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README.rst

Apache-compatible Logging Middleware

Bark is a piece of WSGI middleware that performs logging, using log format strings compatible with Apache.

Installing Bark

Bark can be easily installed like many Python packages, using PIP:

pip install bark

You can install the dependencies required by Bark by issuing the following command:

pip install -r .requires

From within your Bark source directory.

If you would like to run the tests, you can install the additional test dependencies in the same way:

pip install -r .test-requires

Adding and Configuring Bark

Bark is intended for use with PasteDeploy-style configuration files. It is a filter, and should be placed at the head of the WSGI pipeline, so that the log format can access the information necessary to generate the logs.

The filter section of the PasteDeploy configuration file will also need to contain enough information to tell Bark how to generate the log file(s). The simplest example of Bark configuration would be:

[filter:bark]
use = egg:bark#bark
log1.filename = /var/log/bark.log
log1.format = %h %l %u %t "%r" %s %b

The use configuration option is interpreted by PasteDeploy. Bark understands a config option, which instructs Bark to additionally read a named INI-style configuration file. (Configuration options appearing in the PasteDeploy configuration file will override those options appearing in this alternate configuration file.)

All other configuration options are given dotted names in the PasteDeploy configuration file; the first element before the '.' corresponds to a section in the alternate configuration file, and the remainder of the name is the full name of the option. For instance, expressing the configuration shown above in an alternate configuration file would result in:

[log1]
filename = /var/log/bark.log
format = %h %l %u %t "%r" %s %b

The corresponding PasteDeploy configuration would look like the following example, assuming that the alternate configuration was stored in "/etc/bark/bark.ini":

[filter:bark]
use = egg:bark#bark
config = /etc/bark/bark.ini

If it was desired to use this configuration file, but to override the log file name--e.g., for a test instance of the application--all that's needed is a PasteDeploy configuration as follows:

[filter:bark]
use = egg:bark#bark
config = /etc/bark/bark.ini
log1.filename = /var/log/bark-test.log

Structure of the Configuration File

Each section in Bark's configuration describes a single log stream (with the exception of the [proxies] section; see below). Each section must have a format configuration option, which must have an Apache-compatible format string. Each section also has a type option, which expresses the type of the log stream; this defaults to the "file" log stream type. Any other options in this section are passed to a handler factory for the log stream type; most handlers have other mandatory arguments, such as the filename option for the "file" log stream type.

When the Bark middleware processes a request, each of the configured log streams will be sent a message formatted according to the configured format string. (Note that there is no guarantee of ordering of these log messages; the ordering could, in principle, be different for each request.) The Bark middleware should be the first filter in the processing pipeline, particularly if the "%D" or "%T" conversions are used in the format string. (These conversions format the total time taken for the request to be processed by the application.)

Available Handlers

Bark ships with 13 defined log stream types, documented below along with the configuration options recognized or required by each. Note that most of these log stream types actually derive from handlers defined by the Python standard logging library.

null

The null log stream type has no recognized configuration options. Log messages for this log stream type are discarded without being recorded anywhere. This could be used to temporarily disable a log stream. (As with all log stream types, unrecognized configuration options only generate a warning, logged via the Python standard logging library.)

stdout

The stdout log stream type has no recognized configuration options, and log messages are simply emitted to the program's standard output stream.

stderr

The stderr log stream type, similar to the stdout log stream type, has no recognized configuration options, and log messages are simply emitted to the program's standard error stream.

file

The file log stream type is used for logging messages to a specified file. It has the following recognized configuration options:

filename
Required. The name of the file to which log messages should be emitted.
mode
Optional. A string representing the opening mode for the file stream. Defaults to "a".
encoding
Optional. The name of the character encoding to use when writing messages to the file stream.
delay
Optional. A boolean value indicating when the file stream should be opened. If "false" (the default), the file stream will be opened immediately, whereas if "true", the file stream will not be opened until the first log message is emitted.

watched_file

The watched_file log stream type is identical to the file log stream type, including the recognized configuration options. It adds the behavior of closing and reopening the file if the file has changed since the last log message was written. This may be used to support external log file rotation systems, such as logrotate.

filename
Required. The name of the file to which log messages should be emitted.
mode
Optional. A string representing the opening mode for the file stream. Defaults to "a".
encoding
Optional. The name of the character encoding to use when writing messages to the file stream.
delay
Optional. A boolean value indicating when the file stream should be opened. If "false" (the default), the file stream will be opened immediately, whereas if "true", the file stream will not be opened until the first log message is emitted.

rotating_file

The rotating_file log stream type is similar to the file log stream type, in that log messages are emitted to a file. However, rotating_file log streams watch the size of the file, and rotate the file (under control of the backupCount configuration option) when the file approaches a configured maximum size.

filename
Required. The name of the file to which log messages should be emitted.
mode
Optional. A string representing the opening mode for the file stream. Defaults to "a".
maxBytes
The maximum size the file should be allowed to grow to.
backupCount
The maximum number of previous versions of the log file to maintain in the rotation process. Log files beyond backupCount are deleted.
encoding
Optional. The name of the character encoding to use when writing messages to the file stream.
delay
Optional. A boolean value indicating when the file stream should be opened. If "false" (the default), the file stream will be opened immediately, whereas if "true", the file stream will not be opened until the first log message is emitted.

timed_rotating_file

The timed_rotating_file log stream type is similar to the file log stream type--in that log messages are emitted to a file--and to the rotating_file log stream type--in that log files are rotated. However, the rotation occurs at a defined time interval, rather than according to a maximum size for the file. For a full explanation of how this log stream type is configured, see the Python documentation for TimedRotatingFileHandler.

filename
Required. The name of the file to which log messages should be emitted.
when
A string indicating how to interpret the interval configuration value. See the documentation for TimedRotatingFileHandler for a full discussion of the possible values of this configuration option. Defaults to "h".
interval
The length of the interval, as modified by when. For instance, if this value is "3" and when is set to "h", then the file will be rotated every 3 hours.
backupCount
The maximum number of previous versions of the log file to maintain in the rotation process. Log files beyond backupCount are deleted.
encoding
Optional. The name of the character encoding to use when writing messages to the file stream.
delay
Optional. A boolean value indicating when the file stream should be opened. If "false" (the default), the file stream will be opened immediately, whereas if "true", the file stream will not be opened until the first log message is emitted.
utc
Optional. A boolean value indicating whether to use UTC-based times for time interval determination. If "false" (the default), the local time will be used, whereas if "true", UTC will be used.

socket

The socket log stream type causes a log message to be submitted via a TCP socket to a server listening on a configured host and port. The log message will be sent as a pickled dictionary, derived from a logging.LogRecord instance. This is compatible with the standard SocketHandler.

host
Required. The host to which to submit the log message.
port
Required. The TCP port number on the host to which to submit the log message.

datagram

The datagram log stream type causes a log message to be submitted via a UDP datagram to a server listening on a configured host and port. The log message will be sent as a pickled dictionary, derived from a logging.LogRecord instance. This is compatible with the standard DatagramHandler.

host
Required. The host to which to submit the log message.
port
Required. The UDP port number on the host to which to submit the log message.

syslog

The syslog log stream type causes a log message to be submitted to a SysLog server, listening on a specified address.

address
Optional. The address of the SysLog server. For local servers listening on a UNIX datagram socket, this may be a path name for that socket. For servers listening on a UDP port, this must be the host name and port number of the server, separated by a colon. If not given, defaults to "localhost:514".
facility
Optional. The name of a SysLog facility, such as "user", "local0", etc. Defaults to "user".

nt_event_log

The nt_event_log log stream type causes a log message to be submitted to the NT event log. See the documentation for the NTEventLogHandler for more information.

appname
Required. The application name to log under.
dllname
Optional. Should give the fully qualified pathname of a .dll or .exe which contains message definitions to hold in the log. Defaults to win32service.pyd.
logtype
Optional. One of "Application", "System", or "Security". Defaults to "Application".

smtp

The smtp log stream type causes a log message to be emitted via an email to a specified destination address or list of addresses. Compatible with SMTPHandler.

mailhost
Required. The hostname for the mail server. If a non-standard SMTP port is used, separate it from the hostname with a colon.
fromaddr
Required. The email address the email should appear to come from.
toaddrs
Required. A comma-separated list of email addresses to which the mail should be sent.
subject
Required. The text to include in the "Subject" header of the email message.
credentials
Optional. A username and password (separated by a colon) to use to authenticate with the SMTP server. If not provided, no authentication exchange is performed.

http

The http log stream type causes a log message to be emitted via a GET or POST request to web server. Compatible with HTTPHandler.

host
Required. The hostname of the web server. If a non-standard port number must be specified, separate it from the hostname with a colon.
url
Required. The URL to which to submit the log message.
method
Optional. The HTTP method to use to submit the log message. May be either "GET" or "POST". Defaults to "GET".

Proxy Configuration

The "%a" format string conversion specification allows for Bark to log the IP address of a client connection. However, what happens if the connection is redirected through a proxy? Proxies usually embed information about the original client connection in a request header, such as the "X-Forwarded-For" header, so the information is available. However, to prevent a user from spoofing the originating IP address, this header must be validated.

Bark includes a proxy validation system, which can be configured through the special [proxies] section of the configuration. This section contains one required configuration setting, namely, header; this configuration tells Bark which header to use (e.g., "X-Forwarded-For").

If header is the only configuration value set, then that header will be trusted for all connections, which is obviously a security problem. To combat this, the list of trusted proxy IP addresses may be specified through the proxies configuration value, which must be a comma-separated list of IP addresses (note: not hostnames!).

Each proxy may be further restricted as to the IP addresses of the clients it may introduce. To do this, use the IP address of the proxy as a configuration key; the value must be a comma-separated list of IP addresses or CIDR expressions which that proxy is permitted to introduce clients from.

For more advanced users, there are some advanced ways of expressing proxies and permitted client addresses. By default, no proxy may introduce a client from an internal address (e.g., 10.0.5.23), but is allowed to introduce a client from any public address; this may be modified by using the "internal()" modifier, which allows internal addresses, or the "restrict()" modifier, which requires that an IP address be specifically permitted to a proxy to allow it to introduce a client from that address. For instance, consider the following configuration:

[proxies]
header = x-forwarded-for
proxies = 10.5.21.1

In this configuration, the proxy 10.5.21.1 may introduce a client from, say, 207.97.209.147; however, a client from 10.3.15.127 may not be introduced. If we wish to allow this proxy to introduce 10.3.15.127, we would need the following configuration:

[proxies]
header = x-forwarded-for
proxies = internal(10.5.21.1)

If, on the other hand, the proxy 10.5.21.1 should only be able to introduce clients from 10.3.15.0/24, and not be permitted to introduce a client from 207.97.209.147, this is the configuration we would need:

[proxies]
header = x-forwarded-for
proxies = restrict(10.5.21.1)
10.5.21.1 = 10.3.15.0/24

Note that one cannot simply add an internal IP range to a non-restricted proxy entry. That is, this configuration would not allow clients from 10.3.15.0/24 to be introduced via 10.5.21.1:

[proxies]
header = x-forwarded-for
proxies = 10.5.21.1
10.5.21.1 = 10.3.15.0/24

There is one more important point in the configuration of proxies. It is possible to prohibit proxies from introducing certain IP addresses, by using the "restrict()" modifier on the CIDR list. (The converse, "accept()", exists, but is no different from listing a bare address.) For instance, we can use "internal(10.5.21.1)" to allow the introduction of clients from local addresses, but prohibit clients from being introduced from some of those ranges. For instance, let's allow 10.5.21.1 to introduce internal clients, but prohibit introduction of clients from the ranges 10.5.0.0/16 and 10.3.15.0/24:

[proxies]
header = x-forwarded-for
proxies = internal(10.5.21.1)
10.5.21.1 = restrict(10.5.0.0/16), restrict(10.3.15.0/24)

Modifications to the request environment

If Bark's proxy system is enabled, and a client is introduced from a proxy, the REMOTE_ADDR key in the WSGI environment is not altered; rather, the verified client's IP address will be present in the WSGI environment key bark.useragent_ip. Additionally, a comma-separated list of the verified proxies will be present in a dictionary stored in the WSGI environment key bark.notes; the dictionary key containing this list of proxy IP addresses is remoteip-proxy-ip-list. (The bark.notes dictionary is provided for the "%n" format string conversion, and is provided for compatibility with Apache's method of presenting this information. To include this data in a log message, one would use "%{remoteip-proxy-ip-list}n" in the format string.) The proxy verification system does alter the proxy header, however; the header may be removed if all IP addresses listed are valid proxies, otherwise it will contain a comma-separated list of those IP addresses which could not be validated as proxies.

Log Format Strings

All log streams must have a format configuration value, as described above. This format string is compatible with the Apache log module, with some minor differences. For instance, the "%l", "%L", "%R", and "%X" conversions always format as a "-", since those values are generally not available in WSGI; additionally, the "%k" conversion always formats as a "0", since again keep-alive information is generally not available in WSGI. Bark also adds the "%w" conversion, which allows formatting of any WSGI environment variable. As an example, the conversion "%{wsgi.version}w" would format as "(1, 0)". Finally, note that all the modifiers permitted for Apache conversions are recognized by Bark; however, the modifiers "<" and ">" have no meaning.

Extending Bark

Bark uses the pkg_resources package (part of setuptools) to look up conversions and log stream types. This allows for easily extending Bark to allow for new conversions or log stream types.

Adding New Conversions

To add a new conversion, subclass the bark.conversions.Conversion abstract class. The subclass must define a convert() method, taking as arguments a webob.Request object, a webob.Response object, and arbitrary data (more on this argument in a moment). The return value of the convert() method must be the string to substitute for the conversion.

Some conversions need to initialize data before the request is processed; examples are "%D" and "%T", which time the processing of a request, and "%t", which formats the start time of a request. For extension conversions that require such preparation, override the prepare() method. This method takes a single argument--a webob.Request object--and return a dictionary containing arbitrary data. This return value will be presented to the convert() method as its third argument. (The default implementation of prepare() simply returns an empty dictionary.)

The conversion must then be listed as a member of the bark.conversion entry point group. Of course, single characters may be used, as for the standard conversions; however, it is encouraged to use descriptive names for extension conversions. An extension to Bark's parsing of format strings allows for multicharacter conversion names to be specified by enclosing them in parentheses. As an example, consider defining an entry point for Bark's existing TimeConversion class, under the multicharacter name "time"; the entry point would be defined as follows:

'bark.conversion': [
    'time = bark.conversions:TimeConversion',
]

To specify that this time conversion be used with an ISO-8601 compliant time format, the format conversion would be: "%{%Y-%m-%dT%H:%M:%SZ}(time)".

Adding New Log Stream Types

To add a new log stream type, create a factory for configuring the log stream type. This factory could be a function which returns a callable of one argument, or it could be a class with __init__() conforming to the factory function interface and __call__() taking a single argument; in either case, what matters is that the return value of calling the factory must be a callable of one argument. This callable will be passed a string--the formatted message--and must emit the string to the appropriate log message handler.

All of these log stream type factories are passed a minimum of two arguments: the name of the log stream type (e.g., "null", "file", etc.) and the name of the configuration file section in which it is used. (All the predefined log stream types ignore this argument, but extension stream types are welcome to make use of it.) All remaining arguments will be drawn from the configuration, and arguments which have no defined default will be required configuration options.

When a log stream type factory is called, all the arguments will be passed as simple string values, straight from the configuration. However, it is possible to designate certain arguments as being certain types, in which case those arguments will be converted before calling the factory. For instance, consider the socket factory, which is defined as follows:

@arg_types(port=int)
def socket_handler(name, logname, host, port):
    return wrap_log_handler(logging.handlers.SocketHandler(host, port))

The decorator @bark.handlers.arg_types() takes keyword arguments, mapping argument names to callables which can convert a string into the expected value. If this callable raises a ValueError, as the int callable may, that error will be logged and that log stream will be skipped. This can also be used to validate argument values, such as with the special bark.handlers.choice() class, which demands that the string be one of the ones specified; if it does not match, choice() raises a ValueError.

Finally, note the bark.handlers.wrap_log_handler() function; this function takes an instance of a logging.Handler class and returns a callable which uses that class to emit a log message via that handler. All of the standard log stream types, with the exception of the null log stream type, use standard logging.Handler instances to perform the actual logging.

Once a log stream type factory has been created, it then must be listed as a member of the bark.handler entry point group. The name will then be recognized as a valid log stream type.

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