Logging messages

Logging in SuiteCRM is achieved by accessing the log singleton. Accessing an instance of the logger is as simple as:

Example 11.1: Accessing the log

This can then be used to log a message. Each log level is available as a method. For example:

Example 11.2: Logging messages
LoggerManager::getLogger()->debug('This is a debug message');
LoggerManager::getLogger()->error('This is an error message');

This will produce the following output:

Example 11.3: Logging messages example output
Tue Apr 28 16:52:21 2015 [15006][1][DEBUG] This is a debug message
Tue Apr 28 16:52:21 2015 [15006][1][ERROR] This is an error message

Logging output

The logging output displays the following information by default:

Example 11.4: Logging messages example output
<Date> [<ProcessId>][<UserId>][<LogLevel>] <LogMessage>

The date and time that the message was logged.


The PHP process id.


The ID of the user that is logged into SuiteCRM.


The log level for this log message.


The contents of the log message.

Log levels

Depending on the level setting in admin some messages will not be added to the log e.g if your logger is set to error then you will only see log levels of error or higher (error, fatal and security).

The default log levels (in order of verbosity) are:

  • debug

  • info

  • warn

  • deprecated

  • error

  • fatal

  • security

Generally on a production instance you will use the less verbose levels (probably error or fatal). However whilst you are developing you can use whatever level you prefer. Developers often prefer the most verbose level - debug.

Log file location

The log file, by default, is called suitecrm.log and resides in your installation’s root directory.

But you can change log settings through the UI, under Admin / System settings / Logger Settings.

Advanced logging configuration

The functionality described in this section only applies starting with SuiteCRM version 7.11.14

Using sugar_config entries in config_override.php you can get much richer debugging and troubleshooting information in your logs.

Filtering log entries

Apart from the control given by the Log level settings explained avbove, often you find repetitive messages in your logs that don’t interest you, and possibly even prevent the relevant messages from standing out when you need them. To address this issue, you can filter out undersired messages with the configurations shown below.

These are similar to what you would achieve in Linux with grep, but have the advantage of giving you better control over multi-line log entries.

Be careful with these settings, since hiding log entries can keep you from seeing important messages. Normally you will only use these filters temporarily. When not in use, you should ommit these entries entirely.


$sugar_config['show_log_regexp_exclude'] = '/css|email/i';

Use a Regular expression with PHP’s preg_match syntax to specify log lines to exclude from log. The above example would exclude lines with either css or email in them. The final i flag makes it case-insensitive.


$sugar_config['show_log_regexp'] = '/hook/i';

Same as above, but this rule specifies what to include (instead of what to exclude). In the example, only lines with hook (case-insensitive) will appear.

Redirecting PHP messages

When using SuiteCRM, you always have to keep your eye on (at least) two logs: suitecrm.log and the web server PHP log (defined in the error_log entry in your php.ini, often called php_errors.log). $sugar_config['show_log_with_php_messages'] = true;

Since this duplicity is sometimes inconvenient, and since SuiteCRM now provides much richer log information and stack traces that the default PHP logger, you can ask SuiteCRM to redirect the PHP messages into its own log.

$sugar_config['show_log_with_php_messages'] = true;

There are some technical limitations to this possibility, so you might find some kinds of messages aren’t redirected. Also, most will be able to provide the rich stack traces, but not all.

The redirected messages will show up in suitecrm.log with a type of PHP S ("shutdown" handler) or PHP E ("error" handler), followed by PHP’s severity type, for example:

Thu Apr 16 16:46:26 2020 [9668][1][PHP S] [E_NOTICE] 'Undefined index: item_id' at /cache/smarty/templates_c/headerModuleList.tpl.php (1076)

Stack Traces

Often, when a message occurs, it’s useful to know which sequence of calls led to that point in the code. PHP will provide a stack trace (also know as a "debug backtrace"), and combining several techniques we are able to enrich these traces with lots of useful information: source code, argument names, argument values, even if they’re structured types like arrays or objects.

Warnings about turning on stack traces

Please read this section carefully, it contains important things for your consideration.

  1. Using log traces with argument values might leave sensitive information in the system logs, like passwords and other sensitive data, therefore:

    1. Use it only temporarily for troubleshooting purposes;

    2. Obfuscate the information before posting it online;

    3. Double-check that your logs are only accessible to admins, as they always should. Check that your web server is not allowed to serve your log file when somebody accesses https://your.server.com/suitecrm.log.

    4. Delete the logs when finished troubleshooting.

  2. Some of these options impact performance (lots of string operations, more file activity) but it’s always opt-in: the impact only occurs when you configure it to happen. So make sure you turn off the more intensive logging options when not needed.

Selecting which log messages will display a stack trace


$sugar_config['show_log_trace'] = false;

The log will not contain any stack traces. The other stack trace options detailed below will be ignored. Use a boolean, without quotes.


$sugar_config['show_log_trace'] = true;

Every single log message will contain a stack trace. This can generate a great amount of logging. You will probably only consider this setting if you are limiting your logging a lot elsewhere (e.g. through log level or inclusion filtering). Use a boolean, without quotes.

Matching a string

$sugar_config['show_log_trace'] = 'some string';

Only the log messages matching the provided string will include a stack trace. The string will be matched only against the "message" part, i.e. the text provided by the line of code that produced this log entry. A match happens if the provided string appears in any part of the message string, with the exact case.

Configuring what is shown about each function call

Single-line versus Multi-line

$sugar_config['show_log_trace_with_eol'] = true;

A boolean false (without quotes) will keep each stack frame in a single line, without line breaks (eol means "end-of-line").

A boolean true (without quotes) will let each stack frame expand across multiple lines. This is very convenient when your other settings require a lot of information to be printed.

Source code context

$sugar_config['show_log_trace_source'] = 1;

Display a portion of the context surrounding the actual source code.

Using the value -1 no source code will be displayed (this is the default).

Use 0 to show only the focus line of this frame, with no addtional lines around it. This mostly repeats the information already present in the frame text, but allows you to see the actual arguments (not the formal arguments shown in the frame text).

Use 1 or larger values to show the focus line plus N lines on each side, before and after.

Here is a sample of how the value of 1 displays, with the focus line in the middle marked with >>.

   >          $this->setupResourceManagement($module);
   >>         $this->controller->execute();
   >          sugar_cleanup();

Note that this option will only be effective if you configured the eol option above to multi-line.

Structured arguments depth

$sugar_config['show_log_trace_depth'] = 7;

When printing the values of arguments in function calls, in each trace line, if the arguments are structured, multi-level types, like arrays and objects, then this option lets you define the maximum level to include. The printing goes on recursively into the objects, and when the level is reached it stops and shows a …) marker.

If this setting is ommitted it will default to 3.

Trim Arguments to a maximum length

$sugar_config['show_log_trace_trim'] = 700;

This is the maximum limit of characters to use when printing each arguments value in each trace line.

If this setting is ommitted it will default to 100, which is an appropriate value when you opted for single-line stack frames (see above).

If you’re really digging into what is in structured argument values, you might want to aim for a much higher value.

Appending an overview of the current request

$sugar_config['show_log_trace_overview'] = true;

A boolean true (without quotes) will cause the stack trace to be followed with an array of values describing the current request.

This is ad-hoc information, like breadcrumbs, gathered in the initial stages of the request to the server, namely while setting up SugarApplication, SugarController, and SugarView objects. Some relevant global variables are also included.

A boolean false (without quotes), or simply ommitting this entry will turn the feature off.

Here’s a sample output from this option, showing useful information that is hard to get from the stack trace, but quite useful to "locate" where you are in a SuiteCRM server request:

Request Overview:Array (
      [$_REQUEST] => Array (
        [module] => 'FP_events'
        [offset] => '1'
        [stamp] => '1587658868021400200'
        [return_module] => 'FP_events'
        [action] => 'DetailView'
        [record] => '4e86662a-ca14-f342-149f-5ea1b4783519'
        [ajax_load] => '1'
        [searchFormTab] => 'basic_search'
      [Selected $GLOBALS] => Array (
        [SuiteCRM Version] => '7.10.25'
        [db] => 'suitecrm'
        [BASE_DIR] => '/var/www/html/SuiteCRM'
      [SugarController] => Array (
        [entryPointFile] => ''
        [processTasksHistory] => 'blockFileAccess…ok. handleEntryPoint…ok. callLegacyCode…ok. remapAction…ok. handle_action…ok. handleActionMaps…ok. '
        [handleActionTasksHistory] => 'pre_action…ok. do_action…ok. post_action…ok. '
        [redirect_url] => ''

Sample stack traces, explained

A single-line stack trace is helpful to understand the basic structure of a trace:

Fri Apr 17 15:38:58 2020 [9994][1][INFO ] Query:INSERT INTO tracker (monitor_id,user_id,module_name,item_id,item_summary,date_modified,action,session_id,visible ) VALUES ( 'aa7448dd-6ab3-99c4-67b9-5e99bf930d0f','1','Contacts','b71c7bd4-5674-db36-d3e9-5b6226dd85a1','Irvin Ricky','2020-04-17 14:38:58','detailview','sfvd9f03g8s2rtud5q3oe174j1','1')
#0 /include/database/MysqliManager.php(133):  LoggerManager->__call(method: 'info', message: Array ( [0] => 'Query:INSERT INTO tracker (monitor_id,user_id,module_name,item_id,item_summary,da …))
#1 /modules/Trackers/store/DatabaseStore.php(92):  MysqliManager->query(sql: 'INSERT INTO tracker (monitor_id,user_id,module_name,item_id,item_summary,date_modified,action,se …))
#2 /modules/Trackers/monitor/tracker_monitor.php(94):  DatabaseStore->flush(tracker_monitor Object ( [metricsFile] => 'modules/Trackers/vardefs.php' [name] => 'Tracker' [met …))
#3 /modules/Trackers/TrackerManager.php(232):  tracker_monitor->save(flush: 1)
#4 /include/MVC/View/SugarView.php(360):  TrackerManager->saveMonitor(monitor: tracker_monitor Object ( [metricsFile] => 'modules/Trackers/vardefs.php' [name] => 'Tracker' [met …), flush: 1, ignoreDisabled: 1)
#5 /include/MVC/View/SugarView.php(192):  SugarView->_trackView()
#6 /include/MVC/Controller/SugarController.php(435):  SugarView->process()
#7 /include/MVC/Controller/SugarController.php(375):  SugarController->processView()
#8 /include/MVC/SugarApplication.php(113):  SugarController->execute()
#9 /index.php(52):  SugarApplication->execute()
  • It starts with a message on the first line, and then lists the several stack frames of the successive function calls that led the code to reach that point;

  • each frame then starts with a # sign, and the frame sequence number,

  • then has a file name, and a line number;

  • after the colon (:) you get the class name (if there is one) and a function or method name;

  • then parentheses will open to list the arguments, each composed of a formal name, a colon and a value.

  • if the value is a structured object itself, such as an array or object, a new parentheses will open to start printing that value’s contents.

  • eventually printing may be cut short with a …) marker, due to the level or trim limits.

Here is the same stack trace in a more verbose version, with multi-line arguments, source code context, and a less stringent trim:

Fri Apr 17 15:37:59 2020 [10000][1][INFO ] Query:INSERT INTO tracker (monitor_id,user_id,module_name,item_id,item_summary,date_modified,action,session_id,visible ) VALUES ( 'b30331d0-de75-1d87-b512-5e99bf552ae7','1','Contacts','b71c7bd4-5674-db36-d3e9-5b6226dd85a1','Irvin Ricky','2020-04-17 14:37:59','detailview','sfvd9f03g8s2rtud5q3oe174j1','1')
#0 /include/database/MysqliManager.php(133):
   >          parent::countQuery($sql);
   >>         $GLOBALS['log']->info('Query:' . $sql);
   >          $this->checkConnection();
   Called LoggerManager->__call(
     method: 'info',
     message: Array (
      [0] => 'Query:INSERT INTO tracker (monitor_id,user_id,module_name,item_id,item_summary,date_modified,action,session_id,visible ) VALUES ( 'b30331d0-de75-1d87-b512-5e99bf552ae7','1','Contacts','b71c7bd4-5674-db36-d3e9-5b6226dd85a1','Irvin Ricky','2020-04-17 14:37:59','detailview','sf …))
#1 /modules/Trackers/store/DatabaseStore.php(92):
   >          $query = "INSERT INTO $monitor->table_name (" .implode(",", $columns). " ) VALUES ( ". implode(",", $values). ')';
   >>         DBManagerFactory::getInstance()->query($query);
   >      }
   Called MysqliManager->query(     sql: 'INSERT INTO tracker (monitor_id,user_id,module_name,item_id,item_summary,date_modified,action,session_id,visible ) VALUES ( 'b30331d0-de75-1d87-b512-5e99bf552ae7','1','Contacts','b71c7bd4-5674-db36-d3e9-5b6226dd85a1','Irvin Ricky','2020-04-17 14:37:59','detailview','sfvd9f03g8s2rtud5q3oe174j1',' …))
#2 /modules/Trackers/monitor/tracker_monitor.php(94):
   >                  $store = $this->getStore($s);
   >>                 $store->flush($this);
   >              }
   Called DatabaseStore->flush(
     tracker_monitor Object (
      [metricsFile] => 'modules/Trackers/vardefs.php'
      [name] => 'Tracker'
      [metrics] => Array (
        [monitor_id] => Metric Object (
          [_name] => 'monitor_id'
          [_type] => 'id'
          [_mutable] =>
        [user_id] => Metric Object (

This produced a lot more information, as you can see - and only the first trace frames are shown, for brevity. Also note that a larger screen width is recommended and would allow you to get a lot more clarity than what is possible to display here in the Documentation site.

  • The source code context of each frame is identified with > markers, with the focus line using a double marker (>>). This is where the function call that produced this stack frame occurred.

  • You can see the structured objects and arrays laid out in indented lines.

All this allows you to get a quick grasp of what SuiteCRM was doing, and which values it was handling, at the time the log message occurred.

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