Simon Krueger

The life and times.

Logging django apps to syslog

I spent most of my day filling in the holes of my django/python logging knowledge. I've never done logging in python or a django app before. And thus our code base, had zero logging in it. A huge problem when it comes time to debug issues in production. I read a few articles that I found at Full Stack Python and also went through the Python doc logging tutorials. Taking Some Pain out of Python Logging was an eye opener when Hynek explained that syslog can capture and record the python log records. Syslog was exactly what I set out to do (I didn't know it was called syslog. I just knew about /var/logs, so today was a good learning experience). I am not doing exactly what Hynek does. But it accomplishes my goal of getting our logs into syslog.

Here is the final LOGGING dictionary in I went with.

    'version': 1,
    'disable_existing_loggers': False,
    'filters': {
        'require_debug_false': {
            '()': 'django.utils.log.RequireDebugFalse',
        'require_debug_true': {
            '()': 'django.utils.log.RequireDebugTrue',
    'formatters': {
        'verbose': {
            'format': '%(process)-5d %(thread)d %(name)-50s %(levelname)-8s %(message)s'
        'simple': {
            'format': '[%(asctime)s] %(name)s %(levelname)s %(message)s',
            'datefmt': '%d/%b/%Y %H:%M:%S'
    'handlers': {
        'console': {
            'level': 'DEBUG',
            'filters': ['require_debug_true'],
            'class': 'logging.StreamHandler',
            'formatter': 'simple'
        'syslog': {
         'level': 'DEBUG',
         'class': 'logging.handlers.SysLogHandler',
         'facility': 'local7',
         'address': '/dev/log',
         'formatter': 'verbose'
    'loggers': {
        # root logger
            'handlers': ['console', 'syslog'],
            'level': 'INFO',
            'disabled': False
        'thingsforwork': {
            'handlers': ['console', 'syslog'],
            'level': 'DEBUG',
            'propagate': False,

Ubuntu 14.04 uses the rocket-fast system for log processing (rsyslog) and we need to tell it about our local7 facility. I got this one from serverfault.

# /etc/rsyslog.d/30-thingsforwork.conf
local7.*                                             /var/log/thingsforwork.log
& ~  # This stops local7.* from going anywhere else.

Do a sudo service rsyslog restart so rsyslog.d can pickup the new config. And ta-da!

# /var/log/thingsforwork.log
May 28 03:19:57 vagrant 11874 140156620121856 thingsforwork.dashboard.views.home                 DEBUG    we are in the home page, this is a debug
May 28 03:19:57 vagrant 11874 140156620121856 thingsforwork.dashboard.views.home                 INFO     We are logging django! e01be3ae-e9d1-49d7-97ac-00c5454f3026
May 28 03:20:02 vagrant 11874 140156620121856 requests.packages.urllib3.connectionpool           INFO     Starting new HTTP connection (1):
May 28 03:20:02 vagrant 11874 140156605413120 requests.packages.urllib3.connectionpool           INFO     Starting new HTTPS connection (1):
May 28 03:20:02 vagrant 11874 140156392699648 googleapiclient.discovery                          INFO     URL being requested: GET
May 28 03:20:02 vagrant 11874 140156375914240 requests.packages.urllib3.connectionpool           INFO     Starting new HTTPS connection (1):


I finally got around to learning tmux this morning. Tmux is basically a beefed up version of GNU Screen. It hosts virtual terminal sessions and it allows you to split up a single terminal window into multiple ones. My co-founder, Sam, was the one to suggest using tmux. He suggested using it about a week ago or so. However, I put off learning it until I discovered this crash course in the O'Reilly programming newsletter. Tmux is pretty simple and the article did a great job teaching me. Tmux commands start with Ctrl + b followed by an additional key (e.g., Ctrl + b, % will create a new vertically split pane). It's really cool because I can run our django dev server in one pane and have bash running unit tests in another, all in the same terminal window. My favorite feature has to be the copy paste feature. I can copy anything in the terminal window without my hands ever leaving the keyboard. Ctrl + b, [ to enter in copy selection mode. With vim keybindings on, use h, j, k, l to move around, Space to enter into selection, Enter to capture the selection and finally Ctrl + b, ] to paste the selection.

Pot odds

I went to Jad Abumrad's excellent talk on creativity at Benroya hall tonight and I was really interested when he talked about Pot Odds and applying the concept to every day life. Pot odds are what poker players use to determine if they should make a bet or not. For example, consider a player with a 25% chance of having the best hand. A probability of 25% is not very good. Most people probably won't make a bet with a 25% chance of winning. However, when there is a $300 pot and a $100 bet, the player should bet! Why? Because if the player places the bet and wins, they'll get $400. If they place the bet and lose, they'll lose $100. If the player repeated this scenario indefinitely, they would get $400 every fourth time, which would be greater than the $300 they lost from the previous three bets.

Jad says he uses this strategy when creating his shows and his every day life. It also helps remind him that he does not always need to create a success. As long as his pot odds are good enough. I'm now curious how I can apply it to my own life and what my pot odds are.