magentoLogging to file


  • public static function log($message, $level = null, $file = '', $forceLog = false)


string $messageThe message that will be logged
integer $levelLog level
string $filePath and name with extension of file that will be saved to var/log/. If NULL or not specified then system.log will be used.
bool $forceLogIf set to TRUE log will be written even though developer mode is off and logging is inactive.


The Logging is turned off by default unless developer mode is active.

All exceptions are logged in exceptions.log no matter if logging is enabled in configuration.

Logging can be enabled by logging into Magento Admin and proceeding to:

  • System > Configuration (top bar)
  • Developer (left menu)
  • Log Settings section
  • Select Yes from Enabled dropdown list.
  • Save Configuration in the right top corner.

Message variable type

Even though documentation defines that message should be a string, if an array is passed there's a code block in that method to take care of that with print_r:

if (is_array($message) || is_object($message)) {
    $message = print_r($message, true);

Log level

If the level parameter is set to null then DEBUG level is taken.

$level = is_null($level) ? Zend_Log::DEBUG : $level; The levels are declared in file: lib\Zend\log.php

const EMERG   = 0;  // Emergency: system is unusable
const ALERT   = 1;  // Alert: action must be taken immediately
const CRIT    = 2;  // Critical: critical conditions
const ERR     = 3;  // Error: error conditions
const WARN    = 4;  // Warning: warning conditions
const NOTICE  = 5;  // Notice: normal but significant condition
const INFO    = 6;  // Informational: informational messages
const DEBUG   = 7;  // Debug: debug messages

Constants in form of Zend_Log::INFO or integer number in range specified above can be passed as log level parameter.

Custom log file

Mage::log('My log entry', null, 'mylogfile.log');

This wil log to


Default logging

Mage::log('My log entry');
Mage::log('My log message: '.$myVariable);

This will log to /var/log/system.log

Objects and Arrays are automatically written via a print_r() directive. Watch out when using objects since these can get substantial in size.


This will log exception trace string to /var/log/exception.log