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Parsing GitLab logs with jq

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We recommend using log aggregation and search tools like Kibana and Splunk whenever possible, but if they are not available you can still quickly parse GitLab logs in JSON format (the default in GitLab 12.0 and later) using jq.

NOTE: Specifically for summarizing error events and basic usage statistics, the GitLab Support Team provides the specialised fast-stats tool.

What is JQ?

As noted in its manual, jq is a command-line JSON processor. The following examples include use cases targeted for parsing GitLab log files.

Parsing Logs

The examples listed below address their respective log files by their relative Linux package installation paths and default filenames. Find the respective full paths in the GitLab logs sections.

Compressed logs

When log files are rotated, they are renamed in Unix timestamp format and compressed with gzip. The resulting file name looks like @40000000624492fa18da6f34.s. These files must be handled differently before parsing, than the more recent log files:

  • To uncompress the file, use gunzip -S .s @40000000624492fa18da6f34.s, replacing the filename with your compressed log file's name.
  • To read or pipe the file directly, use zcat or zless.
  • To search file contents, use zgrep.

General Commands

Pipe colorized jq output into less

jq . <FILE> -C | less -R

Search for a term and pretty-print all matching lines

grep <TERM> <FILE> | jq .

Skip invalid lines of JSON

jq -cR 'fromjson?' file.json | jq <COMMAND>

By default jq errors out when it encounters a line that is not valid JSON. This skips over all invalid lines and parses the rest.

Print a JSON log's time range

cat log.json | (head -1; tail -1) | jq '.time'

Use zcat if the file has been rotated and compressed:

zcat @400000006026b71d1a7af804.s | (head -1; tail -1) | jq '.time'

zcat some_json.log.25.gz | (head -1; tail -1) | jq '.time'

Get activity for correlation ID across multiple JSON logs in chronological order

grep -hR <correlationID> | jq -c -R 'fromjson?' | jq -C -s 'sort_by(.time)'  | less -R

Parsing gitlab-rails/production_json.log and gitlab-rails/api_json.log

Find all requests with a 5XX status code

jq 'select(.status >= 500)' <FILE>

Top 10 slowest requests

jq -s 'sort_by(-.duration_s) | limit(10; .[])' <FILE>

Find and pretty print all requests related to a project

grep <PROJECT_NAME> <FILE> | jq .

Find all requests with a total duration > 5 seconds

jq 'select(.duration_s > 5000)' <FILE>

Find all project requests with more than 5 Gitaly calls

grep <PROJECT_NAME> <FILE> | jq 'select(.gitaly_calls > 5)'

Find all requests with a Gitaly duration > 10 seconds

jq 'select(.gitaly_duration_s > 10000)' <FILE>

Find all requests with a queue duration > 10 seconds

jq 'select(.queue_duration_s > 10000)' <FILE>

Top 10 requests by # of Gitaly calls

jq -s 'map(select(.gitaly_calls != null)) | sort_by(-.gitaly_calls) | limit(10; .[])' <FILE>

Output a specific time range

jq 'select(.time >= "2023-01-10T00:00:00Z" and .time <= "2023-01-10T12:00:00Z")' <FILE>

Parsing gitlab-rails/production_json.log

Print the top three controller methods by request volume and their three longest durations

jq -s -r 'group_by(.controller+.action) | sort_by(-length) | limit(3; .[]) | sort_by(-.duration_s) | "CT: \(length)\tMETHOD: \(.[0].controller)#\(.[0].action)\tDURS: \(.[0].duration_s),  \(.[1].duration_s),  \(.[2].duration_s)"' production_json.log

Example output

CT: 2721   METHOD: SessionsController#new  DURS: 844.06,  713.81,  704.66
CT: 2435   METHOD: MetricsController#index DURS: 299.29,  284.01,  158.57
CT: 1328   METHOD: Projects::NotesController#index DURS: 403.99,  386.29,  384.39

Parsing gitlab-rails/api_json.log

Print top three routes with request count and their three longest durations

jq -s -r 'group_by(.route) | sort_by(-length) | limit(3; .[]) | sort_by(-.duration_s) | "CT: \(length)\tROUTE: \(.[0].route)\tDURS: \(.[0].duration_s),  \(.[1].duration_s),  \(.[2].duration_s)"' api_json.log

Example output

CT: 2472 ROUTE: /api/:version/internal/allowed   DURS: 56402.65,  38411.43,  19500.41
CT: 297  ROUTE: /api/:version/projects/:id/repository/tags       DURS: 731.39,  685.57,  480.86
CT: 190  ROUTE: /api/:version/projects/:id/repository/commits    DURS: 1079.02,  979.68,  958.21

Print top API user agents

jq --raw-output 'select(.remote_ip != "") | [.remote_ip, .username, .route, .ua] | @tsv' api_json.log |
  sort | uniq -c | sort -n | tail

Example output:

  89,  some_user  /api/:version/projects/:id/pipelines  # plus browser details; OK
 567,      /api/:version/jobs/:id/trace gitlab-runner   # plus version details; OK
1234,  some_bot  /api/:version/projects/:id/repository/files/:file_path/raw

This example shows a custom tool or script causing an unexpectedly high number of requests. User agents in this situation can be:

You can also use fast-stats top to extract performance statistics for those users or bots.

Parsing gitlab-rails/importer.log

To troubleshoot project imports or migrations, run this command:

jq 'select(.project_path == "<namespace>/<project>").error_messages' importer.log

For common issues, see troubleshooting.

Parsing gitlab-workhorse/current

Print top Workhorse user agents

jq --raw-output 'select(.remote_ip != "") | [.remote_ip, .uri, .user_agent] | @tsv' current |
  sort | uniq -c | sort -n | tail

Similar to the API ua example, many unexpected user agents in this output indicate unoptimized scripts. Expected user agents include gitlab-runner, GitLab-Shell, and browsers.

The performance impact of runners checking for new jobs can be reduced by increasing the check_interval setting, for example.

Parsing gitlab-rails/geo.log

Find most common Geo sync errors

If the geo:status Rake task repeatedly reports that some items never reach 100%, the following command helps to focus on the most common errors.

jq --raw-output 'select(.severity == "ERROR") | [.project_path, .class, .message, .error] | @tsv' geo.log | sort | uniq -c | sort | tail

Refer to our Geo troubleshooting page for advice about specific error messages.

Parsing gitaly/current

Use the following examples to troubleshoot Gitaly.

Find all Gitaly requests sent from web UI

jq 'select(."grpc.meta.client_name" == "gitlab-web")' current

Find all failed Gitaly requests

jq 'select(."grpc.code" != null and ."grpc.code" != "OK")' current

Find all requests that took longer than 30 seconds

jq 'select(."grpc.time_ms" > 30000)' current

Print top ten projects by request volume and their three longest durations

jq --raw-output --slurp '
      ."grpc.request.glProjectPath" != null
      and ."grpc.request.glProjectPath" != ""
      and ."grpc.time_ms" != null
  | group_by(."grpc.request.glProjectPath")
  | sort_by(-length)
  | limit(10; .[])
  | sort_by(-."grpc.time_ms")
  | [
  | @sh' current |
  awk 'BEGIN { printf "%7s %10s %10s %10s\t%s\n", "CT", "MAX DURS", "", "", "PROJECT" }
  { printf "%7u %7u ms, %7u ms, %7u ms\t%s\n", $1, $2, $3, $4, $5 }'

Example output

   CT    MAX DURS                              PROJECT
  206    4898 ms,    1101 ms,    1032 ms      'groupD/project4'
  109    1420 ms,     962 ms,     875 ms      'groupEF/project56'
  663     106 ms,      96 ms,      94 ms      'groupABC/project123'

Types of user and project activity overview

jq --raw-output '[.username, ."grpc.method", ."grpc.request.glProjectPath"] | @tsv' current | sort | uniq -c | sort -n

Find all projects affected by a fatal Git problem

grep "fatal: " current |
  jq '."grpc.request.glProjectPath"' |
  sort | uniq

Parsing gitlab-shell/gitlab-shell.log

For investigating Git calls via SSH, from GitLab 12.10.

Find the top 20 calls by project and user:

jq --raw-output --slurp '
      .username != null and
      .gl_project_path !=null
  | group_by(.username+.gl_project_path)
  | sort_by(-length)
  | limit(20; .[])
  | "count: \(length)\tuser: \(.[0].username)\tproject: \(.[0].gl_project_path)" ' \

Find the top 20 calls by project, user, and command:

jq --raw-output --slurp '
      .command  != null and
      .username != null and
      .gl_project_path !=null
  | group_by(.username+.gl_project_path+.command)
  | sort_by(-length)
  | limit(20; .[])
  | "count: \(length)\tcommand: \(.[0].command)\tuser: \(.[0].username)\tproject: \(.[0].gl_project_path)" ' \