This topic describes how to use Logtail to collect Node.js logs.

Background information

Log4js is a management tool for Node.js logs. You can use Log4js to send Node.js logs to files and specify a custom log format. This facilitates log collection and management. Log4js defines the following log levels in ascending order: TRACE, DEBUG, INFO, WARN, ERROR, and FATAL. The following sample code provides an example of Log4js configuration:
var log4js = require('log4js');
  appenders: [
      type: 'file', // Send logs to a file.
      filename: 'logs/access.log', 
      maxLogSize: 1024,
      category: 'normal' 
var logger = log4js.getLogger('normal');
logger.setLevel('INFO');"this is a info msg");
logger.error("this is a err msg");


Log Service provides configuration wizards to help you create Logtail configurations. The following example describes how to collect Node.js logs in full regex mode.

  1. Log on to the Log Service console.
  2. In the Import Data section, select RegEx - Text Log.
  3. Select the project and Logstore. Then, click Next.
  4. Create a machine group.
    • If a machine group is available, click Use Existing Machine Groups.
    • If no machine groups are available, perform the following steps to create a machine group. In this example, an Elastic Compute Service (ECS) instance is used.
      1. On the ECS Instances tab, select Manually Select Instances. Then, select the ECS instance that you want to use and click Create.

        For more information, see Install Logtail on ECS instances.

        Important If you want to collect logs from an ECS instance that belongs to a different Alibaba Cloud account, a server in an on-premises data center, or a server of a third-party cloud service provider, you must manually install Logtail. For more information, see Install Logtail on a Linux server or Install Logtail on a Windows server.

        After you manually install Logtail, you must configure a user identifier for the server. For more information, see Configure a user identifier.

      2. After Logtail is installed, click Complete Installation.
      3. In the Create Machine Group step, configure the Name parameter and click Next.

        Log Service allows you to create IP address-based machine groups and custom identifier-based machine groups. For more information, see Create an IP address-based machine group and Create a custom identifier-based machine group.

  5. Select the new machine group from Source Server Groups and move the machine group to Applied Server Groups. Then, click Next.
    Important If you apply a machine group immediately after you create the machine group, the heartbeat status of the machine group may be FAIL. This issue occurs because the machine group is not connected to Log Service. To resolve this issue, you can click Automatic Retry. If the issue persists, see What do I do if no heartbeat connections are detected on Logtail?
  6. In the Logtail Config step, create a Logtail configuration.
    The following list describes the key parameters that are used to create the Logtail configuration. For more information about other parameters, see Collect logs in full regex mode.
    • Log Sample: [2022-02-24 17:42:38.946] [INFO] normal - this is a info msg
    • RegEx: \[([^]]+)]\s\[(\w+)]\s(\w+)\s-\s(.*)
    • Extracted Content: Log Service automatically extracts content from logs based on the sample log and regular expression that you specify. You must specify keys for the extracted content.
    Node.js logs
  7. Preview data, configure indexes, and then click Next.
    By default, full-text indexing is enabled for Log Service. You can also configure field indexes based on collected logs in manual mode or automatic mode. To configure field indexes in automatic mode, click Automatic Index Generation. This way, Log Service automatically creates field indexes. For more information, see Create indexes.
    Important If you want to query and analyze logs, you must enable full-text indexing or field indexing. If you enable both full-text indexing and field indexing, the system uses only field indexes.
  8. Click Log Query. You are redirected to the query and analysis page of your Logstore.
    You must wait approximately 1 minute for the indexes to take effect. Then, you can view the collected logs on the Raw Logs tab. For more information, see Query and analyze logs.