Tableau server logs location

Tableau server logs location DEFAULT

Tableau Server and Tableau Desktop generate log files for every activity that you perform. The log data is very important for anyone who wants to know what is happening behind the scenes. They contain information like what is happening in the server, the services or processes that are running, and the errors and warnings that have been generated. 

When using Tableau for Data Analysis, you will normally want to get this information from time to time. The information is useful for troubleshooting purposes once you encounter issues with Tableau. The amount of information written to the logs depends on the service that is writing the logs, the configured logging level, and what the server is doing. When using Tableau, you’ll have to view the log files. In this article, you will learn about working with the Tableau Log files in detail. 

Table of Contents

Understanding Tableau

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Tableau is a Business Intelligence software that empowers organizations to visualize their business data and helps them make efficient data-driven business decisions. Tableau was established primarily by keeping collaboration in mind. Tableau houses tools that allow you to build attractive and interactive Dashboards for collaboration, thereby giving you a complete overview of your data. With the help of these Dashboards, employees from all departments can collaborate with each other effectively and seamlessly. 

Tableau allows you to integrate your data from multiple data sources like Microsoft Excel, CSV files, MS SQL Server, Oracle, Google BigQuery, Windows Azure, ODBC/JDBC, etc. You can create various visualizations like bar charts, scatter plots, box plots, pie charts, maps, etc. Tableau is widely used all over the world for creating highly useful Reports and Dashboards. Tableau can be used online and is compatible with Desktops, Tablets, Mobile phones, etc. Learn more about Tableau and its usage from their official documentation. 

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Understanding Tableau Log Locations

Tableau logs

By default, Tableau writes most of its log files in its data directory. You can find the directory in the following location:

C:ProgramDataTableauTableau Serverdatatabsvclogs

Each instance of the service has its own folder, with a name that specifies the service name and version code. An example is given below:

C:ProgramDataTableauTableau Serverdatatabsvclogsbackgrounder

Other than the logs for every process or service, a config subfolder is created to store configuration information for the service. This is shown below:


If your Tableau Server develops an issue, Tableau support may require you to gather the logs, upload them, and send them over to the Technical team. 

Reporting issue to Techical support using Tableau Logs

There are a number of logs that are not part of the above set of logs and they are not written to the normal log folders. They include the following:

  • TSM log-The tsm.log file can be found under C:Users<user>.tableautsm .
  • install log-By default, you can find the app-install.log file under C:ProgramDataTableauTableau Serverlogs.
  • upgrade log- By default, the app-upgrade.log file is stored in C:ProgramDataTableauTableau Serverlogs.
  • Shell script logs- By default, Tableau Server scripts are found in the scripts directory.
  • Serverpackagesscripts.<version_code>) and others generate logs every time a script is executed. The script logs are stored in the following directory: <install_drive><installpath>logs

But by default, they are stored in the following directory:

C:ProgramDataTableauTableau Serverlogs

Understanding Tableau Log Contents

Contents of Tableau Logs

Every process running on Tableau writes information to its own log file. So, each log file gives detailed information about each process. Together, the log files contain detailed information about the internal communications between the Tableau Server components when performing automated tasks or processing user requests. 

The logs only contain technical information that is good for troubleshooting. Examples include the actions of different processes, the status of various components, queries to the database, communication attempts, and request timings. Log files store some specific data like the names of database servers, their ports and IP addresses, IP addresses or names of Tableau Server computers, and names and URLs of the views and workbooks accessed by the users. 

Note that log files don’t store sensitive customer data like query results, passwords, and data shown on views. Tableau users can use the tsm maintenance ziplogs command to create a zipped archive of the log files. You should add the Tableau server repository data if you have used the -d option. 

The repository stores metadata from Tableau Server such as projects, usernames, groups, Tableau Server permissions, extract refresh schedules, etc. It also stores the connection and layout information for the workbooks, but it doesn’t store data such as passwords, data displayed on views, or the actual database data. 

The data shown on views is obtained from databases and extract files and then cached in memory. This data isn’t saved in the logs. The extract files are kept on the Tableau Server computers with a .hyper extension inside the dataengine folder. However, they are not added to the zipped log archive. 

A typical Tableau log looks as follows:

{&#;ts&#;:&#;T&#;,&#;pid&#;,&#;tid&#;:&#;5a&#;,&#;sev&#;:&#;info&#;,&#;req&#;:&#;-&#;,&#;sess&#;:&#;-&#;,&#;site&#;:&#;-&#;,&#;user&#;:&#;-&#;,&#;k&#;:&#;open-log&#;,&#;v&#;:{&#;path&#;:&#;/Users/tfoldi/Documents/Tableau Repository/Logs/log.txt&#;}}

To view the log file contents, you can use a number of tools to visualize them clearer and in a more human-readable way. 

All the log entries are JSON objects that are separated by new lines. Each entry has the following components:

  • a ts (timestamp)
  • pid (process id)
  • tid (thread id within the process)
  • sev (severity)
  • req (request identified)
  • sess (Server vizql session/Desktop session)
  • site (site in Server)
  • user (user in Server)
  • log keys (k) 
  • (v) values. 

In some cases, the log entries may have ctx for contextual information (such as who called a particular service) and a for “ART Logging” (it logs memory and CPU counters). 

The most important of all these are keys and values. They tell us the type of operation (key) that produced which log message (value). The log message is a nested JSON object, and different keys give different value objects in different structures. 

Understanding the Limitations to Tableau Logs

Although Tableau logs are useful, especially for troubleshooting, they pose a number of challenges to the users. These include the following:

  • Tableau log entries are not made in a clear format. This makes it difficult for you to extract relevant information from the log entries. 
  • The entries made into the Tableau logs are not easy to read and interpret. This makes it difficult for the user to identify the cause of problems when troubleshooting Tableau issues. 
  • One may need to use a third-party tool to present the Tableau log entries in a human-readable format. 


When working with Tableau, error detection and monitoring become easier with Tableau Logs. After reading this article, you should now be able to configure your Tableau Logs and work with them.

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Work with Log Files

  • Clean up existing log files to reduce their size. For more information, see Remove Unneeded Files.

    Important: If there is a chance you will want to get help from Tableau Support troubleshooting an issue, be sure to create a zipped archive of your logs before cleaning them up. The clean up can delete important information Support may need. For details on creating log archives, see Log File Snapshots (Archive Logs).

  • Set the appropriate logging level. This is something that Tableau Support will instruct you on. For more information including impact of different log levels, see Change Logging Levels.
  • Reproduce the issue you are troubleshooting so the logs capture the events related to the problem.
  • Create an archive of the logs. For more information see Log File Snapshots (Archive Logs).

    Important: Use this archive when looking at the log files. You should not edit, move or delete any files directly on the server.

  • Review the TSM Administration Controller log to understand any configuration or deployment done by TSM from the command line, Web UI, or API, including jobs started by TSM. Start with the controller log. This is where you'll get most useful information.

    Note: The is less wordy than the but can provide useful, complimentary troubleshooting information.

  • Review the Apache logs for requests that may be related to the issue you are investigating.

    The Apache logs will contain a fair amount of "noise" that does not apply to issues you are experiencing.

    • If you find a request that seems to be related to your issue, search the directory for entries that include the unique request ID from the Apache logs.
    • Look for the response code and message associated with the request ID.
    • Search for the name of the workbook, view, dashboard, or data source that is related to your issue. Make sure to look for a relevant timestamp.
    • If you find a request that seems to be related to your issue, look at the response code associated with the request. (s are good, s indicate problems.)
    • Locate the unique request ID associated with the request you've identified (the unique request ID is a 24 character alphanumeric string at the very end of the request).
  • Review the log archive further to search for other messages and possible errors.

    • Use the request ID from the Apache logs to search the folder of the log archive for files containing related log entries. Look for indications of a problem (for example, error messages or long-running queries).
    • The free, open source tool, Logshark can be a useful option for reviewing log archives. For more information, see Troubleshooting Tableau Server(Link opens in a new window) in the Tableau Blueprint.
  • Review script logging.

    Tableau Server includes logs for most of the scripts that are included in the scripts directory. By default: These logs are saved to:

    • by default: 

  • Contact support

    If you are not able to solve the issue yourself, or if requested by Tableau Support, send the zipped archive to Tableau.

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    Tableau Server log files on an active cluster

    1. The TSM log. The tsm.log file is located in C:\Users\
    2. The install log. By default the app-install.log file is located in C:\ProgramData\Tableau\Tableau Server\logs .
    3. The upgrade log. By default the app-upgrade.log file is located in C:\ProgramData\Tableau\Tableau Server\logs .
    4. Shell script logs. Tableau Server scripts are located in the \scripts directory (By default: C:\Program Files\Tableau\Tableau Server\packages\scripts.

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    Part 6 Tableau Server Location of Log files

    Get your Computer Set Up for LogShark

    Edit this page   Submit an issue

    Before you install and run LogShark on your computer, you’ll need to make sure your system meets the requirements. This section will walk you through them:

    System Requirements

    For Windows:

    • A computer running a bit version of Windows ( R2 or later)
    • An account with local administrator permissions on the computer where you will be installing LogShark.
    • Tableau Desktop version (or later) to view workbooks. You can download Tableau from:

    • Hyper API for C++. If Hyper requirements are not met on the machine, LogShark will fail. The simplest way to meet Hyper requirements is to install Tableau Desktop on your machine.
    • For best performance, use a computer with the latest hardware and software available. The ability of LogShark to process log files improves as the performance of the computer’s CPU, Memory, and Disk I/O increases.

    For Linux:

    For macOS:

    Tableau Log Requirements

    The archive log files must be from Tableau Server or Tableau Desktop version or later. LogShark requires that the Tableau Server log files that you process are compressed (zipped) files, also known as archive files or snapshots.

    Server Logs

    USING TSM You can create these archive files using Tableau Services Manager (TSM) web interface or TSM CLI command on the Tableau Server. For more information about gathering Tableau Server log files using TSM, see Archive Log Files.

    USING TABADMIN You can create these archive files using the  command on the Tableau Server, or by creating a snapshot from the Status or Maintenance menu within Tableau Server. For more information about gathering Tableau Server log files using , see Archive Log Files.

    Desktop Logs

    For Tableau Desktop, the log files are located in the directory. The default location is . You can also find the location using Tableau. Start Tableau Desktop and click File > RepositoryLocation.

    After you locate the log files, you can copy them to another location to process, or specify the path to their current location when you run LogShark.

    This site is open source. Suggestions and pull requests are welcome on our GitHub page.


    Documentation last generated on: +

    Logs tableau location server

    Log File Snapshots (Archive Logs)

    Type the following command:

    where is name of the zipped archive file you want to create. Choose a unique name with no spaces. If an existing ziplog with the same file name already exists the creation of the file will fail unless you include the option to force an overwrite, delete the existing file, or specify a different name in the command.

    You can specify a time range for the snapshot and you can also specify which types of logs to include. For more information, see tsm maintenance ziplogs.

    The log file snapshot is saved to a fixed location on the computer where TSM and Tableau Server are installed. If you have a multi-node installation, the snapshot is saved to the initial node of the cluster. The location is specified by the variable.

    By default the log file snapshot is saved to:

    You can find the current location by querying the setting:

    tsm configuration get -k basefilepath.log_archive

    and change the location by specifying a new value for :

    tsm configuration set -k basefilepath.log_archive -v

    For more information, see tsm File Paths.

    Server tools 201: Tableau Server monitoring

    Tableau Server Logs and Log File Locations

    Tableau Server generates log files as a normal part of its functioning. Each service that runs as part of Tableau Server generates its own logs. These log files include information about what is happening on the server, what the service or process is doing, and what, if any errors or warnings are generated. The extent of information in the logs depends on which service is writing the logs, what the logging levels are set to, and what is happening on the server.

    Looking for Tableau Server on Linux? See Server Log File Locations.

    Log files can be useful in helping to identify and fix issues that Tableau Server is having. In some cases, system administrators may be able to look at logs and find clues to what is happening, but in most situations the Tableau Server logs are most useful for Tableau Support. When you open a case with Support, you may be asked to send log files from your server.

    Note: The specific directories and logs generated by Tableau Server depend on the version of server you are running, and which processes you have configured. New services and processes are added periodically to support new functionality. For details about processes or services you might find logs for, see Tableau Server Processes.

    Tableau Server log files on an active cluster

    As a best practice you should not edit or delete log files in an active Tableau Server installation. Doing this can cause unexpected behavior or server downtime. Most Tableau Server logs are written to a location in the data directory. Some logs are written to other locations.

    The easiest and safest way to gather and view server log files is to create a log archive, which is a zipped collection of logs from all nodes in a cluster. If you think you may need old logs for any reason, for example, to compare with new logs after doing an upgrade, or to send to Tableau Support when troubleshooting a server issue, create a zip archive, and move the archive to a safe location that is not part of your Tableau Server infrastructure. For more information about log files in a log archive, see Server Log Files in a zipped archive.

    Logs can take up a good deal of space, especially on a heavily used server. You can use the tsm maintenance cleanup command to remove logs you no longer want or need. but if you think you may need your existing logs, consider archiving them before cleanup.

    Primary log locations on a working Tableau Server installation

    Most of the Tableau Server logs are written to the data directory, . are created for each instance of a service, with a name that includes the service name and the version code. For example:

    C:\ProgramData\Tableau\Tableau Server\data\tabsvc\logs\backgrounder

    Configuration file locations on a working Tableau Server installation

    In addition to logs for each service or process,, a contains configuration information about the service.

    C:\ProgramData\Tableau\Tableau Server\data\tabsvc\config\backgrounder

    Tableau Support may ask you to gather some of these if you are working with them on a server issue. The contents can be analyzed by Support.

    Logs that are not written in the primary location

    A few logs are not part of the main set of logs, and are written to locations other than the normal log folders:

    • The TSM log. The file is located in .
    • The install log. By default the file is located in .
    • The upgrade log. By default the file is located in .
    • Shell script logs. Tableau Server scripts are located in the \scripts directory (By default: ) and many of these generate logs each time a script is run. Script logs are saved to:


      by default:

      C:\ProgramData\Tableau\Tableau Server\logs

    Server Log Files in a zipped archive

    You may want to look at Tableau Server log files, or need to send them to Tableau Support if you have a problem with your server. Use the command to create a zipped archive of log files from all nodes in your installation. By default, Tableau Server log file archives are gathered in a zip file called , but you can specify a different file name when you create the archive. You can copy the archive from the server to a local computer and open it there, or send it to Tableau Support.

    When you unzip the archive, a directory is created for each node in the cluster, and in that directory are sub-directories for each service or process using this naming convention:


    If there are multiple instances of a service on a node, there will be multiple directories for that service, one for each instance. For example, if you have two Backgrounders on a node, you will see directories like these:

    backgrounder_0.<version>.<build> backgrounder_1.<version>.<build>

    The specific directories and logs in the zip file depend on what version of Tableau Server you have, and which processes you have configured. For details about processes or services you might find logs for, see Tableau Server Processes.

    Temporary Files

    Any file that starts with exe_ in the folder below is a Tableau Server file and can be deleted.


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