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Does anyone know where file access logs are stored, so I can run a tail -f command in order to see who is accessing a particular file.

I have XAMPP, which is an Apache server installed on my machine, which automatically logs the accesses. It is stored in my installation folder.

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On what distribution, or with what hosting provider? Logs are typically under /var/log, but some systems have them elsewhere. – Gilles May 19 '12 at 12:51
up vote 79 down vote accepted

Ultimately, this depends on your Apache configuration. Look for CustomLog directives in your Apache configuration, see the manual for examples.

A typical location for all log files is /var/log and subdirectories. Try /var/log/apache/access.log or /var/log/apache2/access.log. If the logs aren't there, try running locate access.log.

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If you can't find the log with Gilles's answer, there are a couple more things you can try.

  • Look in /var/log/httpd.
  • Run sudo locate access.log as well as sudo locate access_log. The logs on my system were not visible except to root, and the file was called access_log instead of access.log.
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+1 for /var/log/httpd - led me right to it on our CentOS installation – Chuck Wilbur Oct 2 '15 at 19:27

Apache server records all incoming requests and all requests processed to a log file. The format of the access log is highly configurable. The location and content of the access log are controlled by the CustomLog directive. Default apache access log file location: Pass4sure 200-120

RHEL / Red Hat / CentOS / Fedora Linux Apache access file location –


Debian / Ubuntu Linux Apache access log file location –


FreeBSD Apache access log file location –


To find exact apache log file location, you can use grep command:

# grep CustomLog /usr/local/etc/apache22/httpd.conf
# grep CustomLog /etc/apache2/apache2.conf
# grep CustomLog /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf

Sample output:

# a CustomLog directive (see below).
#CustomLog "/var/log/httpd-access.log" common
CustomLog "/var/log/httpd-access.log" combined 
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The best answer in my opinion: detailed, concise and multi-platform for most *nix. – Sopalajo de Arrierez Jun 17 at 23:15

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