Troubleshooting Course Content Rough Drafts-Zimbra Logs

Revision as of 21:40, 12 March 2015 by Ajcody (talk | contribs) (Ldap)

Verified Against: Zimbra Collaboration Suite 8.6 Date Created: 01/22/2015
Article ID: Date Modified: 2015-03-12

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Ajcody - Need a general introduction of the course for the trainer to start with.

Log Files

A brief list of the major log files in Zimbra and their significance.

  • Mailstore Service Related Logs
    • /opt/zimbra/log/mailbox.log - Zimbra Mailboxd (jetty) writes all mailbox activity to this log file. This activity can be anything from moving a message to deletion of an account.
    • /opt/zimbra/log/zmmailboxd.out – Mailboxd (jetty) logs to this file during startup. Should be the log file to refer if you have trouble getting your mailboxd to start.
    • /opt/zimbra/log/mysql_error.log – Mysql errors and startup messages. This log should be looked up to determine if innodb corruption has occurred.
    • /opt/zimbra/log/myslow.log – Consists of sql statements which took more than long_query_time seconds (zimbra default – 1second) to execute and required at least min_examined_row_limit (zimbra default - 0) rows to be examined.
    • /opt/zimbra/log/audit.log – Logs authentication activity.
    • /opt/zimbra/log/sync.log – Mobile sync operations get logged to this log file. Should be used for reference when troubleshooting activesync issues.
    • /opt/zimbra/log/ews.log – All EWS server side activity gets logged here. Should be used when trying to identify issues with EWS clients.
  • LDAP Service Related Logs
    • /var/log/zimbra.log – Ldap log events go to this file.
  • MTA Service Related Logs
    • /var/log/zimbra.log – MTA (Postfix, amavisd, antispam, antivirus, cyrus-sasl) log events go to this file.
    • /opt/zimbra/log/clamd.log – Clamd (Antivirus daemon) logs all antivirus activity to this file.
    • /opt/zimbra/log/freshclam.log – Antivirus definition update log. Review this file if your server is not updating its virus definitions.
    • /opt/zimbra/log/spamtrain.log – The spam training log. Useful when trying to debug the action of "marking" a mail as spam and ham.
  • Proxy Service Related Logs
    • /opt/zimbra/log/nginx.access.log - Nginx writes information about client requests after the request is processed here. Can be used to track incoming requests and their response codes being sent by the server.
    • /opt/zimbra/log/nginx.log – Nginx error log which defaults to “info” level for logging. Log file to begin with for troubleshooting proxy related issues, gives a good overview of what the proxy is doing.
  • Stats Services Related Logs
    • /var/log/zimbra-stats.log – Logger data gets logged to this file via the OS logger, syslogd.
  • For All ZCS Servers
    • /var/log/zimbra.log – Tracking of the various ZC service status [starting/stopping] via the OS logger, syslogd, are logged in this file as well.
    • /var/log/syslog – Check here for possible server issues that might be causing ZC issues also.
    • /var/log/messages – Check here for possible server issues that might be causing ZC issues also.

Log Rotation And Management

Two different log rotation daemons handle log rotation of the zimbra log files - Log4j and Logrotate.d .

  • Log4j - Log4j is responsible for logging to :

mailbox.log, audit.log, sync.log, synctrace.log,webxml.log and ews.log.

  • Configuration file for Log4j is : /opt/zimbra/conf/

Example, below the are the config options for the rotation of /opt/zimbra/log/mailbox.log

log4j.appender.LOGFILE.layout.ConversionPattern=%d %-5p [%t] [%z] %c{1} - %m%n
  • Logrotate.d - The OS daemon logrotate used to rotate other log files. Files rotated by logrotate are :

zimbra.log, zimbra-stats.log, myslow.log, zmconfigd.log, zmconfigd.log, clamd.log, freshclam.log, nginx.log, nginx_access.log, cbpolicyd.log and spamtrain.log.

  • Configuration file for Logrotate is : /etc/logrotate.d/zimbra

There is also log management commands in the zimbra crontab. You can review the crontab lines by doing :

su - zimbra
crontab -l

Debug Logging


The ZCS server uses log4j, a Java logging package as the log manager

  • By default, the ZC server has log4j configured to log to the local file system
  • Global debug logging : Doing this will enable debug logging for any log4j property.
Edit - /opt/zimbra/conf/
Restart mailboxd – zmmailboxdctl restart
  • Per user debug logging (does not requires mailboxd restart) :


addAccountLogger : zmprov aal zimbra.imap debug
removeAccountLogger : zmprov ral zimbra.imap

[zmprov options for logger]

 addAccountLogger(aal) [-s/--server hostname] {name@domain|id} {logging-category} {trace|debug|info|warn|error}
 getAccountLoggers(gal) [-s/--server hostname] {name@domain|id}
 getAllAccountLoggers(gaal) [-s/--server hostname]
 removeAccountLogger(ral) [-s/--server hostname] [{name@domain|id}] [{logging-category}]
 resetAllLoggers(rlog) [-s/--server hostname]
  • Debug logs for mailbox required when troubleshooting a specific problem with the mailbox component, for example :
    • Trying to add an appointment but not happening
    • Specific message not getting delivered
    • Specific user unable to log into his acocunt using web/imap/pop etc.
    • Unable to download specific message using imap/pop or activesync
  • Each component of mailboxd has a variable to increase logging for that specific component. These are known as logging-categories. In the above listing for zmprov addAccountLogger, you'll see reference to the option {logging-category} . To list all possible the {logging-category} options, do the following:
zmprov help log
  • Debug logs for mailbox get written to :
    • /opt/zimbra/log/mailbox.log for most categories,
    • /opt/zimbra/log/ews.log for ews
    • /opt/zimbra/log/sync.log for sync
    • /opt/zimbra/log/webxml.log for webxml

Logging Levels Logging levels determine what types of events are logged. The following are logging levels in log4j listed by highest level of verbosity to the least :

  • TRACE - Designates finer-grained informational events than the DEBUG.
  • DEBUG - The DEBUG logging level will log detailed informational events useful for debugging purposes.
  • INFO - Designates informational messages that highlight the progress of the application at coarse-grained level. By default, most predefined log4j categories in ZCS are set to the INFO logging level.
  • WARN - Designates potentially harmful situations.
  • ERROR - Designates error events that might still allow the application to continue running.
  • FATAL - The FATAL logging level will only log very severe error events.

Each additional logging level will log more events, including the events belonging to the previous logging levels. For example, enabling the WARN logging level will record log events belonging to the WARN, ERROR, and FATAL logging levels, but will not record events belonging to the INFO, DEBUG, or TRACE levels.

Protocol Trace Protocol trace is available in the following logging categories with TRACE logging level:

  • zimbra.smtp
  • zimbra.lmtp
  • zimbra.soap
  • zimbra.imap
  • zimbra.imap-client
  • zimbra.pop
  • zimbra.pop-client

For all logging levels and other reference material please see


  • Ldap debug logging – Controlled by “ldap_common_loglevel” variable, this writes the config ldap attribute "olcLogLevel".
  • Typically required when trying to troubleshoot a specific request which is taking time or when there some weird scenario which is causing a specific replica sync to fail.
  • Debug logs are written to /var/log/zimbra.log

Examples [as the zimbra user]:

 zmlocalconfig –e ldap_common_loglevel=256
 zmlocalconfig –e ldap_common_loglevel=“stats”

Restarting of ldap is required for the change to take effect:

ldap stop; ldap start

For various log levels please see :


  • Typically required when trying to troubleshoot email flow issues. For example specific mail getting dropped or getting stuck in the queue. Or if troubleshooting issues with the postfix process itself, for example postfix crashing. The debug log will help understand what exactly postfix was doing when the crash occurred.
  • Edit /opt/zimbra/postfix/conf/
Change - smtp      inet  n       -       n       -       -       smtpd
To - smtp      inet  n       -       n       -       -       smtpd –vv

Restart of postfix required

zmmtactl restart
  • This will write debug postfix logs to /var/log/zimbra.log


  • Required when troubleshooting issues specific to spamassassin, for example a message being incorrectly dropped or spamassassin taking too long to scan emails.
  • Debug logging for SpamAssassin controlled by “zimbraAmavisSALogLevel”, this writes "sa_debug" to /opt/zimbra/conf/amavisd.conf.
  • Value can be 0 or 1, where 1 means debug log enabled and 0 means minimalistic info logging.
zmprov mcf zimbraAmavisSALogLevel 1 
zmprov ms `zmhostname` zimbraAmavisSALogLevel 1 
  • Debug logs get written to /var/log/zimbra.log


  • Amavisd debug logging - Controlled by zimbra attribute "zimbraAmavisLogLevel", which writes value of "$log_level" in file /opt/zimbra/conf/amavisd.conf
  • Typically required when trying to identify issues -
    • Amavis causing delay in scanning a message
    • Domain disclaimer not working as expected
    • Amavis causing disruption in mail flow
  • Logging level - 0-5, where 5 represents maximum debug logging. Value defaults to 1.
zmprov mcf zimbraAmavisLogLevel 5
zmprov ms `zmhostname` "zimbraAmavisLogLevel" 5
  • This will write debug log to - /var/log/zimbra.log


  • Controlled by zimbra attribute zimbraReverseProxyLogLevel.
zmprov ms `zmhostname` zimbraReverseProxyLogLevel debug
zmnginxctl restart

It will log a lot, so you can set it back to info at any time:

 zmprov ms `zmhostname` zimbraReverseProxyLogLevel info
  • This will write debug logs to /opt/zimbra/log/nginx.log
  • Typically required to trouble shoot proxy issues like -
    • Proxy unable to fetch user data
    • Unable to look up correct user's mailbox
    • Nginx process crash

ZCO Logs

  • For all but the simplest queries, ZCO Dev needs ZCO logs, dumps and event viewer logs. Here's how to gather them:
Disable Windows Search 
start->run->services->Windows Search->Properties->Stop + “Disabled” 
Start Outlook 
Disable Foreign Addins i.e. any addins that dont start with "Zimbra" 
OL2003: Tools->Options->Other->Advanced Options->COM Add-Ins->Remove any addins that don't start  with "Zimbra" 
OL2007: Tools->Trust Center->Add-ins->Manage COM Addins->Go->Untick any addins that don't start with "Zimbra" 
OL2010: File->Options->Add-ins->Manage COM Addins->Go->Untick any addins that don't start with "Zimbra" 
OL2013: as OL2010 
Close Outlook 
  • Empty ZCOLogs Directory (to avoid sending ZCO Dev stale/irrelevant logs)
  • Set Log Settings (using ZCOLogCtl.exe) to the following -
 Click the Default button 
 Max size of single log file : 50Mb 
 Preserve Log File Backups ticked 
 Max Size of ZCOLogs directory UNticked

ZCO Troubleshooting

  • Start Outlook + Repro the Issue
  • Take detailed notes of the steps
  • If possible, make a note of the time the problem ocurred
  • If the problem relates to a particular item, include its ZimbraID and/or Subject
  • Include Screen shots; Screen video if possible
  • Close Outlook. If Outlook hung, grab a Hang Dump:
  • Task Manager->Processes Tab->Right click OUTLOOK.EXE->Create Dump File
  • Export Outlook Events from the Windows Event Viewer:
  • Start Event Viewer
  • Select "Windows Logs" | Application from the left pane.
  • In Actions (right pane) select "Filter Current Log..."
  • In the Filter dialog select
  • select "Last 7 days" from the "Logged:" dropdown
  • check Outlook in the "Event sources:"
  • they will probably also need to limit output to the current "User:"
  • Click OK
  • Save with "Save Filtered Log File...", and pass us the resulting .evtx file
  • Check logs before sending to ZCO Dev
  • Must cover the repro period (note that each log file name includes the date and time at which a client session started)
  • Check for obvious issues (e.g. server unreachable)
## ERROR ## Usually indicates an unexpected problem 
## WARNING ## Usually benign but worth knowing 

Quiz Questions

  • Which log file(s) an ZC Administrator should review if there are reports that incoming mail has stopped.
  • You need to enable SOAP TRACE logging for user, what is the command needed to enable without the need of restarting service?
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