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todo.png Working with CLM Log4j

Authors: GeraldMitchell
Build basis: All


This topic is to cover how to manipulate the existing log4j.properties in order to control log type.

What is Log4j

Apache Log4j, a logging library for Java, is an Apache Software Foundation Project and developed by a dedicated team of Committers of the Apache Software Foundation.

Log4j and CLM

The log4j.properties file is in the install/server/conf/app folder of each CLM application

Based on component you want to debug further, add the corresponding logger to log4j.properties file to enable logging.

The jazz server produces a feed of log events. You can retrieve the log from:


You can reload the log settings by visiting

and clicking “Reload Log Settings” after you are logged into your CLM server as a user with an Administrator role.

To reset the logging properties without restarting the server: Log into the Web Administration interface and navigate to

Click on the Reload log settings link under Internal Tools in the menu on the left side of the page. Click on the resulting Reload Log Settings button.

NOTE: when the logging is dynamically reloaded, deleting an added option is not sufficient. The Logging is cumulative and hierarchical, so if you added an Appender or Logger then that Appender or Logger must have its threshold set to OFF. Simply deleting the line will not remove it from current operations.

The log settings are also reloaded every time the server starts. Note that repotools also has a log4j properties file, repotools_log4j.properties, in the install/server/conf directory as of CLM 4.0.5. There is also a "log4jproperties" argument for repotools that can be set. this is useful for operations such as debugging SQL connection issues with repotools.

There are three main components to the log4j that can be manipulated through the log4j.properties: (1)Loggers which have (2)Appenders, which can be manipulated with (3)Layouts.

The log4j.properties in CLM is able to be manipulated in order to gain some flexibility in administration and management of CLM deployments.

Further details into general log4j, with a CLM context

Breaking down the properties file, we can gain some insights into what we can manipulate and how that will affect the deployment. Note that because this is all standardized, the references at https://logging.apache.org/log4j/1.2/manual.html along with the comments in the file can be used to completely manipulate the logging.

# WARNING:  Log messages get persisted in the database as ChangeEvents for some
# period of time determined by the "ChangeEvent Default Expiration" setting.  By
# default, they get stored for 14 days.  Changing these logging settings
# to cause excessive DEBUG logging might cause your database to grow much larger
# than normal.
This is actually very important for many reasons. In the event the database needs to be stored after being used for debugging, restoring the database to a test system and changing the ChangeEvent Default Expiration and the log settings to none will allow the log messages to be removed from the backup, creating a smaller footprint for storage.


# Default logging is for WARN and higher
log4j.rootLogger=WARN, stdout, file
the log4j.rootLogger in the default file consists of 3 parts. The first, WARN, is a threshold level setting. The second and third settings stdout and file refer to appenders, the places where the WARN level messages should be recorded.

Logger Threshold Levels

The set of possible threshold levels are in order TRACE, DEBUG, INFO, WARN, ERROR, and FATAL. In this case, warnings, errors, and fatal messages will be recorded to the loggers. The stdout logger actually overrides this threshold level by only logging errors (log4j.appender.stdout.Threshold=ERROR)

Loggers are chained by level, and the rootLogger is the base level of that chain. All other loggers inherit from the previous link, so they all inherit from rootLogger.

Note that logging to more than 1 appender means that you add a multiplier the performance costs of each write. In a high utilization scenario this may contribute to a performance degradation.


The following is a section found in all CLM products for describing the file appender.
#   File Appender - Threshold WARN                             #
# The File attribute represents the log file name and location #
log4j.appender.file.layout.ConversionPattern=%d{ISO8601} [%30t] %5p %-50.50c  - %m%n

This is the base logging file that is used to manage the CLM application, in this case RQM.


The type of Appender can be changed, including creating a custom appender using the log4j SDK. The RollingFileAppender javadoc http://logging.apache.org/log4j/1.2/apidocs/org/apache/log4j/RollingFileAppender.html reveals the information about this appender: it extends the normal file appender by

  • backing up the previous file and creating a new file after a MaxFileSize. (log4j.appender.file.MaxFileSize=10MB)
  • has a controllable MaxBackupIndex to show how far back the files will be backed up. (log4j.appender.file.MaxBackupIndex=5)
These capabilities extend the FileAppenders capabilities to have a File destination (log4j.appender.file.File=logs/qm.log) .

This results in the code level generating a folder for logs 'log' in the default directory of the running application and having qm.log filled with messages. When those messages reach 10MB, the file is renamed qm.log.1 and a new file qm.log is created and starts to be populated. When there are 5 files, and qm.log needs to be created anew, qm.log.1 is deleted to make room.

Note that instead of this configuration you could use a different appender, like http://logging.apache.org/log4j/1.2/apidocs/org/apache/log4j/DailyRollingFileAppender.html which creates a log for any date pattern, and appends the day and time to the file name as the file rolls over. The advantage is that every interval has a new file, regardless of file content. This can be useful for coordinating with administrator shift changes and backups, for instance. Be aware that several of the appenders, including DailyRollingFileAppender, have may have additional caveats. There are several other appenders in the log4j extras as well, including DBAppender. See http://logging.apache.org/log4j/extras/apidocs/index.html for more information. Be aware that you would need to provide the extras to the log4j class loader as CLM does not provide those jars.

Appender Layout

The idea of a layout needs some consideration as well.

The Layout can have multiple types (or again can be customized with some log4jSDK work and some CLM manipulation) By default we recommend to not change the layout for CLM provided appenders, as support tooling are calibrated to this layout. If creating your own appender or you find it critical to change the layout,

The layout capability is inherited from the base AppenderSkeleton and consists of a Layout with a specified Conversion Pattern

  • log4j.appender.file.layout=org.apache.log4j.PatternLayout
  • log4j.appender.file.layout.ConversionPattern=%d{ISO8601} [%30t] %5p %-50.50c - %m%n
This conversion pattern results in a log message resembling
2014-03-06 19:33:23,753 [         http-bio-9443-exec-19]  INFO .repository.service.internal.rdb.ConnectionFactory  - CRJAZ1365I The server is attempting to connect to the following database: "conf/qm/derby/repositoryDB"
  • %d{ISO8601} is the date and time in the ISO8601 format, 2014-03-06 19:33:23,753, or March 6, 2014 at 7:33PM
  • [%30t] is the thread generating the message [ http-bio-9443-exec-19]
  • %5p is the level of the message INFO
  • %-50.50c is the code class that generated the message .repository.service.internal.rdb.ConnectionFactory -
  • %m%n is the message content followed by a newline CRJAZ1365I The server is attempting to connect to the following database: "conf/qm/derby/repositoryDB"

Example 1 - more information piped into a different file.

Here is also how to pipe to a different file so that it can be monitored separately from the rest of the log data. In this example, com.ibm.team.jfs classes are separated into a file named comibmjfs.log in the normal logs directory in a JTS subdirectory. The appender will create up to 20 individual files of 10MB. Note the "additivity" line, which is crucial to not have the information included elsewhere.

#commented out the original line from before the change

#only allow ERROR and FATAL level messages for the com.ibm.team.jfs classes
#isolate the jfs log data to a special file file
log4j.logger.com.ibm.team.jfs=ERROR, JFSlog 
#keep from propagating to rootLogger and having dual logging

#create a new rolling file appender for use with another file

#file the new log in a subdirectory

#follow the normal logging pattern ( could be changed to match relevant data)
log4j.appender.JFSlog.layout.ConversionPattern=%d{ISO8601} [%30t] %5p %-50.50c  - %m%n

Other Information

Coming soon -

  • Manipulating RTC log4j.properties
  • Manipulating RQM log4j.properties
  • Manipulating RRC log4j.properties
  • Manipulating LPA log4j.properties
  • Manipulating JTS log4j.properties

Related topics: Deployment web home, Deployment web home

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