Log file
on Passenger Standalone

Passenger logs all its messages to a log file. Inside this log file you will find informational messages, errors, warnings and debugging messages generated by Passenger, as well as application output. Whenever Passenger wants to tell you something, it is done through this log file, so you should check this file whenever you suspect that something is wrong.

This guide teaches you where to find the log file, how to customize its location and verbosity, and teaches you other miscellaneous things that you should know.

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Location of the log file

The default log file is located in log/passenger.XXX.log, where XXX is the port number that Passenger listens on.

Or, if you passed the --log-file / "log_file" configuration, then the log file is in the referenced file.

Application output logging

Stdout and stderr

Everything that the application writes to the stdout and stderr channels is logged to the log file.

Application log

The application or web framework may have its own log file that is independent from the Passenger log file. You should also check that file to see whether your application or web framework has logged any important messages.

For example, Ruby on Rails logs to log/development.log and log/production.log. When an error occurs during request handling, it is typically logged here. Note that this file does not contain errors that Rails encounters during startup – those kinds of errors are typically written to stderr, which means they end up in the Passenger log instead.

Note that Passenger runs applications in the "production" environment by default (that is, Passenger sets RAILS_ENV, RACK_ENV, NODE_ENV and related environment variables "production"). So if you're using Rails, please be sure to check production.log instead of development.log.

Customizing the log file

You can instruct Passenger to log to a specific log using the passenger_log_file option.

By default, Passenger only prints important informational messages, warnings and errors. You can configure Passenger to log less important messages too, such as debugging messages, through --log-level / "log_level".

Troubleshooting logging problems

Specifying /dev/stdout or /dev/stderr instead of a file doesn't work

Passenger Standalone supports using /dev/stdout and /dev/stderr since version 5.0.29, using the regular standalone options. Using other ways to configure these paths, for example via the Nginx configuration template, are not supported at this time.

Application stdout/stderr problems

Are you expecting to find application output in the log file, but don't actually see it? Then the cause may be that the application has modified stdout and stderr. Learn more about this.

Try raising the log level

Sometimes there's actually nothing wrong with the log file. Try raising the log level so that you see more messages.