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Logging and Diagnostics

Standard logging

In Remoting logging is powered by the standard java.util.logging engine. The default behavior depends on the Work Directory mode.

❗️ Note that -loggingConfig option and Work directories are available starting from Remoting 3.8. Before this release you have to use the -slaveLog option or to redirect STDOUT/STDERR streams.


In order to configure logging it is possible to use an external property file, path to which can be defined using the -loggingConfig CLI option or the java.util.logging.config.file system property.

If logging is configured via -loggingConfig, some messages printed before the logging system initialization may be missing in startup logs configured by this option.

See details about the property file format in Oracle documentation and this guide. Note that ConsoleHandler won't be enabled by default if this option is specified.

Default behavior with work directory

With work directory Remoting automatically writes logs to the disk. This is a main difference from the legacy mode without workDir.

Logging destinations:

    • Logs include java.util.logging and messages printed to STDOUT/STDERR directly.
  • Files - ${workDir}/${internalDir}/logs directory
    • File base name - remoting.log
    • Logs are being automatically rotated. By default, Remoting keeps 5 10MB files
    • Default logging level - INFO
    • If the legacy -agentLog or -slaveLog option is enabled, this file logging will be disabled.

If -agentLog or -slaveLog are not specified, ${workDir}/${internalDir}/logs directory will be created during the work directory initialization (if required).

Default behavior without work directory (legacy mode)

  • By default, all logs within the system are being sent to STDOUT/STDERR using java.util.logging.
  • If -agentLog or -slaveLog option is specified, the log will be also forwarded to the specified file
    • The existing file will be overridden on startup
    • Remoting does not perform automatic log rotation of this log file

Particular Jenkins components use external features to provide better logging in the legacy mode. E.g. Windows agent services generate logs using features provided by Windows Service Wrapper (WinSW).

Event listeners

The hudson.remoting.Channel.Listener interface can be used to intercept important events programmatically. For example, you can be notified when a Command has been sent out over the channel, and obtain certain details.

Normally administrators need not use this API directly. Jenkins core will print events to a standard logger, and the Support Core plugin will gather aggregate statistics.