Michael J. Radwin

Tales of a software engineer who keeps kosher and hates the web.

Logfile analyzers

I’ve just started using The Webalizer to do logfile analysis for radwin.org and hebcal.com.

Back in 1998 when I first started hosting my own domain name, I wanted to see where people were coming from and what they were viewing, so I set up the wwwstat script as a cron job to generate statistics.

I’ve never really liked the reports it gives, so last month I downloaded Analog, which claims to be “the most popular logfile analyser in the world.” It has every feature you could possibly imagine including graphs and charts, search referrer statistics, and even 31 different language output options. Perhaps because it’s so feature-rich, it is very difficult to compile and configure. I never got around to fixing my cron jobs to use it, in part because I couldn’t figure out how to send it data from stdin.

Last night Dave Jeske asked about log statistics for his blog (since I’m hosting on my site for the time being) and I told him the URL to the crappy wwwstat page that I generate daily from cron. I warned him that my ISP rotates logfiles daily, so the page never shows more than the past 24 hours of statistics.

He pointed out that webalizer has a slick -p option that lets you preserve state so you can run it multiple times and it incrementally adjusts the statistics. Neat.

So I downloaded the source code, ran ./configure --prefix=/home/mradwin/local --with-etcdir=/home/mradwin/local/etc and make all install and I was up and running in 15 minutes!

It’s not as slick as Analog, but I don’t care. It does exactly what I want, and nothing more.

Thanks for the tip, Dave. Enjoy your new stats URL.