Puppet Server’s logging is routed through the Java Virtual Machine's Logback library and configured in an XML file typically named logback.xml.

Note: This document covers basic, commonly modified options for Puppet Server logs. Logback is a powerful library with many options. For detailed information on configuring Logback, see the Logback Configuration Manual.

For advanced logging configuration tips specific to Puppet Server, such as configuring Logstash or outputting logs in JSON format, see Advanced Logging Configuration.

Puppet Server logging

By default, Puppet Server logs messages and errors to /var/log/puppetlabs/puppetserver/puppetserver.log. The default log level is ‘INFO’, and Puppet Server sends nothing to syslog. You can change Puppet Server's logging behavior by editing /etc/puppetlabs/puppetserver/logback.xml, and you can specify a different Logback config file in global.conf.

You can restart the puppetserver service for changes to take effect, or enable configuration scanning to allow changes to be recognized at runtime.

Puppet Server also relies on Logback to manage, rotate, and archive Server log files. Logback archives Server logs when they exceed 10MB, and when the total size of all Server logs exceeds 1GB, it automatically deletes the oldest logs.



To modify Puppet Server's logging level, change the level attribute of the root element. By default, the logging level is set to info:

<root level="info">

Supported logging levels, in order from most to least information logged, are trace, debug, info, warn, and error. For instance, to enable debug logging for Puppet Server, change info to debug:

<root level="debug">

Puppet Server profiling data is included at the debug logging level.

You can also change the logging level for JRuby logging from its defaults of error and info by setting the level attribute of the jruby element. For example, to enable debug logging for JRuby, set the attribute to debug:

<jruby level="debug">

Logging location

You can change the file to which Puppet Server writes its logs in the appender section named F1. By default, the location is set to /var/log/puppetlabs/puppetserver/puppetserver.log:

    <appender name="F1" class="ch.qos.logback.core.FileAppender">

To change this to /var/log/puppetserver.log, modify the contents of the file element:


The user account that owns the Puppet Server process must have write permissions to the destination path.

scan and scanPeriod

Logback supports noticing and reloading configuration changes without requiring a restart, a feature Logback calls scanning. To enable this, set the scan and scanPeriod attributes in the <configuration> element of logback.xml:

<configuration scan="true" scanPeriod="60 seconds">

Due to a bug in Logback, the scanPeriod must be set to a value; setting only scan="true" will not enable configuration scanning. Scanning is enabled by default in the logback.xml configuration packaged with Puppet Server.

Note: The HTTP request log does not currently support the scan feature. Adding the scan or scanPeriod settings to request-logging.xml will have no effect.

HTTP request logging

Puppet Server logs HTTP traffic separately, and this logging is configured in a different Logback configuration file located at /etc/puppetlabs/puppetserver/request-logging.xml. To specify a different Logback configuration file, change the access-log-config setting in Puppet Server's webserver.conf file.

The HTTP request log uses the same Logback configuration format and settings as the Puppet Server log. It also lets you configure what it logs using patterns, which follow Logback's PatternLayout format.