Logging Overview

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If you need to monitor your cluster, tune performance, or troubleshoot issues, you can check the CockroachDB logs, which include details about notable cluster, node, and range-level events.


When a node starts, shuts down, or processes a cockroach command, it produces a stream of messages about the command's activities. Each message is composed of:

  • A payload that contains events either structured in JSON or conveyed in an arbitrary string. For details on structured event types and their fields, see Notable Event Types.
  • An envelope that contains event metadata (e.g., severity, date, timestamp, channel). Depending on the log format you specify when configuring logs, the envelope can be formatted either in JSON or as a flat prefix to the message.

Messages are organized into appropriate logging channels and then routed through log sinks. Each sink further processes and filters the messages before emitting them to destinations outside CockroachDB. The mapping of channels to sinks, as well as the processing and filtering done by each sink, is configurable and is intended to support multiple use cases. For more information on configuring sinks and severity levels, see Configure Logs.


All cockroach commands support logging. However, note that most messages related to cluster operation are generated by cockroach start or cockroach start-single-node. Other commands generate messages related to their own execution, which are mainly useful when troubleshooting the behaviors of those commands.

Logging channels

Log messages in CockroachDB are directed into logging channels, which can in turn be assigned to output to one or more log sinks.

This allows you to group channels that log related information (e.g., operational, security, or SQL events) into their own sinks. Each sink can output to a predetermined destination where the logs can be collected and parsed. For usage examples, see Logging Use Cases.

Channel Description
DEV Uncategorized and debug messages.
OPS Process starts, stops, shutdowns, and crashes (if they can be logged); changes to cluster topology, such as node additions, removals, and decommissions.
HEALTH Resource usage; node-node connection events, including connection errors; up- and down-replication and range unavailability.
STORAGE Low-level storage logs from the Pebble storage engine.
SESSIONS Client connections and disconnections (when enabled via the server.auth_log.sql_connections.enabled cluster setting); SQL authentication logins/attempts and session/query terminations (when enabled via the server.auth_log.sql_sessions.enabled cluster setting).
SQL_SCHEMA Database, schema, table, sequence, view, and type creation; changes to table columns and sequence parameters.
USER_ADMIN Changes to users, roles, and authentication credentials.
PRIVILEGES Changes to privileges and object ownership.
SQL_EXEC SQL statement executions (when enabled via the sql.trace.log_statement_execute cluster setting) and uncaught Go panic errors during SQL statement execution.

Warning: Logging cluster-wide executions by enabling the sql.trace.log_statement_execute cluster setting will incur considerable overhead and may have a negative performance impact.
SQL_PERF SQL executions that impact performance, such as slow queries (when enabled via the sql.log.slow_query.latency_threshold and/or sql.log.slow_query.experimental_full_table_scans.enabled cluster settings).
TELEMETRY Telemetry events for internal usage, except for sampled_query events which may be logged externally to Datadog.
KV_DISTRIBUTION Data distribution events, such as moving replicas between stores in a cluster, adding replicas to ranges, and removing replicas from ranges.

Logging channels are analogous to logging facilities in Syslog or logging services in Datadog. For more details on the contents of each logging channel, see the Logging reference.

Logging destinations

When using the default logging configuration, the events collected on each logging channel are split into log files as follows:

Filename Description Channels
cockroach.log General CockroachDB log DEV
cockroach-health.log Health log HEALTH
cockroach-kv-distribution.log Data distribution log KV_DISTRIBUTION
cockroach-security.log SQL security log PRIVILEGES + USER_ADMIN
cockroach-sql-audit.log SQL access audit log SENSITIVE_ACCESS
cockroach-sql-auth.log SQL authentication log SESSIONS
cockroach-sql-exec.log SQL execution log SQL_EXEC
cockroach-sql-slow.log SQL slow query log SQL_PERF
cockroach-sql-schema.log SQL schema change log SQL_SCHEMA
cockroach-pebble.log Pebble log STORAGE
cockroach-telemetry.log Telemetry log TELEMETRY

Logging destinations and many other parameters are configurable via YAML. For details, see Configure Logs.

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