Log Files on Pantheon

Use log files to identify errors, track response times, analyze visitors and more on your WordPress or Drupal site.

Log files track and record your site's activity to help you find, debug, and isolate current or potential problems on your site. Each environment (Multidev, Dev, Test, and Live) has their own respective log files, which can be obtained via SFTP. Application-level logs can be accessed through Drupal directly. In addition to logs, New Relic Pro is a great way to help diagnose and fix errors and performance bottlenecks.

The server timezone and all log timestamps are in UTC (Coordinated Universal Time).

Available Logs

Log Retention Policy Comments
newrelic.log New Relic log; check if an environment is not logging.
nginx-access.log Up to 60 days of logs Webserver access log. Do not consider canonical, as this will be wiped if the application server is reset or rebuilt. See Parsing nginx Access Logs with GoAccess.
nginx-error.log 1MB of log data Webserver error log.
php-error.log 1MB of log data PHP fatal error log; will not contain stack overflows. Fatal errors from this log are also shown in the Dashboard.
php-fpm-error.log 1MB of log data PHP-FPM generated collection of stack traces of slow executions, similar to MySQL's slow query log. See PHP Slow Log
pyinotify.log Linux filesystem events monitoring.
watcher.log Log of service that checks for files changed in code directory while in SFTP Connection Mode.
mysqld-slow-query.log 10MB of log data Log of MySQL queries that took more than 120 seconds to execute.
mysqld.log 1 MB of log data Log of established MySQL client connections and statements received from clients.

Rotated log files are archived within the /logs directory on application servers and database servers (e.g. /logs/nginx-access.log-20160617.gz or /logs/mysqld-slow-query.log-20160606).


When appservers are migrated as a regular part of platform maintenance, log files are destroyed as they are appserver-specific. Consider automating the collection of logs regularly to maintain historical log data.

Access Logs Via SFTP

Logs are stored within application containers that house your site's codebase and files. Add an SSH key within your User Dashboard to enable passwordless access and avoid authentication prompts. Otherwise, provide your Pantheon Dashboard credentials when prompted.

Downloading Logs

Application Log Files

  1. Access the Site Dashboard and desired environment (Multidev, Dev, Test, or Live).
  2. Click Connection Info and copy the SFTP Command Line command.
  3. Open a terminal window and paste the SFTP connection command.
  4. Run the following SFTP command in terminal:

    get -r logs

You now have a local copy of the logs directory, which contains the following:

├── logs

Database Log Files

  1. Access the Site Dashboard and desired environment (Multidev, Dev, Test, or Live).
  2. Click Connection Info and copy the SFTP Command Line command.
  3. Edit and execute the command by replacing appserver with dbserver:

    sftp -o Port=2222 dev.de305d54-75b4-431b-adb2-eb6b9e546014@dbserver.dev.de305d54-75b4-431b-adb2-eb6b9e546014.drush.in
  4. Run the following SFTP command in terminal:

get -r logs

You now have a local copy of the logs directory, which contains the following:

├── logs

Automate Downloading Logs

You can automate the process of accessing and maintaining these logs with a simple script.

Create A Script

Open your local terminal to create and access a new local directory:

mkdir $HOME/site-logs
cd $HOME/site-logs

Using your favorite text editor, create a file within the site-logs directory called collect-logs.sh and include the following:

# Site UUID from Dashboard URL, eg 12345678-1234-1234-abcd-0123456789ab
for app_server in `dig +short appserver.$ENV.$SITE_UUID.drush.in`;
  rsync -rlvz --size-only --ipv4 --progress -e 'ssh -p 2222' $ENV.$SITE_UUID@appserver.$ENV.$SITE_UUID.drush.in:logs/* app_server_$app_server

# Include MySQL logs
db_server=`dig dbserver.$ENV.$SITE_UUID.drush.in +short`
rsync -rlvz --size-only --ipv4 --progress -e 'ssh -p 2222' $ENV.$SITE_UUID@dbserver.$ENV.$SITE_UUID.drush.in:logs db_server_$db_server


For densely populated directories, using * can cause failures. If the script fails, consider removing the wildcard.

Collect Logs

Download logs by executing the script from within the site-logs directory:

sh collect-logs.sh

You can now access the logs from within the site-log directory. More than one directory is generated for sites that use multiple application containers.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I parse my Nginx access logs?

See Parsing nginx Access Logs with GoAccess for details.

Why do I see requests coming from 10.x.x.x IPs in nginx-access.log?

The first entry reflects an internal IP address of Pantheon's routing layer. The last entry provides a list of IPs used to serve the request, starting with the client IP and ending with internal IPs from the routing layer. For environments with HTTPS enabled, the loadbalancer IP address will be listed second, after the client IP.

The client IP for the following example is

10.x.x.x - - [19/Feb/2016:02:00:00 +0000]  "GET /edu HTTP/1.1" 200 13142 "https://pantheon.io/agencies/pantheon-for-agencies" "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; WOW64; rv:43.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/43.0" 0.399 ",, 10.x.x.x, 10.x.x.x"

Can I log to the system logger and access syslog?

No, syslog is not available. Technically, you can log Drupal events using the syslog module, but you won't be able to read or access them. You can use the error_log function to log to the php-error.log, which is accessible in the logs directory.

Can I access Apache Solr logs?

No, access to Apache Solr logs is not available. For more information on debugging Solr, see Apache Solr on Pantheon.

Can I download Varnish logs?

No, Varnish logs are not available for download.

How do I enable error logging for WordPress?

Enable the WP_DEBUG and WP_DEBUG_LOG constants on Development environments (Dev and Multidevs) to write errors to wp-content/debug.log and show all PHP errors, notices, and warnings on the page. We suggest setting the WordPress debugging constants per environment: Writing to wp-content/debug.log is not supported on Test or Live environments.

How can I access the Drupal event log?

By default, Drupal logs events using the Database Logging module (dblog). PHP fatal errors sometimes can be found in these logs, depending on how much Drupal bootstrapped. You can access the event logs in a couple ways:

  1. Visit /admin/reports/dblog once you've logged in as administrator.
  2. Using Terminus:
terminus drush <site>.<env> -- watchdog-show

Terminus can invoke Drush commands to "watch" events in real-time; tail can be used to continuously show new watchdog messages until interrupted (Control+C).

terminus drush <site>.<env> -- watchdog-show --tail


At this time, terminus drush "watchdog-show --tail" is supported in 0.13.x versions and below, and not yet supported in Terminus 1.x.

My Drupal database logs are huge. Should I disable dblog?

We do not recommend disabling dblog. Best practice is to find and resolve the problems. PHP notices, warnings, and errors mean more work for PHP, the database, and your site. If your logs are filling up with PHP messages, find and eliminate the root cause of the problems. The end result will be a faster site.

How do I access logs in environments with multiple containers?

Live environments for Basic and Performance sites on paid plans have one main and one failover container that can contain logs. Performance Medium plans and above have more than one container in the Live and Test environments. In order to download the logs from each application container, use the following shell script:

# Site UUID from Dashboard URL, eg 12345678-1234-1234-abcd-0123456789ab
for app_server in `dig +short appserver.live.$SITE_UUID.drush.in`;
mkdir $app_server
sftp -o Port=2222 live.$SITE_UUID@$app_server << !
  cd logs
  lcd $app_server
  mget *.log

Adjust to appserver.test.$SITE_UUID.drush.in to pull logs from Test.

See Also