Top 7 Nodejs Logging Libraries

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In this Nodejs tutorial, I am going to list out the top Nodejs logging libraries of 2021.

Nodejs is the most amazing framework of JavaScript that happened to humanity. It has led to the development of so many popular and useful tools that we use today. A major part of the development of a perfect application is occupied by debugging and Nodejs logging.

In this blog, I am going to list out a good number of Nodejs logging libraries or NPM packages for you all.

What is Nodejs Logging?

Logging is one of the most important steps for a developer. The ‘console.log()’ function in JavaScript is dear to many and developers cannot imagine what development would be like without it. Although the console.log() function is of so much importance, it has failed at many things which other custom Nodejs logging packages have succeeded at.

I mean that’s what libraries or packages are for, right? They give a language the ability to do more and make development faster. The Nodejs community is brimmed with creative developers who have contributed highly resourceful libraries and packages for Nodejs development.

So, what is logging in the real sense? What’s all the hype about it? Nodejs logging or logging as a concept in programming is fundamentally a crucial part of debugging code. With a logger in place, developers understand how their code is behaving, what output is a code spitting out. It saves developers hours of coding.

Logging is also a way developers learn what technology or even their application is doing. For instance, if there’s an error with connecting to the server, an error log at this point will help point out what is the error and where it is coming from.

Top Nodejs Logging Libraries of 2021

Apart from console.log(), which is a great in-built Nodejs logging tool for beginner coders, there lies a good number of Nodejs logging libraries to help you customize logging as per your programming needs.

Let us take a quick look at what popular Nodejs logging packages are available out there in the wild.

1. Log4js

Log4js is one of the popular tools used for Nodejs logging. Published only a year ago on NPM, this package has gained immense popularity because of the amazing features it offers for Nodejs logging. While I write, it has received a weekly download of 2,688,580.

You can download it using the below NPM command:

npm i log4js

Features

  • The console can log colored information to stderr or stdout
  • The file appender creates a rolling log based on the file size or the date
  • a connect/express server log for logging
  • configurable layouts and patterns for log messages
  • mark parts of your app log as DEBUG, some as ERRORS, etc.

You can click here to view the detailed documentation of log4js.

2. Winston

The next on the list is the Winston package for Nodejs logging. This too was published a year ago and is more popular than log4js with a weekly download of 6,663,813, while I write. It is designed to be a simple logger for Nodejs applications. It works on a concept called ‘transports’ that refer to storage areas for logs. These transports can be configured at different logging levels.

You can download it using the below NPM command:

npm i winston

Features

  • Make use of multiple transports
  • Log transports can be customized
  • Make use of profiling
  • Handle exceptions
  • Select from a range of predefined error levels
  • Make your own custom error levels

You can click here to view detailed documentation of winston.

3. Bunyan

Bunyan is a JSON logging library designed for Nodejs applications. It is a newer package than the above two Nodejs logging libraries, being first released just 9 months ago. Bunyan aims to provide more structured logs and chooses JSON as the format. It has currently received a weekly download of 1,498,196.

You can download it using the below NPM command:

npm i bunyan

Features

  • Simple and elegant Nodejs logging API
  • Log records can be sent to a stream, a file, or rotated in a log file using an extensible streams system.
  • A Bunyan log filter and pretty-printing CLI for Bunyan logs
  • Add source location (file, line, function) for log calls using src:true
  • Logger instance specialization with log.child that is lightweight
  • With serializers, log objects will be rendered in a customized way.
  • A DTrace-based snooping system for logs during runtime
  • The runtime environment support includes Node.js, Browserify, Webpack, and NW.js.

You can click here to view detailed documentation of bunyan.

4. Morgan

Morgan is a Nodejs logging library for Express applications. Usually overlooked, this library is quite popular and powerful among its competitors. Published 2 years ago, this Nodejs logging is the oldest on the list. It has received a weekly download of 3,020,789. It can be used as an express middle in apps.

You can download it using the below NPM command:

npm i morgan

Features

  • Versatile request and response logger for Express apps
  • Runs as middleware
  • Simple to use
  • Custom formats
  • Split/dual logging

You can click here to view detailed documentation of morgan.

5. Pino

Pino brands itself as a very low overhead logger for Nodejs applications. It is said to be 5x times faster than its competitors. It has a command-line interface that matches that of Bunyan. It is the fastest JSON logger.

The framework was first published 6 years ago. It receives 2,075,731 weekly downloads on NPM.

It comes with a good range of web development framework support:

You can download it using the below NPM command:

npm i pino

Please refer to the above links if you want to install a framework-specific package.

Features

  • Formatting and pretty print
  • Lower overhead
  • Fastest JSON logger
  • Runs all log processes called transports in a worker thread as recommended for Nodejs
  • Minimal resource usage

You can click here to view detailed documentation of Pino.

6. Frontail

Frontail is a Nodejs application that helps users stream logs in the browser. It comes power-packed with a UI and a ton of features. It was first published 10 years ago on NPM and currently has 929 weekly downloads while I write.

You can download it using the below NPM command:

npm i frontail

Features

  • Rotation of logs (not on Windows)
  • Marking logs that automatically scroll
  • logs paused
  • favicon’s amount of unread logs
  • topics (default, dark)
  • highlighting
  • look for (Tab to focus, Esc to clear)
  • filter from url parameter set
  • multiple file tailing and stdin
  • fundamental authentication

You can click here to view detailed documentation of Frontail.

7. Tracer

Tracer calls itself the customizable and powerful logging library for Nodejs. With Tracer, you can print simple logs, colored logs, and even set output levels. You can customize it by printing a timestamp, file name, line number, and even the call stack! The list is huge!

It was first published 10 years ago making it the oldest in the list of Nodejs logging libraries of 2021. It currently receives weekly downloads of 971,590.

You can download it using the below NPM command:

npm i tracer

Features

  • Log messages can be printed with a timestamp, file name, method name, line number, path, or call stack.
  • User-defined logging levels are supported by a customized output format with micro-template and timestamp format.
  • Easily add transports
  • Provides filter functions, allowing you to print statements in full color and font size (color console)

You can click here to view detailed documentation of Tracer.

Read more: Awesome Node.js Tools, Libraries, and Resources

Conclusion

Nodejs is the most amazing framework of JavaScript that happened to humanity. It has led to the development of so many popular and useful tools that we use today. A major part of the development of a perfect application is occupied by debugging and Nodejs logging.

Nodejs logging or logging as a concept in programming is fundamentally a crucial part of debugging code. With a logger in place, developers understand how their code is behaving, what output is a code spitting out. It saves developers hours of coding.

Here are the top Nodejs logging libraries of 2021.

Noteworthy References