Log4j Configuration Using Properties File

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Log4j Configuration Using Properties File

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Log4j will be usually configured using a properties file or xml file externally. So once the log statements are in place you can easily control them using the external configuration file without modifying the source code. Now let's see how you can obtain the same log output as the previous example using the properties file configuration.

Three main components you need to configure to obtain the same result are the logger, appender and layout. The logger object is the one that is used to log messages, appender is the one that specifies the output destination like console or a file and layout is the one that specify the format in which the log messages should be logged.

When you configure using the BasicConfigurator.configure() method by default it uses the ConsoleAppender and PatternLayout for all the loggers.

The following configuration creates the same result as the BasicConfigurator.configure() method.

log4j.rootLogger=DEBUG, CA


log4j.appender.CA.layout.ConversionPattern=%-4r [%t] %-5p %c %x - %m%n 

The rootLogger is the one that resides on the top of the logger hierarchy. Here we set its level to DEBUG and added the console appender (CA) to it. The console appender can have arbitrary name, here its name is CA.

You need to create an appender as shown and set its layout to PatternLayout. The PatternLayout uses the ConversionPattern to format the message. To know more about the various formating options you can refer the documentation. ( PatternLayout )

Once the appender is created and its layout is set you need to specify which loggers can use this appender. If you set this appender to the rootLogger then all the loggers will log messge to this appender. Since the rootLogger is on top of the hierarchy all the loggers will inherit its logger level and its appenders. You will see this in more detail in the comming examples.

Here is our example code.

package com.vaannila.helloworld;

import org.apache.log4j.Logger;
import org.apache.log4j.PropertyConfigurator;

public class HelloWorld {

	static final Logger logger = Logger.getLogger(HelloWorld.class);
	public static void main(String[] args) {
		logger.debug("Sample debug message");
		logger.info("Sample info message");
		logger.warn("Sample warn message");
		logger.error("Sample error message");
		logger.fatal("Sample fatal message");

You need to use the PropertyConfigurator.configure() method to configure log4j using a properties file. Log4j should be configured only once for the entire application.

When you execute the example the following output will be displayed on the console.

0    [main] DEBUG com.vaannila.helloworld.HelloWorld  - Sample debug message
0    [main] INFO  com.vaannila.helloworld.HelloWorld  - Sample info message
0    [main] WARN  com.vaannila.helloworld.HelloWorld  - Sample warn message
0    [main] ERROR com.vaannila.helloworld.HelloWorld  - Sample error message
0    [main] FATAL com.vaannila.helloworld.HelloWorld  - Sample fatal message

Since the rootLogger level is set to DEBUG all the messages are displayed.

The log4j levels follow the following order.

  • INFO
  • WARN

If you set the rootLogger level to WARN then only the WARN, ERROR and FATAL level log messages will be displayed and the rest will be dropped.

log4j.rootLogger=WARN, CA
0    [main] WARN  com.vaannila.helloworld.HelloWorld  - Sample warn message
15   [main] ERROR com.vaannila.helloworld.HelloWorld  - Sample error message
15   [main] FATAL com.vaannila.helloworld.HelloWorld  - Sample fatal message

The directory structure of the project is shown below.

You can download the log4j configuration file here. 

Source: Download

Source + Lib: Download


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