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How to Log PHP Errors/Warnings

Mar 4, 2013   Programming   Nick Vogt   Comments
Please note that this post is over a year old and may contain outdated information.
PHPLogging PHP errors and warnings is important on both your production and development servers. Often times these messages go unnoticed, even if you have display_errors on.

To start logging errors, open up your php.ini file. Scroll down to or search for the line that has the error_log variable. It will probably look like one of these:

;error_log = filename
;error_log = php_errors.log
Semi-colons denote a commented out line in the php.ini file. Any commented out line is ignored by PHP. An unaltered php.ini file should have the error_log line commented out, so the first thing you'll want to do is remove that semi-colon at the start of the line.

Next you want to change the value to your desired log file. I created an empty errors.log text file in my PHP directory and then had errors logged there (make sure you show file extensions if on Windows). So my error_log line now looks like this:

error_log = "C:\Program Files\PHP\errors.log"
I included the full path to remove any ambiguity, and it should be in quotes if you're using a full path like that.

In most cases you'll be done at this point, but there are two common issues people run into. First, double-check to make sure your error_log value is not being overwritten elsewhere in the php.ini file. Do a quick search for all occurrences of error_log. Second, make sure the log file you created can be modified. Putting it in your PHP directory should do the trick, but if not check its security settings.
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