ccze: A robust, modular log coloriser

January 31st, 2007 edited by ana

Entry submitted by arno. DPOTD needs your help, please contribute !

ccze is a log coloriser. It can parse log files, understand them (with regexes), and displays a nicely formatted output. It becomes easier to catch important information from a log file.

To cope with different kind of logs, ccze uses different plugins, each able to understand one type of file. Currently, ccze support 19 different plugins, such as exim, httpd, procmail, and much more. If a line is recognized by no plugin, a default parsing and coloration are available. You can also add support for a new type of file, by creating a plugin and copying it in /usr/lib/ccze, or $HOME/.ccze.

By default, ccze uses ncurses for output, but you can also display on standard output, or to format a report in html. Czze is based on colorizer, an older log coloriser. Actually, ccze was a rewrite in C language to make it faster (coloriser was written in perl language).

Related tools

Other log colorizer in Debian and Ubuntu include lwatch and loco. Loco is a nice tool, but only uses a generic parser. Therefore, output is sometimes less accurate than ccze. With lwatch, you can define your regexps in a configuration file. So, it’s more easy to add a new type of file. Lwatch reads data from named fifo, so it is not really suitable for use from the command line.

Target Users:

  • System administrators.
  • Users that watch their log regularly, and/or need to get a quick grasp of what’s going on their system.

Further reading:

Loganalysis.Org has online bibliography on logging and related topics. You can consult it at


Latest ccze release is available in both Debian and Ubuntu.

Posted in Debian, Ubuntu |

4 Responses

  1. Pasky Says:

    I use colorize package, dummy of ccze, for tracking my log files. It’s great. But i note when colorize is too much time, it’s stop colorize logs and freeze. Then i have to restart de command ‘cat logfile|colorize’.

    What would be wrong?

  2. Juanmi Says:

    Thanks!!! it´s great. I did not know this package.

  3. tpo Says:

    And how do I page the output?

  4. tpo Says:

    uh ah:

    ccze -A