GoAccess -a fab tool for quick Web Analysis on Linux

I was looking for linux Web Analysis tools and came across GoAccess. I found it’s recommended on a cybercitibiz site (Gite,2021).

On Linux Ubuntu 18.04 you can install it from the debian repository. Open Terminal and type

sudo install goaccess

This will run the install script and install goaccess on your system. To get help type

goaccess –help

To do something useful you need to point it at a web server log file. I am using a LAMP configuration for my test web server (Linux Apache MySql and PHP) . The log files here are located at /var/log/apache2/access.log where access.log is the name of the log file. If you have virtual hosts running you may have setup separate log files for each virtual host which is a good idea.

You can download remote web server log files to your local linux and view them in the goacess application.

To view the log file in goaccess run

goaccess -f/path/to/logfile/access.log

example: goaccess -f/var/log/apache2/access.log

Note: If any of your directory names contains a space or spaces enclose it in quotes or goaccess will encounter a parsing error.

The following screen should come up.

GoAccess initial selection screen- GoAccess is a light weight web traffic analysis Terminal tool for Linux

Pressing enter gives you the Analysis view shown below.

GoAccess Analysis of log file from a web server

I think it is an excellent tool for giving you some idea quickly, on what’s happening on your web site.

In my February log file snapshot, you can see that I had 3748 unique visitors and unfortunately no referrals (referrers). Referrals are when visitors come to your site through a link of your website on another site.

I think it is an really excellent tool! It’s small in size, just over 2Mb and easy on processor resources. And you don’t have to pass your or your client’s data to a third party like Google. Having mentioned Google , there is Google Analytics which is a full blown web analytics application. It is free. The down side is google have access all your web server traffic and activity.

There are Open Source Web Analytics alternatives which I am going to look into but for the moment I am happy with just GoAccess.

Sources: 7 Awesome Open Source Analytics Software For Linux and Unix – nixCraft , https://goaccess.io/