Log file contains information about events in a computer program, usually with a certain scope, in order to provide an audit trail that can be used to understand the activity of the system and to diagnose problems.

Log file contains information about events in a computer program, usually with a certain scope, in order to provide an audit trail that can be used to understand the activity of the system and to diagnose problems. Logs are essential to understand the activities of complex systems, particularly in the case of applications with little user interaction (such as server applications).

Examples:

Examples of physical systems which have logging subsystems include process control systems, and black box recorders installed in aircraft.

Many operating systems and complex computer programs include some form of logging subsystem. In the simplest case, log messages are written to a log file. Most operating systems and software frameworks also provide more sophisticated services for logging. One example is the syslog service (described in RFC 3164), which allows the filtering and recording of log messages to be performed by a separate dedicated subsystem, rather than placing the onus on each application to provide its own ad hoc logging system.

A server log is a log file (or several files) automatically created and maintained by a server of activity performed by it. A typical example is a web server log which maintains a history of page requests.

An audit log is a security-related log that provides documentary evidence of the sequence of activities that have affected at any time a specific operation, procedure, or event.

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