by metakermit



An example Django project with nice logging settings for debugging failures.

Bugs falling down


  • stdout & rotating file logging
  • timestamps in the log format
  • logs visible from runserver, gunicorn, uwsgi, systemd, honcho, Docker
  • deploy to Heroku button which just works with heroku logs
  • show how to upgrade to Sentry

Tested in Django 1.9, but should work since 1.3, though 1.9 made some changes to the default Django loggers.

Sample log file output:

2016-04-05 22:12:32,984 [Thread-1    ] [INFO ] [djangoproject.logger]  This is a manually logged INFO string.
2016-04-05 22:12:32,984 [Thread-1    ] [DEBUG] [djangoproject.logger]  This is a manually logged DEBUG string.
2016-04-05 22:12:32,984 [Thread-1    ] [ERROR] [django.request      ]  Internal Server Error: /
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/Users/kermit/.virtualenvs/fail-nicely-django/lib/python3.5/site-packages/django/core/handlers/", line 149, in get_response
    response = self.process_exception_by_middleware(e, request)
  File "/Users/kermit/.virtualenvs/fail-nicely-django/lib/python3.5/site-packages/django/core/handlers/", line 147, in get_response
    response = wrapped_callback(request, *callback_args, **callback_kwargs)
  File "/Users/kermit/projekti/git/fail-nicely-django/djangoproject/brokenapp/", line 12, in brokenview
    raise Exception('This is an exception raised in a view.')
Exception: This is an exception raised in a view.


Django by default seems to prefer not to write the things you log to it anywhere. It instead lets its loggers shortly meditate on the messages sent their way, after which they silently discard them. The messages are simply disintegrated... They evaporate into the circuitry's chasm of nothingness... They cease to be.

It somehow seems odd to have “the default” and “it's probably not what you want” describe the same thing 😃 ...

“If the disable_existing_loggers key in the LOGGING dictConfig is set to True (which is the default) then all loggers from the default configuration will be disabled. Disabled loggers are not the same as removed; the logger will still exist, but will silently discard anything logged to it, not even propagating entries to a parent logger. Thus you should be very careful using 'disable_existing_loggers': True; it’s probably not what you want. Instead, you can set disable_existing_loggers to False and redefine some or all of the default loggers [...].”

— Excerpt From: The Official Django Documentation

Second, if you do use loggers, the runserver/gunicorn process doesn't output log messages in your console. Things like Docker kind of religiously depend on the executable outputting its own log files to stdout, so why not do it this way?

Others seem to be missing "complete working example code" for effectively using Django's logging capabilities too.

For these reason and after having some problems of my own getting Django/Flask, gunicorn and supervisord to behave nicely with the log output, I started assembling the best options I found into a nice example configuration. This is still work in progress, so suggestions and patches are welcome 😃.

Can I try it?

To test the setup locally:

python3 -m venv venv
source ./venv/bin/activate
pip install -r requirements.txt
python djangoproject/ migrate
python djangoproject/ runserver

And in another tab admire your logs:

tail -f djangoproject/djangoproject.log

To trigger some errors and log messages just open/refresh http://localhost:8000/.

To see gunicorn output, issue honcho start and open/refresh http://localhost:5000/

You can also try it on Heroku:


And you should be able to examine the logs after you refresh the page.

heroku logs -t --app myherokuapp

Open in your browser to generate some exceptions (substitute your real app name).

Nice, I want this!

Cool, then just copy the djangoproject/djangoproject/ file to your project (into the same folder where your is located) and add the following line to the bottom of your file:

from .logger import LOGGING

Then in every part of your project where you wanna log something manually, either import the logger like in djangoproject/brokenapp/ Alternatively, if you want the logger name to be something other than djangoproject.logger, add to the top of every module where you want to log something:

import logging
log = logging.getLogger(__name__)

Profit:'this is very important to log')

That's it, rock on!