Last updated on October 28, 2016

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Journal is a fast, simple, asynchronous Scala library for logging, based on SLF4J. It uses Logback as the default backend, but you can supply any backend you want.

Getting Started

Using Journal is simple:

Step 1: Add the dependency to your project

libraryDependencies += "io.verizon.journal" %% "core" % "x.x.+"

(check for the latest release by looking on Maven Central)

Step 2: Configure the logger

You'll need the logback.xml file to actually tell the SLF4J implementation (Logback in this instance) what to do:

logback.xml OR logger.xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<configuration scan="false" debug="false">
  <appender name="stdout" class="ch.qos.logback.core.ConsoleAppender">
      <pattern>%highlight([%level]) %logger{10} %X{example} %X{another}  - %msg%n</pattern>
  <root level="DEBUG">
    <appender-ref ref="stdout" />

This is a very basic configuration. For more good stuff on the appender configuration, read the more detailed section below.

Important: Remember that at deploy time you need to ensure that you actually tell your running process where the logback.xml file is. The one you package in your JAR is likely to be suitable for local development and not a lot else. With this in mind, ensure you configure your deploy process to set the parameter below:


Step 3: Log your little heart out!

With those setup steps done, you're good to go. Now you can use the logger within your code. Here's a short example:

import journal._

object Foo {
  val log = Logger[this.type]
  def main(args: Array[String]): Unit = {"COWS!")
    // Your application code here

That's all there is to it.

Log Levels

There's a range of methods on the log instance (in order of log level precedence):

error(msg: => String): Unit
error(msg: => String, t: => Throwable): Unit

info(msg: => String): Unit
info(msg: => String, t: => Throwable): Unit

warn(msg: => String): Unit
warn(msg: => String, t: => Throwable): Unit

debug(msg: => String): Unit
debug(msg: => String, t: => Throwable): Unit

This is the standard fare in terms of log levels. There is no "trace" level because it's not often clear what "trace" offers over "debug" and people get the two confused. So we just excluded it altogether.

There are no methods to check whether certain log levels are enabled. You should never need to do that. The logger is implemented using macros to ensure that it has extremely low overhead if the log level in question is not enabled. So you can log as much as you like without affecting performance.


There is no need to shut down your logger at the end. The logger uses a bounded pool of daemon threads that will be shut down automatically when your program terminates.

Because it uses a thread pool, calling the methods on the logger does not block your own thread. It returns control back to you immediately.

Migration & Improvements

If you're migrating from another logging system, the API has the following differences: