Last Updated: 21 Nov 2020


Author: (external edit)

Importing Apache (httpd) logs into MySQL

It can be rather nice to use the full power of MySQL to analyze your apache (httpd) web logs. You can write SQL queries against the logs, and discover all sorts of relationships (and problems!) that you might not otherwise find.

This PHP script loads an apache combined-format log into a MySQL database. Download it, and then run it like this:

php mysql_httpd_log_import.php -h localhost -d logs -t logdata -u root -p foobar -c < website_access_log.020809

Or run it without arguments to see all the command line options.

php mysql_httpd_log_import.php

N.B. If you improve this, please email me and I'll post the updated version.

 * MySQL Apache Log Import
 * This script imports apache combined log format logs into MySQL, so you can use standard SQL commands
 * to query your logs. For usage, please run the script with no arguments.
 * Based in part on
 * @author David Ordal (david -at-
 * @requires PHP 5.X
 * @requires MySQL 5.X
define('VERSION', '1.0');
define('TMP_FILE', '/tmp/mysql_httpd_log_import.tmp');
// command line arguments; check below for usage
$cmdArgs = getopt('d:t:h:u:p:cxf');
// check args
if (!(isset($cmdArgs['d']) && strlen($cmdArgs['d']) > 0 && isset($cmdArgs['t']) && strlen($cmdArgs['t']) > 0))
// connect to mysql database
$dbHost = isset($cmdArgs['h']) ? $cmdArgs['h'] : ini_get("mysqli.default_host");
$dbUser = isset($cmdArgs['u']) ? $cmdArgs['u'] : ini_get("mysqli.default_user");
$dbPass = isset($cmdArgs['p']) ? $cmdArgs['p'] : ini_get("mysqli.default_pw");
$dbTable = $cmdArgs['t'];
$dbName = $cmdArgs['d'];
$mysqli = dbConnect($dbHost, $dbUser, $dbPass, $dbName);
// check to see if we need to drop and/or create the table
$quotedDbTable = dbQuoteIdentifier($mysqli, $dbTable, true);
if (isset($cmdArgs['x'])) {
	$cmdArgs['c'] = true; 				// -x implies -c
	$queryResult = dbQuery($mysqli, "DROP TABLE IF EXISTS {$quotedDbTable}");
$quotedDbTable = dbQuoteValue($mysqli, $dbTable, true);
$queryResult = dbQuery($mysqli, "SHOW TABLES LIKE {$quotedDbTable}");
if ($queryResult->num_rows != 1) {
	if(isset($cmdArgs['c'])) {
		dbCreateTable($mysqli, $dbTable);
	} else {
		die ("Database table '{$dbTable}' does not exist. Please rerun the script with the -c option to create it.\n");
// open the temp CSV file for copying data
$tmpFile = fopen(TMP_FILE, 'w');
// read each line of STDIN and process a log
$checkDb = isset($cmdArgs['f']) ? false : true;
while (!feof(STDIN)) {
	$line = fgets(STDIN);
	if (empty($line))
	$results = processLine($line);
	// check the first and last entries; print an error if something went wrong
	if (empty($results['fullString']) || empty($results['userAgent']) || !is_numeric($results['status'])) {
		echo "Error! Could not interpret line: ".$line;
	// convert entries to database format. NOTE: doing the timestamp conversion this way converts
	// each entry to the local timezone on the local box. Stupid MySQL doesn't support storing a timezone
	// with a timestamp, so we covert everything from the web server's timezone to the local box's timezone,
	// and store that.
	$results['date'] = str_replace('/', ' ', $results['date']);
	$logTimestamp = strtotime("{$results['date']} {$results['time']} {$results['timezone']}");
	$sqlTimestamp = date('Y-m-d H:i:s', $logTimestamp);	
	$results['bytes'] = is_numeric($results['bytes']) ? $results['bytes'] : '0';
	// run a $mysqli->escape_string() on all the strings to put into the database. We don't want to use
	// dbQuoteValue(), because that also adds quotes, which the LOAD DATA command interepts litterally
	$remote_host = $mysqli->escape_string($results['remoteHost']);
	$ident_user = $mysqli->escape_string($results['identUser']);
	$auth_user = $mysqli->escape_string($results['authUser']);
	$timestamp = $mysqli->escape_string($sqlTimestamp);
	$method = $mysqli->escape_string($results['method']);
	$url = $mysqli->escape_string($results['url']);
	$protocol = $mysqli->escape_string($results['protocol']);
	$status = $mysqli->escape_string($results['status']);
	$bytes = $mysqli->escape_string($results['bytes']);
	$referrer = $mysqli->escape_string($results['referrer']);
	$user_agent = $mysqli->escape_string($results['userAgent']);
	// figure out if we should check the database for the first entry. This helps prevent 
	// duplicates. Use -f to override
	if ($checkDb) {
		$quotedDbTable = dbQuoteIdentifier($mysqli, $dbTable);
		$sql = <<<QQ
			SELECT TRUE FROM {$quotedDbTable}
		    remote_host = '{$remote_host}' AND
		    ident_user = '{$ident_user}' AND
		    auth_user = '{$auth_user}' AND
		    time_stamp = '{$timestamp}' AND
		    request_method = '{$method}' AND
		    request_uri = '{$url}' AND
		    request_protocol = '{$protocol}' AND
		    status = '{$status}' AND
		    bytes = '{$bytes}' AND
		    referer = '{$referrer}' AND
		    user_agent = '{$user_agent}'
		$queryResult = dbQuery($mysqli, $sql);
		if ($queryResult->num_rows > 0)
			die("Skipping file; the first entry of this log file already appears to be stored in the database. Use -f to override.\n");
		// check only the first row
		$checkDb = false;
	$logString = "{$remote_host}\t{$ident_user}\t{$auth_user}\t{$timestamp}\t{$method}\t{$url}\t{$protocol}\t{$status}\t{$bytes}\t{$referrer}\t{$user_agent}\n";
	fwrite($tmpFile, $logString);
// load data into database
$quotedFile = dbQuoteValue($mysqli, TMP_FILE);
$quotedDbTable = dbQuoteIdentifier($mysqli, $dbTable);
$sql = <<<QQ
LOAD DATA LOCAL INFILE {$quotedFile} INTO TABLE {$quotedDbTable}
dbQuery($mysqli, $sql);
// delete the tmp file after importing
 *************************      INTERNAL FUNCTIONS     *************************
 * processLine(): processes a line of a log file, returning an associative array
 * with the component parts
 * @param string $line the line of the log
 * @return array associative array of values from log file
function processLine($line) {
	$matches = array();
	// process the string. This regular expression was adapted from
	preg_match('/^(\S+) (\S+) (\S+) \[([^:]+):(\d+:\d+:\d+) ([^\]]+)\] "(\S+) (.+?) (\S+)" (\S+) (\S+) "([^"]+)" "([^"]+)"$/', $line, $matches);
	if (isset($matches[0])) {
		return array('fullString' => $matches[0],
		         'remoteHost' => $matches[1],
		         'identUser' => $matches[2],
		         'authUser' => $matches[3],
		         'date' => $matches[4],
		         'time' => $matches[5],
		         'timezone' => $matches[6],
		         'method' => $matches[7],
		         'url' => $matches[8],
		         'protocol' => $matches[9],
		         'status' => $matches[10],
		         'bytes' => $matches[11],
		         'referrer' => $matches[12],
		         'userAgent' => $matches[13]
	} else {
		return array();
 * displayUsage(): display a usage message and exit
function displayUsage() {
	$version = VERSION;
	echo <<<QQ
{$_SERVER['SCRIPT_NAME']} v{$version}: Imports an Apache combined log into a MySQL database.
Usage: mysql_httpd_log_import -d <database name> -t <table name> [options] < log_file_name
 -d <database name> The database to use; required
 -t <table name>    The name of the table in which to insert data; required
 -h <host name>     The host to connect to; default is localhost
 -u <username>      The user to connect as
 -p <password>      The user's password
 -c                 Create table if it doesn't exist
 -x                 Drop the existing table if it exists. Implies -c
 -f                 Force load; skip the duplicate check. By default, the software exits if
                    the first entry in a given file already exists in the database
 *************************      DATABASE FUNCTIONS     *************************
 * dbConnect(): connect to the database
 * @param string $dbHost
 * @param string $dbUser
 * @param string $dbPass
 * @param string $dbName
 * @return mysqli object
function dbConnect($dbHost, $dbUser, $dbPass, $dbName) {
	$mysqli = new mysqli($dbHost, $dbUser, $dbPass, $dbName);
	if ($mysqli->connect_error)
	    die('DB Connect Error (' . $mysqli->connect_errno . ') '. $mysqli->connect_error);
	return $mysqli;
 * dbQuery(): queries the DB; exits on error
 * @param mysqli $mysqli
 * @param string $query
 * @return result object
function dbQuery($mysqli, $query) {
	if (!$result = $mysqli->query($query))
		die('DB Error (' . $mysqli->errno . ') '. $mysqli->error);
	return $result;
 * dbQuoteValue(): quotes a value and makes it safe for inserting into
 * the database. Note this function DOES include surrounding quotes, but
 * only when necessary (e.g. O'Reilly will come back as 'O\'Reilly', while
 * 4.5 will come back as 4.5)
 * @param   mixed $value the value to be quoted
 * @param   bool  $alwaysQuote set to force a value to be surrounded by quotes,
 *                             no matter what type it is
 * @return  mixed the $value, ready for insertion into the SQL database
function dbQuoteValue($mysqli, $value, $alwaysQuote=false) {
	// check for magic quotes. these should just be off, so we throw an exception
	if (get_magic_quotes_gpc())
		die("magic_quotes_gpc is enabled. Please disable it.\n");
	if(!$alwaysQuote) {
		if (is_null($value)) {
			return 'NULL';
		} elseif (is_bool($value)) {
			return $value ? 'TRUE' : 'FALSE';
		} elseif (is_numeric($value)) {
			return $value;
	return "'" . $mysqli->escape_string($value) . "'";
  * dbQuoteIdentifier(): Quotes a string so it can be safely used as a table or
  * column name
  * @param mysqli $mysqli
  * @param string $value  the identifier name to be quoted
  * @return string  the quoted identifier
function dbQuoteIdentifier($mysqli, $value) {
	return '`' . $mysqli->escape_string($value) . "`";
 * dbCreateTable(): create the database table used to store log entries
 * @param result $mysqli MySQLi result resource
 * @param string $tableName
function dbCreateTable($mysqli, $tableName) {
	$quotedTableName = dbQuoteIdentifier($mysqli, $tableName, true);
	$sql = <<<QQ
		CREATE TABLE {$quotedTableName} (
		    `remote_host` VARCHAR(50),
		    `ident_user` VARCHAR(50),
		    `auth_user` VARCHAR(50),
		    `time_stamp` TIMESTAMP,
		    `request_method` VARCHAR(10),
		    `request_uri` VARCHAR(1024),
		    `request_protocol` VARCHAR(10),
		    `status` INT,
		    `bytes` INT UNSIGNED,
		    `referer` VARCHAR(2048),
		    `user_agent` VARCHAR(2048),
		    `id` BIGINT auto_increment,
		    PRIMARY KEY (`id`)
		dbQuery($mysqli, $sql);

Discussion, Oct 27, 2009 05:35 PM

Thanks for this code. Save me some serious.

lanigan, Jan 25, 2011 04:51 PM

Great code! Thanks.

(Note, to get this to work for me, I had to move the 'id' column to the end of the table definition otherwise it corrupted the DATA LOAD by putting the remote_host into the id etc.)

dordal, Feb 15, 2011 12:12 AM


You're right. I've fixed this in the copy above. Thanks!

- David

Deniz Gezmis, Apr 15, 2011 07:26 PM

Hi there,

Good work. It would also be nice to consider error conditions in the script.
For example, if you get 'Error! Could not interpret ' sorts of statements, it could put those entries into a separate error file(s) to investigate later.

Tung, Jun 15, 2011 10:11 AM

Hi ,

I fixed some regex like below
preg_match('/^(\S+) (\S+) (\S+) \[([^:]+):(\d+:\d+:\d+) ([^\]]+)\] ”(\S+) (.+?) (\S+)” (\S+) (\S+) ”([^”]+)” ”([^”]+)“$/', $line, $matches);
preg_match('/^(\S+) (\S+) (\S+) \[([^:]+):(\d+:\d+:\d+) ([^\]]+)\] ”(\S+) (.+?) (\S+)” (\S+) (\S+) ”([^”]*?)” ”([^”]*?)“$/', $line, $matches);

Because “referrer” and “userAgent” will be empty (ex:””)
You sould use *? (0 or more,ungreedy)

bulgin, Oct 26, 2011 03:22 AM

getting error:

-bash: !@: event not found

when running this script.

bulgin, Oct 26, 2011 04:07 AM

Sorry, never mind got it running. bash error was the result of password issues. Thanks! Works great!

arcull, Apr 17, 2012 04:08 PM

Excelent job David, thanks for sharing:-)

Janina, Sep 12, 2012 07:00 PM

on August 7, 2006of course, it isn't *that* weird that PDO is sleowr. PDO is, as far as I can see it, more of a complete database abstraction layer than just an interface to mysql. mysql and mysqli are just focussing on mysql connectivity.Thus, when writing an application that is 100% guaranteed to always use mysql, using one of those interfaces will work better than PDO. But when you need the flexibility of a database abstraction layer, PDO will make your code much more solid and portable.

Taufik, Sep 12, 2012 07:28 PM

Name on March 17, 2007Pdo may be slower but mysql\mysqli only allow cotincenons to mysql and this does not cut it when you want your application to be able to support multiple databases.Correct me if I am wrong but dont most abstraction layers get their performance from using extensions such as mysql\mysqli\pgsql. These are faster than pdo and would probably explain the benchmarks combined with a few other things I wont get into

Rory Slegtenhorst, Sep 27, 2012 09:03 AM

I realize that this post is rather old, but I'm going to ask anyways:

when trying this on Ubuntu 12.04 with MySQL 5.5.24 and PHP 5.3.10, I receive the following error:

The used command is not allowed with this MySQL version

Any idea's on how to get around this?

Gerard Dijkstra, Oct 18, 2012 11:32 AM

In this script the mysql “LOAD DATA LOCAL” is used to insert all the records. There are two possible errors: Maybe you have not granted the mysql-user you are using LOAD or INSERT rights on that datbase or your LOAD DATA LOCAL is not allowed as default. Take alook here: or here:

Maybe you have to edit the mysql.cnf… dont forget to restart the mysql server.

colin roald, Oct 24, 2012 08:25 PM

Super useful. Thanks!

Note, I ran into a line in my logs with an empty referer (”” instead of ”-”, I don't know why), so I changed the processLine regex to

preg_match('/^(\S+) (\S+) (\S+) \[([^:]+):(\d+:\d+:\d+) ([^\]]+)\] ”(\S+) (.+?) (\S+)” (\S+) (\S+) ”([^”]*)” ”([^”]+)“$/', $line, $matches);

colin roald, Oct 24, 2012 08:27 PM

I also changed the error line to

echo "[warning] Skipping line; could not interpret: ".$line;

to make it a little more clear what was happening, and the severity.

Gerard Dijkstra, Oct 27, 2012 02:20 PM

If you don't want duplicate records(rows) by using option -f if you are adding to the table and you don't want to rebuild (option -x) the table you can add this little code (behind the create table) in the dbCreateTable function:

$sql = <<<QQ
	CREATE UNIQUE INDEX `time_ip_uri` ON {$quotedTableName} (
	dbQuery($mysqli, $sql);

This will inhibit duplicates on the specified unique key at DATA LOAD time.
I am now working on the so called apache log 408 errors which are not written in the table.

test182.156.92.82, Apr 5, 2016 11:07 AM

Saved me lot of time

test172.97.154.121, Feb 8, 2017 04:47 PM

Thanks so much. Incredibly useful, a huge time saver.

Well written and commented. Beautiful.

test89.216.30.197, Mar 2, 2017 05:40 PM

The code works like a charm! Thank you very much.

test71.190.148.218, Jul 25, 2017 12:36 PM

Thanks so much for this awesome
i did a change of the script to import also haproxy logs
i would like to ask if i can upload your script with my change on github and write all your reference.
please let me know

test212.225.233.185, Jan 20, 2018 05:01 PM

Thank you so much.

I just want to point out that because of Windows Return Carriage I had to change line 65 for:

$line = trim(fgets(STDIN));

Hope this helps windows users.

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