Work with Log Files

Tableau Server creates log files as a normal part of its activities. You may need to use the server log files when you are troubleshooting issues with Tableau Server or if Tableau Support requests logs from you to help you resolve an issue.

You can create a zipped log file archive using the tsm maintenance ziplogs command. The zipped archive contains copies of the logs you can unzip and look at, or send to Tableau Support. Once you have a copy of the archive, you can delete the archive from your server. For more information on log file archives, see Log File Snapshots (Archive Logs).

This collection of topics provides information about how to create log file archives, the contents of specific log files, and details about when and how you might want to look at a log.

Investigating Tableau Server Issues

The range and complexity of possible issues with Tableau Server means that there is no simple process you can use to investigate all problems, but a general approach would include these steps:

  1. Clean up existing log files to reduce their size. For more information, see For more information, see Remove Unneeded Files.
  2. Set the appropriate logging level. This is something that Tableau Support will instruct you on. For more information, see Change Logging Levels.
  3. Reproduce the issue you are troubleshooting so the logs capture the events related to the problem.
  4. Create an archive of the logs. For more information see Log File Snapshots (Archive Logs).

    Important: Use this archive when looking at the log files. You should not edit, move or delete any files directly on the server.

  5. Review the TSM Administration Controller log (\tabadmincontroller\tabadmincontroller_node<n>-<n>.log) to understand any configuration or deployment done by TSM from the command line, Web UI, or API, including jobs started by TSM. Start with the controller log. This is where you'll get most useful information.

  6. Review the Apache logs (\httpd\access.####_##_##_##_##_##.log and \httpd\error.log) for requests that may be related to the issue you are investigating.

    The Apache logs will contain a fair amount of "noise" that does not apply to issues you are experiencing.

    • If you find a request that seems to be related to your issue, search thevizqlserver directory for entries that include the unique request ID from the Apache logs.
    • Look for the response code and message associated with the request ID.
    • Search for the name of the workbook, view, dashboard, or data source that is related to your issue. Make sure to look for a relevant timestamp.
    • If you find a request that seems to be related to your issue, look at the response code associated with the request. (200s are good, 500s indicate problems.)
    • Locate the unique request ID associated with the request you've identified (the unique request ID is a 24 character alphanumeric string at the very end of the request).
  7. Review the log archive further to search for other messages and possible errors.

    • Use the request ID from the Apache logs to search the vizqlserver folder of the log archive for files containing related log entries. Look for indications of a problem (for example, error messages or long-running queries).
  8. Review script logging.

    Tableau Server includes logs for most of the scripts that are included in the scripts directory. By default: C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Server\packages\scripts.<version_code>\ These logs are saved to:

    • <install_drive>\<install\path>\logs\
      by default: 
    • C:\ProgramData\Tableau\Tableau Server\logs\
  9. Contact support

    If you are not able to solve the issue yourself, or if requested by Tableau Support, send the zipped archive to Tableau.

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