Log4j is a popular and widely-used logging framework for Java development. It’s pretty easy to setup and use log4j in a Spring MVC application, just by following a few steps described below.

1. Adding log4j library jar file

First, download log4j distribution, extract the zip archive and add the log4j-1.2.17.jar file into the WEB-INF\lib directory of your Spring MVC web application.

If you are using Maven, add the following entry into pom.xml file:



2. Creating log4j configuration file

Create a log4j.properties file with the following content:

# LOG4J configuration
log4j.rootLogger=INFO, Appender1, Appender2

log4j.appender.Appender1.layout.ConversionPattern=%-7p %d [%t] %c %x - %m%n

log4j.appender.Appender2.layout.ConversionPattern=%-7p %d [%t] %c %x - %m%n

That specifies log level as INFO and configures two appenders: one for console logging and one for file logging (Path of the log file is D:/Logs/SpringMVC.log, so make sure the directory exists). If you prefer XML, here’s the equivalent version in XML (log4j.xml):


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE log4j:configuration PUBLIC "-//log4j/log4j Configuration//EN" "log4j.dtd">

<log4j:configuration xmlns:log4j="http://jakarta.apache.org/log4j/">

    <appender name="Appender1" class="org.apache.log4j.ConsoleAppender">
       <layout class="org.apache.log4j.PatternLayout"> 
          <param name="ConversionPattern" value="%-7p %d [%t] %c %x - %m%n"/> 
    <appender name="Appender2" class="org.apache.log4j.FileAppender">
       <param name="File" value="D:/Logs/SpringMVC2.log" />
       <layout class="org.apache.log4j.PatternLayout"> 
          <param name="ConversionPattern" value="%-7p %d [%t] %c %x - %m%n"/> 

        <priority value="INFO"/> 
        <appender-ref ref="Appender1" />
        <appender-ref ref="Appender2" />


Then put the log4j.properties file or log4j.xml file under the root of the classpath (under WEB-INF\classes directory of your web application). In Eclipse, put it under src directory like in the following screenshot:

Log4j properties in Spring MVC app

And that’s all! Now we can write some code in a Spring controller class to use log4j as follows:

package net.codejava.spring;

import org.apache.log4j.Logger;
import org.springframework.stereotype.Controller;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestMapping;
import org.springframework.web.bind.annotation.RequestMethod;
import org.springframework.web.servlet.ModelAndView;

public class TestController {
	private Logger logger = Logger.getLogger(TestController.class);
	@RequestMapping(value = "/test", method = RequestMethod.GET)
	public ModelAndView test() {
		ModelAndView model = new ModelAndView("Hello");
		logger.info("This is an info log entry");
		logger.error("This is an error log entry");
		return model;

Now let’s test it out. For the demo application in this tutorial, type the following URL into browser’s address bar:


Output in the browser:

Spring MVC log4j test output

And notice some log entries are appended to the server’s console as follows:

log4j output in server console

And the log entries are also written to the log in the D:/Logs/SpringMVC.log file file.


Recommended Book: Spring in Practice

Related Course: The Java Spring Tutorial

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