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Logging in Protocol Gateway

Protocol Gateway logs to two different types of logs: trace logs and message dump logs. Logging is mainly configured in <configroot>/conf/

About <configroot>

<configroot> corresponds to the following paths: 

Windows <configroot>
Linux <configroot>

Log File Locations

Log files are normally stored under the <var>/logs which resolves to: 

  • /var/cm-gateway/logs on Linux
  • %ALLUSERSPROFILE%/Nexus/cm-gateway/logs on Windows

Log Settings

The server logging is based on the Java logging subsystem which uses the concepts of Loggers and Handlers. Loggers are the sources of log records to which the server application append log entries. A logger forwards log entries to a handler which is responsible for outputting the message to some log target such as text file. A handler configuration also defines the log target location, output format etc. Also, every log record is logged on a specific level and log records may be dropped by a logger or handler based on configured level.

A logger is defined with a level and the handler(s) to which the logger forwards events. Parameters are optionally prefixed with the logger name, for example the logger named com.nexusgroup can be configured as follows:

com.nexusgroup.level = FINE
.handlers =

A handler is defined with a formatter, level and optionally handler specific parameters. Parameters are prefixed with the handler class name. For example, a file handler is defined as follows:

# File that rolls over each day = ${nexus.var}/logs = true = trace- = FINEST = java.util.logging.SimpleFormatter = ISO-8859-1

The formatter specifies the log record format, for example:

# <date> <time> <level>: <message><exception>
java.util.logging.SimpleFormatter.format = %1$tF %1$tT.%1$tL %4$s: %5$s%6$s%n

By default the error log (or “trace” log) logs possible errors and operational information. The error log logs through the file handler

The second log is created if the system encounters an error, that must be properly diagnosed. For this purpose there is a memory handler java.util.logging.MemoryHandler, that keeps all log records, up to the specified size and above the specified level, and writes them to a file when a trigger log is logged.

Changing the Log Level

Normally the log level is changed by changing the handler level parameter. But the level can be controlled also per logger. Log levels used in the product are:

  • SEVERE: Entries that may cause the server to stop responding are logged on this level.
  • WARNING: Log entries on this level indicate to the administrator that system adjustments might be needed.
  • INFO: Informative entries, mainly outputted during startup and shutdown.
  • FINE: Debug information entries.
  • FINER: Finer-grade debug information.
  • FINEST: The finest grade of debug information.

Changing log levels is only relevant for the error log. The level is changed by changing the level parameter of the trace handler.

Example: Enabling Trace Logging

To get the most comprehensive information to be logged into trace.log, set the following property in

.level = FINEST

Or to get a full trace for only a specific protocol:


Masking Personal Data In Logs

If the data that is being processed by Protocol Gateway contains personal data, such as names or otherwise sensitive information about persons, this data might be affected by the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In standard PGW configuration, the operational logs will contain data such as "common name" of issued certificates, which could be considered sensitive in some use-cases. 

In order to comply with GDPR, Protocol Gateway can be configured to not log personal data in its operational log files. This is done by enabling the following configuration option in

hidePersonalDataInLogs = true

The effect of enabling the above configuration option is as follows:

  • CMC requests will not log the signer of the requests in the operational log, since this data could contain the signer's subject.
  • SCEP certificates will not be logged in the operational log, since the certificate details could include the certificate subject.
  • Certificates that are issued via certificate formats that use the TokenRequestCaller -modifier, will not be logged in the operational log, since the certificate details could include the certificate subject.

When enabling this option, also remember to update the configuration option in so that it does not include personal data such as cn (Common Name).

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