Tableau Server Logs and Log File Locations

Tableau Server generates log files as a normal part of its functioning. Each service that runs as part of Tableau Server generates its own logs. These log files include information about what is happening on the server, what the service or process is doing and what, if any, errors or warnings are generated. The extent of information in the logs depends on which service is writing the logs, what the logging levels are set to, and what is happening on the server.

Log files can be useful in helping to identify and fix issues that Tableau Server is having. In some cases, system administrators may be able to look at logs and find clues to what is happening, but in most situations, the Tableau Server logs are most useful for Tableau Support. When you open a case with Support, you may be asked to send log files from your server.

Note: The specific directories and logs generated by Tableau Server depend on the version of server you are running and which processes you have configured. New services and processes are added periodically to support new functionality. For details about processes or services you might find logs for, see Tableau Server Processes.

Tableau Server log files on an active cluster

As a best practice, you should not edit or delete log files in an active Tableau Server installation. Doing this can cause unexpected behaviour or server downtime. Most Tableau Server logs are written to a location in the data directory. Some logs are written to other locations.

The easiest and safest way to gather and view server log files is to create a log archive, which is a zipped collection of logs from all nodes in a cluster. If you think you may need old logs for any reason, for example, to compare with new logs after doing an upgrade, or to send to Tableau Support when troubleshooting a server issue, create a zip archive, and move the archive to a safe location that is not part of your Tableau Server infrastructure. For more information about log files in a log archive, see Server Log Files in a zipped archive.

Logs can take up a good deal of space, especially on a heavily used server. You can use the tsm maintenance cleanup command to remove logs you no longer want or need. but if you think you may need your existing logs, consider archiving them before cleanup.

Primary log locations on a working Tableau Server installation

Most of the Tableau Server logs are written to the data directory, /var/opt/tableau/tableau_server/data/tabsvc/logs/. Subdirectories are created for each instance of a service, with a name that includes the service name and the version code. For example:

/var/opt/tableau/tableau_server/data/tabsvc/logs/backgrounder

Configuration file locations on a working Tableau Server installation

In addition to logs for each service or process, a config subdirectory contains configuration information about the service.

/var/opt/tableau/tableau_server/data/tabsvc/config/backgrounder

Tableau Support may ask you to gather some of these if you are working with them on a server issue. The contents can be analysed by Support.

Logs that are not written in the primary location

A few logs are not part of the main set of logs and are written to locations other than the normal log directories:

  • The TSM log. The tsm.log file is located in <home dir>/.tableau/tsm .
  • The install log. The app-install.log file is located in /var/opt/tableau/tableau_server/logs .
  • The upgrade log. The app-upgrade.log file is located in /var/opt/tableau/tableau_server/logs .
  • Bash script logs. Most Tableau Server bash scripts located in the \scripts directory (/opt/tableau/tableau_server/packages/scripts.<version>)¬†generate their own logs. These are written to the /var/tmp directory each time a script is run.

Server Log Files in a zipped archive

You may want to look at Tableau Server log files or need to send them to Tableau Support if you have a problem with your server. Use the tsm maintenance ziplogs command to create a zipped archive of log files from all nodes in your installation. By default, Tableau Server log file archives are gathered in a zip file called logs.zip, but you can specify a different file name when you create the archive. You can copy the archive from the server to a local computer and open it there, or send it to Tableau Support.

When you unzip the archive, a directory is created for each node in the cluster, and in that directory are sub-directories for each service or process using this naming convention:

<service_name>_<instance>.<version>.<build>

If there are multiple instances of a service on a node, there will be multiple directories for that service, one for each instance. For example, if you have two Backgrounders on a node, you will see directories like these:

backgrounder_0.<version>.<build>
backgrounder_1.<version>.<build>

The specific directories and logs in the zip file depend on what version of Tableau Server you have and which processes you have configured. For details about processes or services you might find logs for, see Tableau Server Processes.

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