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Navigating Application Logs using SSH/SFTP
Navigating Application Logs using SSH/SFTP
Rapyd Team avatar
Written by Rapyd Team
Updated over a week ago

This documentation aims to provide a comprehensive guide on how to navigate application logs using SSH (Secure Shell) and SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol). By utilizing SSH and SFTP, system administrators or developers can securely access and analyze application logs, enabling efficient troubleshooting and debugging processes.

Prerequisites

Before proceeding with navigating application logs using SSH/SFTP, ensure that the following prerequisites are met:

  • Access to the target server with SSH credentials (username and password or SSH key).

  • Knowledge of the log file location and its permissions on the server.

Step 1: Connect to the Server via SSH

  • Open a terminal or command prompt on your local machine.

  • Establish an SSH connection to the target server using the following command:
    ssh username@server_ip

    Replace ‘username’ with your SSH username and ‘server_ip’ with the IP address or domain name of the server you want to connect to.

  • If prompted, enter your SSH password or provide the path to your SSH private key for authentication.

  • Upon successful authentication, you will be logged into the server via SSH.

Step 2: Locate and Access the Log Files

  • Identify the directory where the application logs are stored. Common locations include:

  • /var/log/: The standard directory for system logs.

  • /var/www/application_name/logs/: A specific directory for application logs within the web root.

  • Change to the log file directory using the cd command:
    cd /path/to/log_directory

  • Replace ‘/path/to/log_directory’ with the actual path to the log directory on your server.

  • Once inside the log directory, use the ‘ls’ command to view the available log files:

    ls


    This command will list all the log files present in the current directory.

Step 3: Transfer Log Files using SFTP

  • Open a new terminal or command prompt window while keeping the SSH session open.

  • Establish an SFTP connection to the server using the following command:
    sftp username@server_ip

    Replace username with your SSH username and server_ip with the IP address or domain name of the server you want to connect to.

  • Enter your SSH password or provide the path to your SSH private key when prompted for authentication.

  • Once connected, navigate to the directory containing the log files using the ‘cd’ command:
    cd /path/to/log_directory

  • Replace ‘/path/to/log_directory’ with the actual path to the log directory on your server.

  • Use the ‘get’ command to download a log file to your local machine:
    get log_file_name

  • Replace ‘log_file_name’ with the name of the log file you want to download.

  • The log file will be transferred from the server to your local machine. Repeat this step for any additional log files you need.

  • To exit the SFTP session, use the ‘exit’ command.

Step 4: Analyze Log Files Locally

  1. Download the log file(s) to your local machine, and open them using a text editor or log analysis tool of your choice.

  2. Analyze the log entries to identify any relevant information, error messages, or patterns that could help troubleshoot or debug application issues.

  3. Make use of search functionality within your text editor or log analysis tool to efficiently navigate through the log file and locate specific events or errors.

  4. If necessary, collaborate with team members or consult the documentation to understand the log file structure and interpret log entries accurately.

Conclusion

Navigating application logs using SSH/SFTP provides a secure and efficient method for accessing log files remotely. By following the steps outlined in this documentation, users can connect to a remote server, navigate to the desired log directory, list available log files, and retrieve specific log files using SFTP. This process enables effective troubleshooting, debugging, and monitoring of software applications.

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