Using the system log

Note

A new logging API was introduced in TYPO3 CMS 6.0. It is far more flexible than the old one described here, but is not yet in use in the Core. Thus this section remains valid if you want to write to the "sys_log" table. Otherwise please consider using the new API.

Writing to the system log is done using the backend user object, which writes to the "sys_log" table:

$this->BE_USER->writelog($type, $action, $error, $details_nr, $details, $data, $table, $recuid, $recpid,$event_pid, $NEWid);

Here is a description of the arguments to this function call, and corresponding database fields in table "sys_log":

Field Type Var Description
type tinyint $type

Value telling which module in TYPO3 set the log entry. The type values are paired with an action-integer which is telling in more detail what the event was. Here type and action values are arranged hierarchically (type on first level, action on second level):


  • 1 : \TYPO3\CMS\Core\DataHandling\DataHandler ("TYPO3 Core Engine" where database records are manipulated)
    • Action values are:
      • 0 = no category
      • 1 = new record
      • 2 = update record
      • 3 = delete record
      • 4 = move record
      • 5 = check/evaluate
  • 2 : "tce_file" (File handling in fileadmin/ and absolute filemounts)
    • Action values are for various file handling types like upload, rename, edit etc.
  • 3 : System (e.g. sys_history save)
  • 4 : Modules: This is the mode you may use for extensions having backend module functionality. Probably you would like to use BE_USER->simplelog() for your extensions.
  • 254 : Personal settings changed
  • 255 : Login or Logout action
    • 1 = login
    • 2 = logout
    • 3 = failed login (+ errorcode 3)
    • 4 = failure_warning_email sent
action tinyint $action

See "type" above

When not available, use value "0"

error tinyint $error

Error level:

  • 0 = message, a notice of an action that happened.
  • 1 = error, typically a permission problem for the user
  • 2 = System Error, something which should not happen for technical reasons.
  • 3 = Security notice, like login failures
details_nr tinyint $details_nr

Number of "detail" message. This number should be unique for the combination of type/action

-1 is a temporary detail number you can use while developing and error messages are not fixed yet.

0 is a value that means the message is not supposed to be translated

>= 1 means the message is fixed and ready for translation.

details tinytext $details

The log message text (in english). By identification through type/action/details_nr this can be translated through the localization system.

If you insert "%s" markers in the details message and set $data to an array the first 5 entries (keys 0-4) from $data will substitute the markers sequentially (using sprintf).

log_data tinyblob $data Data that follows the log entry. Can be an array. See "details" for more info.
tablename varchar(40) $table Table name. Special field used by tce_main.php.
recuid int $recuid Record UID. Special field used by tce_main.php.
recpid int $recpid Record PID. Special field used by tce_main.php. [OBSOLETE; not used anymore.]
event_pid int $event_pid The page ID (pid) where the event occurred. Used to select log-content for specific pages.
NEWid varchar(20) $NEWid Special field used by tce_main.php. NEWid string of newly created records.
tstamp int - EXEC_TIME of event, UNIX time in seconds.
uid int - Unique ID for log entry, automatically inserted
userid int - User ID of backend user, automatically set for you
IP varchar(39) - REMOTE_ADDR of client
workspace int - Workspace ID

Making logging simple

While it is nice to have log message categorized and numbered during development and sometimes beyond that point a simpler logging API is necessary. Therefore you can also call this function:

BE_USER->simplelog($message, $extKey='', $error=0);

All you need is to set $message to store a log message. If you call it from an extension it is good practice to also supply the extension key. Finally you can add the error number (according to the table above) if you need to signal an error.