For local development or simple batch R scripts run manually, writing log messages to a file for later inspection (with
file_appender) is quite convenient. However, for deployed R applications (like Shiny apps and Plumber APIs) or automated scripts it is more likely that all an organization’s logs will be aggregated in one central place (perhaps with a commercial tool or service1) for searching and monitoring. It can be annoying or impossible to upload log files in these cases.
If your organization’s platform supports reading log messages from regular program output,2 you can just use the default setup, which uses the
console_appender(). Otherwise, log4r includes three additional appenders to facilitate shipping logs off to an aggregator:
syslog_appender: For writing messages to the system log on Linux, macOS, and other Unix-like operating systems.
http_appender: For sending log messages as HTTP requests.
tcp_appender: For writing log messages to TCP connections.
The Unix “System log” (syslog) dates to the mid-1980s, and is still widely used. Almost all log aggregation services support ingesting a server’s syslog messages, so often the easiest way to get your logs to these services is to make your R talk to the local syslog.
To use the
syslog_appender, all you need is an identifier for your R app or script:
<- logger(appenders = syslog_appender("my-R-script"))logger
Requires the rsyslog package.
If you’re not already forwarding syslog messages (or need to send logs from Windows), the next most-common approach is to send them over HTTP. Log aggregation services usually provide an HTTP API endpoint to facilitate this:
<- logger(appenders = http_appender("http://logging.example.local"))logger
Some services use
PUT requests instead of the more intuitive
POST, which you can opt into as follows:
<- logger( logger appenders = http_appender("http://logging.example.local", method = "GET") )
Finally, if you need complete control over the HTTP request (for example, to send a specific header or use authentication), you can pass additional parameters to the underlying httr verb function:
<- logger( logger appenders = http_appender( "http://logging.example.local", method = "GET", layout = default_log_layout(), ::add_headers(`X-Custom-Header` = 1), httr::user_agent("my-r-script/1.0.0") httr ))
Requires the httr package.
For some workloads, the send-and-receive structure of HTTP requests may be undesirable, so many log aggregators also accept messages directly at a TCP port:
<- logger( logger appenders = tcp_appender("tcp://logging.example.local", port = 9551) )