[LON-CAPA-dev] httpd logfiles

Matthew Brian Hall lon-capa-dev@mail.lon-capa.org
Sat, 10 Aug 2002 11:18:29 -0400 (EDT)

Hello all -

In looking at data.lite.msu.edu, I noticed the httpd logfiles are getting a
bit monsterous (400M in total).

This is due to the clock on the remote.  If someone (Guy) leaves themselves
logged in to LON-CAPA and their cookie expires, it generates a couple errors.
The errors occur on attempts to retrieve the digits for the clock.  There are
roughly 1-6 requests per second.  Apache dutifully logs all of these errors
in /var/log/httpd/error_log.  Similary, every attempt to access the digits
results in a log entry in /var/log/httpd/access_log, which is a problem if
clients have caching turned off on their browsers.

Needless to say, the logs get pretty tedious after 12 hours of this.
This isn't really a problem on development machines, but production
machines need to avoid it.

There are a few ways to deal with this -

1. Switch to an analog clock or sundial.
2. Reduce the logging.
3. Not require a cookie to get the digits on the clock (or any of the other
    *.gif's on the remote).

As much as I'd prefer #1, solutions #2 and #3 will probably have to be used.

#2: To reduce the logging on a server, /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf needs
editing.  The line

CustomLog logs/access_log common

    Needs to be replaced with

SetEnvIf Request_URI /res/adm/pages nolog-request
CustomLog logs/access_log common env=!nolog-request

LON-CAPA doesn't seem to provide a httpd.conf.  This same method cannot be
applied to the error logging.  There are options on the error logging, but
excluding all errors is probably unwise.

#3: Not require a cookie to get the digits on the clock.

This will mean either excluding /res/adm/pages from the access handler or
finding a new home for the files.  The former approach has been taken in
the latest patch to loncapa_apache.conf.

I thought I'd give you the heads up on this in case you want to change the
httpd.conf on your favorite server(s) or if you have any other ideas.


Matthew Hall           LON-CAPA developer         hallmat3@msu.edu
123 North Kedzie Hall                    Michigan State University