the first field in the log record.:

Number   Name               Description 
0        command-start      Command Start
1        command-compute    Command Compute
2        command-end        Command End
3        errors-all         All errors
4        errors-failed      Failed errors - user errors ('user' has not been enabled, Invalid option:, Submit failed)
5        errors-fatal       Fatal Errors - system errors (Database open errors, Operation 'open' failed)
6        audit              Audit Events (p4 sync, p4 archive)
7        track-usage        Tracking - rusage
8        track-rpc          Tracking - rpc
9        track-db           Tracking - db
10       user               User Events from 'p4 loggappend'
11       trigger            Trigger Events
12       event              startup, shutdown, restart, jj, jc
13       purge              purge-rev (p4 obliterate)
14       network-estimates  Network Estimates
15       integrity          Replica integrity checking events
16       auth               Login events
17       route              network route of client connections
18       audit-size         Audit Events (including file revision's size)

The remaining fields in a log record are based on event type:

Field            Description               Event Types
eventtype        Event Type                All
timestamp        Unix timestamp            All
timestamp2       High-precision timestamp  All
date             Date                      All
pid              Process ID                All
cmdno            Command Number            All
user             User                      All
client           Client                    All
func             Function                  All
host             Host                      All
prog             Program                   All
version          Version                   All
args             Command Arguments         command-(start|compute|end)
severity         Severity Level            errors-(all|failed|fatal)
subsys           Subsystem                 errors-(all|failed|fatal)
subcode          Subsystem Code            errors-(all|failed|fatal)
text             Error Text                errors-(all|failed|fatal)
action           Audit action              audit
file             File                      audit
rev              Revision                  audit
trackType        Tracking type             track-(usage|rpc|db)
timer            Timer                     track-usage
utime            User time                 track-usage
stime            System time               track-usage
io_in            I/O reads                 track-usage
io_out           I/O writes                track-usage
net_in           IPC in                    track-usage
net_out          IPC out                   track-usage
maxrss           Max physical memory       track-usage
page_faults      Page Faults               track-usage
recvCount        Receive count             track-rpc
sendCount        Send count                track-rpc
recvBytes        Receive bytes             track-rpc
sendBytes        Send bytes                track-rpc
rpc_hi_mark_fwd  Highmark forward          track-rpc
rpc_hi_mark_rev  Highmark reverse          track-rpc
recvTime         Receive time              track-rpc
sendTime         Send time                 track-rpc
dbName           Database table name       track-db
pagesIn          Pages In                  track-db
pagesOut         Pages Out                 track-db
pagesCached      Pages Cached              track-db
reorderIntl      Reorder internal          track-db
reorderLeaf      Rorder leaf               track-db
readLocks        Read locks                track-db
writeLocks       Write locks               track-db
gets             Gets                      track-db
positions        Positions                 track-db
scans            Scans                     track-db
puts             Puts                      track-db
deletes          Deletes                   track-db
triggerAction    Trigger action            trigger
triggerData      Trigger data              trigger
eventCode        Event code                event
eventInfo        Event info                event
action           Action                    purge
file             File                      purge
rev              Revision                  purge
event            Event                     default

For a specific log record, use the event type and p4 logschema to get details on the specific fields in the record. For example, an event record (type 12) from the log:

12,1474054242,775358804,2016/09/16 12:30:42 75358804,21204,4,shutdown

p4 -F '%f_name%' logschema 12

or you can simply run p4 logparse to show you the fields and the values:

p4 logparse events.csv 
... f_eventtype 12
... f_timestamp 1474054242
... f_timestamp2 775358804
... f_date 2016/09/16 12:30:42 775358804
... f_pid 21204
... f_eventCode 4
... f_eventInfo shutdown
... f_lognum 0
... f_logfile events.csv
... f_offset 71

Notes on empty or unknown in integrity.csv

If you see an "empty" field, the table on the replica is empty.  In this case, the table is db.changex so there are no pending changelists in the system.

15,1476985796,756730135,2016/10/20 13:33:16 756730135,37292,9,db.changex,,,0,0,0x0,0x0,,,empty

If you see an "unknown" field, this shows that Perforce was not able to verify the checksum.  In the example below, Perforce was not able to verify db.user.rp on the replica.  Replica-only tables like db.user.rp, db.have.rp, and db.view.rp do not logically exist on the master/commit server so this is acceptable.

15,1475860873,882557210,2016/10/06 09:34:33 882557210,37292,9,db.user.rp,,,0,0,0x0,0x9CF7B63E,,,unknown (master)

Log Parsing

The p4 logparse command is used to parse structured server logs. The filtering (-F) and formatting (-T) options are based on the field names of the event type for the record. Here are some p4 logparse examples showing filtering and formatting usage:

Report from commands.csv who ran p4 verify and how long it took to run:

p4 logparse -F 'f_func=user-verify' -T 'f_eventtype f_user f_date f_func f_args f_pid' commands.csv 
... f_eventtype 0
... f_date 2016/09/16 10:11:55 357132000
... f_pid 89688
... f_user bruno
... f_func user-verify
... f_args -q://...

... f_eventtype 2
... f_date 2016/09/16 10:11:58 925980000
... f_pid 89688
... f_user bruno
... f_func user-verify
... f_args -q://...

The results show a commant-start (0) and command-end (2) event and date fields which can be used to see the verify runtime.

Report from commands.csv who ran p4 obliterate and how long it took to run:

p4 logparse -F 'f_func=user-obliterate' -T 'f_eventtype f_user f_date f_func f_args f_pid' commands.csv 
... f_eventtype 0
... f_date 2016/09/16 10:16:49 250325000
... f_pid 89725
... f_user shane
... f_func user-obliterate
... f_args -y://depot/www/dev/index.html

... f_eventtype 2
... f_date 2016/09/16 10:16:50 406227000
... f_pid 89725
... f_user shane
... f_func user-obliterate
... f_args -y://depot/www/dev/index.html

For a specific obliterate, using the audit.csv log, report what files revisions were purged:

p4 logparse -F 'f_pid=89725 f_action=purge-rev' -T 'f_file f_rev' audit.csv 
... f_file //depot/www/dev/index.html
... f_rev #3
... f_file //depot/www/dev/index.html
... f_rev #2
... f_file //depot/www/dev/index.html
... f_rev #1

Report from errors.csv all errors containing the word 'permission' in the error text not from the user 'swarm':
p4 logparse -F 'f_text=*permission* ^f_user=swarm' -T 'f_eventttype f_user f_date f_args f_text' errors.csv 
... f_date 2016/09/16 13:10:43 775433162
... f_user scommon
... f_args -y://depot/www/...
... f_text You don't have permission for this operation.

Report from errors.csv containing fatal system errors and only display the following fields (f_eventtype, f_user, f_text):

p4 logparse -F 'f_eventtype=5' -T 'f_eventtype f_user f_text' errors.csv 
... f_eventtype 5
... f_user vkanczes
... f_text Database open error on db.user!

Report from audit.csv all files user bruno has run p4 sync on:
p4 logparse -F 'f_user=bruno' -T 'f_date f_file f_rev' audit.csv 
... f_date 2016/09/16 13:23:51 943341276
... f_file //depot/www/dev/Jam.html
... f_rev #2
... f_date 2016/09/16 13:23:51 980179840
... f_file //depot/www/dev/Jambase.html
... f_rev #2
... f_date 2016/09/16 13:23:51 985908351
... f_file //depot/www/dev/Jamfile.html
... f_rev #3
... f_date 2016/09/16 13:23:51 990579905
... f_file //depot/www/dev/Jamlang.html
... f_rev #2

Report from audit.csv all users that have run p4 sync on a specific depot file:
p4 logparse -F 'f_file=//depot/www/dev/Jam.html' -T 'f_user f_date f_file f_rev' audit.csv 
... f_date 2016/09/16 13:23:51 943341276
... f_user bruno
... f_file //depot/www/dev/Jam.html
... f_rev #2
... f_date 2016/09/16 13:29:42 451445324
... f_user scommon
... f_file //depot/www/dev/Jam.html
​... f_rev #2

The filtering options used with p4 logparse are similar to what can be used with p4 jobs -e when searching for jobs; see p4 help jobview for further details on the filtering capabilities. 

Using Custom Log Names (undocumented functionality)

You can use custom structured server log names. For custom log names, configure the events for the log manually using the configurable. For example:
p4 configure set serverlog.file.8=custom.csv
p4 configure set'command-start,command-end'

with taking a comma seperated list of events the custom log will capture. 
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