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In computer science, an error log is a record of critical errors that are encountered by the application, operating system or server while in operation. Some of the common entries in an error log include table corruption and configuration corruption. Error logs in many cases serve as extremely useful tools for troubleshooting and managing systems, servers and even networks.
Error logs for different applications, operating systems, networks or servers are set up in different ways. Some error logs are configured to capture every single error which occurs in the system, whereas some are designed to selectively store error information pertaining to specific error codes. Some error logs only capture certain information about the error, whereas others are programmed to capture all available information such as timestamp, system information, user location and user entry. In many cases, access to error logs need special administrative rights, as these would help as a security measure against providing access to unauthorized resources or users from seeing the error documentation or details.
Error logs are useful in many respects. In the case of servers and office networks, error logs track issues faced by users and help in root causes analysis of those issues. A network or system administrator can resolve errors more quickly and easily with the information available from the error logs. For webmasters, error log analysis provides information about the issues users encounter and can proactively resolve issues without anyone reporting on them. Error logs also could provide insights on hacking attempts, as most hacking attempts on systems and servers result in error or have a high probability of being captured in error logs as the hackers attempt to compromise the system.