logstalgia - a web server access log visualization tool



Logstalgia - a web server access log visualization tool


logstalgia [options] logfile


logstalgia is a visualization tool that replays or streams web server access logs as a retro arcade game simulation.


logstalgia’s display is rendered using OpenGL and requires a 3D accelerated video card to run.

Logstalgia supports several standardized access.log formats used by web servers such as Apache and Nginx (see ’SUPPORTED LOG FORMATS’ below).

As logstalgia is designed to playback logs in real time you will need a log from a fairly busy webserver to achieve interesting results (eg 100s of requests each minute).





Set the window size. If −f is also supplied, will attempt to set the video mode to this also. Add ! to make the window non-resizable.

−−screen SCREEN

Set the number of the screen to display on.


Request a high DPI display when creating the window.

On some platforms such as MacOS, the window resolution is specified in points instead of pixels. The −−high-dpi flag may be required to access some higher resolutions.

E.g. requesting a high DPI 800x600 window may produce a window that is 1600x1200 pixels.

−−window−position XxY

Initial window position on your desktop which may be made up of multiple monitors.

This will override the screen setting so don’t specify both.


Frameless window.

−−title TITLE

Set a title.

−b, −−background

Background colour in hex.

−x −−full−hostnames

Show full request ip/hostname.

−s, −−simulation-speed

Simulation speed. Defaults to 1 (1 second-per-second).

−p, −−pitch-speed

Speed balls travel across the screen (defaults to 0.15).

−u, −−update−rate

Page Summary update speed. Defaults to 5 (5 seconds).


Creates a new named summarizer group for requests for which a specified attribute (HOST, URI or response CODE) matches a regular expression. Percent specifies a vertical percentage of screen to use.

SEP=chars can specify a list of separator characters (e.g. /) to split on. The default separator is /.

MAX=n specifies the max depth into the path to be displayed. (e.g. MAX=1 would show only root directory names of paths). By default there is 0 (no limit).

ABBR=n specifies the minimum depth at which to allow partially abbreviated strings. The default is 0 (allow). -1 to disallow.

A colour may optionally be supplied in hexadecimal format (eg FF0000 for red) which will be applied to all labels and request balls matched to the group.


−g "HTML,URI=html?$,30"
−g "Lan,HOST=ˆ192,30"
−g "Success,CODE=ˆ[23],30"

If no groups are specified, the default groups are Images (image files), CSS (.css files) and Scripts (.js files).

If there is enough space remaining a catch-all group ’Misc’ will appear as the last group.

−−address−separators CHARS

List of address separator characters. Defaults to ’.:’.

−−address−max−depth DEPTH

Maximum depth to display in address summarizer. 0 for no maximum.

−−address−abbr−depth DEPTH

Minimum abbreviation depth of address summarizer. 0 to always allow abbreviations, -1 to never abbreviate.

−−path−separators CHARS

Default list of path separator characters. Defaults to /.

−−path−max−depth DEPTH

Default maximum path depth shown in the summarizer. 0 for no maximum.

−−path−abbr−depth DEPTH

Default minimum path abbreviation depth. 0 to always allow abbreviations, -1 to never abbreviate.

−−paddle−mode MODE

Paddle mode (pid, vhost, single).

vhost − separate paddle for each virtual host in the log file.

pid − separate paddle for each process id in the log file.

single − single paddle (the default).

−−paddle−position POSITION

Paddle position as a fraction of the view width (0.25 - 0.75).

−−display−fields REQUEST_FIELDS

List of one or more request fields that are shown when the user hovers the mouse over an individual request:

path − the path of the resource requested
hostname − hostname or IP address
response_size − size of the response in bytes
response_code − response code
method − method
protocol − protocol
timestamp − timestamp of request
referrer − referrer URL of the request
user_agent − user agent
vhost − virtual host name
log_entry − full log entry
pid − the pid of the instance that handled the request

Separate multiple fields with commas (eg "path,hostname")


Read from STDIN, ignoring entries before the current time.

−−from, −−to "YYYY−MM−DD hh:mm:ss +tz"

Show entries from a specific time period.

If a time zone offset isn’t specified the local time zone is used.

Example accepted formats:

"2012-06-30 12:00"
"2012-06-30 12:00:00 +12"

−−start−position POSITION

Begin at some position in the log file (between 0.0 and 1.0).

−−stop−position POSITION

Stop at some position.


No bouncing.


Hide response code.


Hide paddle.


Hide paddle tokens shown in multi-paddle modes.


Hide URL protocol and hostname prefix of requests.


Disable automatic skipping of empty time periods.


Disable the progress bar.


Disable the glow effect.

−−font−size SIZE

Font size.


Duration of the glow (between 0.0 and 1.0).


Adjust the amount of glow.


Intensity of the glow.

−o, -−output−ppm−stream FILE

Write frames as PPM to a file (’−’ for STDOUT).

−r, -−output−framerate FPS

Framerate of output (used with −−output−ppm−stream).

−−load−config CONFIG_FILE

Load a config file.

−−save−config CONFIG_FILE

Save a config file with the current options.


Automatically reload config file when it is modified.


The path to the access log file to read or ’−’ if you wish to supply log entries via STDIN.


Watch an example access.log using the default settings:

logstalgia /home/buildozer/aports/community/logstalgia/pkg/logstalgia/usr/share/logstalgia/example.log

Watch the live access.log, starting from the most recent batch of entries in the log (requires tail). Note than ’−’ at the end is required for logstalgia to know it needs to read from STDIN:

tail −f /var/log/apache2/access.log | logstalgia

To follow the log in real time, use the −−sync option. This will start reading from the next entry received on STDIN:

tail −f /var/log/apache2/access.log | logstalgia −−sync

Watch a remote access.log via ssh:

ssh [email protected] tail −f /var/log/apache2/access.log | logstalgia −−sync


Logstalgia supports the following standardized log formats used by web servers like Apache and Nginx:

NCSA Common Log Format (CLF)
"%h %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %b"

NCSA Common Log Format with Virtual Host
"%v %h %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %b"

NCSA extended/combined log format
"%h %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %b \"%{Referer}i\" \"%{User-agent}i\""

NCSA extended/combined log format with Virtual Host
"%v %h %l %u %t \"%r\" %>s %b \"%{Referer}i\" \"%{User-agent}i\""

The process id (%P), or some other identifier, may be included as an additional field at the end of the entry. This can be used with ’−−paddle−mode pid’ where a separate paddle will be created for each unique value in this field.


Logstalgia now supports a pipe (’|’) delimited custom log file format:

timestamp - unix timestamp of the request date.
hostname - hostname of the request
path - path requested
response_code - the response code from the webserver (eg 200)
response_size - the size of the response in bytes

The following are optional:

success - 1 or 0 to indicate if successful
response_colour - response colour in hexidecial (#FFFFFF) format
referrer url - the referrer url
user agent - the user agent
virtual host - the virtual host (to use with −−paddle-mode vhost)
pid - process id or some other identifier (−−paddle-mode pid)

If success or response_colour are not provided, they will be derived from the response_code using the normal HTTP conventions (code < 400 = success).


See the guide on the homepage for examples of recording videos with Logstalgia:



The time shown in the top left of the screen is set initially from the first log entry read and is incremented according to the simulation speed (−s).

The counter in the bottom right hand corner shows the number of requests displayed since the start of the current session.

Pressing space at any time will pause/unpause the simulation. While paused you may use the mouse to inspect the detail of individual requests.

You can click on summarizer group entries on the left and right side of the screen to filter to requests matching that entry. Click on the filter description to remove the filter.

Interactive keyboard commands:

(q) Debug Information
(c) Displays Logstalgia logo
(n) Jump forward in time to next log entry.
(+-) Adjust simulation speed.
(<>) Adjust pitch speed.
(F5) Reload config
(F11) Window frame toggle
(F12) Screenshot
(Alt+Enter) Fullscreen toggle
(Ctrl+S) Save config
(Home/End) Adjust address summarizer maximum depth
(Page Up/Down) Adjust group summarizer maximum depth
(Ctrl+Home/End) Adjust address summarizer abbreviation depth
(Ctrl+Page Up/Down) Adjust group summarizer abbreviation depth
(ESC) Quit


Written by Andrew Caudwell

Project Homepage: http://logstalgia.io


Copyright (C) 2008 Andrew Caudwell ([email protected])

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or
modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License
as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version
3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful,
but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of
GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License
along with this program. If not, see <http://www.gnu.org/licenses/>.


Catalyst IT (catalyst.net.nz)

For supporting the development and promotion of Logstalgia!

Updated 2024-01-29 - jenkler.se | uex.se