Exception collector/reporter/viewer
Python Ruby
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zilch is a small library for recording and viewing exceptions from Python. This library is inspired by (and uses several of the same functions from) David Cramer's Sentry, but aims to implement just the core features in a smaller code/feature footprint.



Basic Usage

Reporting an Exception

In the application that wants to report errors, import zilch and configure the reporter to record directly to the database:

from zilch.store import SQLAlchemyStore
import zilch.client

zilch.client.store = SQLAlchemyStore('sqlite:///exceptions.db')

Then to report an exception:

from zilch.client import capture_exception
    # do something that explodes
except Exception, e:

The error will then be recorded in the database for later viewing.

Advanced Usage

In larger cluster scenarios, or where latency is important, the reporting of the exception can be handed off to ZeroMQ to be recorded to a central recorder over the network. Both the client and recording machine must have ZeroMQ installed.

To setup the client for recording:

import zilch.client

zilch.client.recorder_host = "tcp://localhost:5555"

Then to report an exception:

from zilch.client import capture_exception
    # do something that explodes
except Exception, e:

The exception will then be sent to the recorder_host listening at the recorder_host specified.

Recording Exceptions Centrally

The recorder uses ZeroMQ to record exception reports delivered over the network. To run the recorder host, on the machine recording them run:

>> zilch-recorder tcp://localhost:5555 sqlite:///exceptions.db

Without a Recorder running, ZeroMQ will hold onto the messages until it is available. After which point, it will begin to block (In the future, an option will be added to configure the disk offloading of messages).

The recorder will create the tables necessary on its initial launch.

Viewing Recorded Exceptions

zilch comes with a Pyramid web application to view the database of recorded exceptions. Once you have installed Pyramid and WebHelpers, you can run the web interface by typing:

>> zilch-web sqlite:///exceptions.db

Additional web configuration parameters are available to designate the host/port that the web application should bind to (viewable by running zilch-web with the -h option).


zilch is offered under the MIT license.


zilch is made available by Ben Bangert.


zilch is considered feature-complete as the project owner (Ben Bangert) has no additional functionality or development beyond bug fixes planned. Bugs can be filed on github, should be accompanied by a test case to retain current code coverage, and should be in a Pull request when ready to be accepted into the zilch code-base.

For a more full-featured error collector, Sentry now has a stand-alone client that no longer requires Django called Raven. zilch was created before Raven was available, and the author now uses Raven rather than zilch most of the time.