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Stack Trace Filter

Stack traces provide valuable diagnostic details to find causes for exceptions. Sometimes stack traces contain way too much details (like AOP classes, lots of java and javax classes). logstash-gelf provides a built-in stack trace filter to filter out the noise out of stack traces.

Original stack trace

javax.servlet.ServletException: Something bad happened
    at com.example.myproject.OpenSessionInViewFilter.doFilter(OpenSessionInViewFilter.java:60)
    at org.mortbay.jetty.servlet.ServletHandler$CachedChain.doFilter(ServletHandler.java:1157)
    at com.example.myproject.ExceptionHandlerFilter.doFilter(ExceptionHandlerFilter.java:28)
    at org.mortbay.jetty.servlet.ServletHandler$CachedChain.doFilter(ServletHandler.java:1157)
    at com.example.myproject.OutputBufferFilter.doFilter(OutputBufferFilter.java:33)
    at org.mortbay.jetty.servlet.ServletHandler$CachedChain.doFilter(ServletHandler.java:1157)
    at org.mortbay.jetty.servlet.ServletHandler.handle(ServletHandler.java:388)
    at org.mortbay.jetty.security.SecurityHandler.handle(SecurityHandler.java:216)
    at org.mortbay.jetty.servlet.SessionHandler.handle(SessionHandler.java:182)
    at org.mortbay.jetty.handler.ContextHandler.handle(ContextHandler.java:765)
    at org.mortbay.jetty.webapp.WebAppContext.handle(WebAppContext.java:418)
    at org.mortbay.jetty.handler.HandlerWrapper.handle(HandlerWrapper.java:152)
    at org.mortbay.jetty.Server.handle(Server.java:326)
    at org.mortbay.jetty.HttpConnection.handleRequest(HttpConnection.java:542)
    at org.mortbay.jetty.HttpConnection$RequestHandler.content(HttpConnection.java:943)
    at org.mortbay.jetty.HttpParser.parseNext(HttpParser.java:756)
    at org.mortbay.jetty.HttpParser.parseAvailable(HttpParser.java:218)
    at org.mortbay.jetty.HttpConnection.handle(HttpConnection.java:404)
    at org.mortbay.jetty.bio.SocketConnector$Connection.run(SocketConnector.java:228)
    at org.mortbay.thread.QueuedThreadPool$PoolThread.run(QueuedThreadPool.java:582)
Caused by: com.example.myproject.MyProjectServletException
    at com.example.myproject.MyServlet.doPost(MyServlet.java:169)
    at javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:727)
    at javax.servlet.http.HttpServlet.service(HttpServlet.java:820)
    at org.mortbay.jetty.servlet.ServletHolder.handle(ServletHolder.java:511)
    at org.mortbay.jetty.servlet.ServletHandler$CachedChain.doFilter(ServletHandler.java:1166)
    at com.example.myproject.OpenSessionInViewFilter.doFilter(OpenSessionInViewFilter.java:30)
    ... 27 more
Caused by: org.hibernate.exception.ConstraintViolationException: could not insert: [com.example.myproject.MyEntity]
    at org.hibernate.exception.SQLStateConverter.convert(SQLStateConverter.java:96)
    at org.hibernate.exception.JDBCExceptionHelper.convert(JDBCExceptionHelper.java:66)
    at org.hibernate.id.insert.AbstractSelectingDelegate.performInsert(AbstractSelectingDelegate.java:64)
    at org.hibernate.persister.entity.AbstractEntityPersister.insert(AbstractEntityPersister.java:2329)
    at org.hibernate.persister.entity.AbstractEntityPersister.insert(AbstractEntityPersister.java:2822)
    at org.hibernate.action.EntityIdentityInsertAction.execute(EntityIdentityInsertAction.java:71)
    at org.hibernate.engine.ActionQueue.execute(ActionQueue.java:268)
    at org.hibernate.event.def.AbstractSaveEventListener.performSaveOrReplicate(AbstractSaveEventListener.java:321)
    at org.hibernate.event.def.AbstractSaveEventListener.performSave(AbstractSaveEventListener.java:204)
    at org.hibernate.event.def.AbstractSaveEventListener.saveWithGeneratedId(AbstractSaveEventListener.java:130)
    at org.hibernate.event.def.DefaultSaveOrUpdateEventListener.saveWithGeneratedOrRequestedId(DefaultSaveOrUpdateEventListener.java:210)
    at org.hibernate.event.def.DefaultSaveEventListener.saveWithGeneratedOrRequestedId(DefaultSaveEventListener.java:56)
    at org.hibernate.event.def.DefaultSaveOrUpdateEventListener.entityIsTransient(DefaultSaveOrUpdateEventListener.java:195)
    at org.hibernate.event.def.DefaultSaveEventListener.performSaveOrUpdate(DefaultSaveEventListener.java:50)
    at org.hibernate.event.def.DefaultSaveOrUpdateEventListener.onSaveOrUpdate(DefaultSaveOrUpdateEventListener.java:93)
    at org.hibernate.impl.SessionImpl.fireSave(SessionImpl.java:705)
    at org.hibernate.impl.SessionImpl.save(SessionImpl.java:693)
    at org.hibernate.impl.SessionImpl.save(SessionImpl.java:689)
    at sun.reflect.GeneratedMethodAccessor5.invoke(Unknown Source)
    at sun.reflect.DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.invoke(DelegatingMethodAccessorImpl.java:25)
    at java.lang.reflect.Method.invoke(Method.java:597)
    at org.hibernate.context.ThreadLocalSessionContext$TransactionProtectionWrapper.invoke(ThreadLocalSessionContext.java:344)
    at $Proxy19.save(Unknown Source)
    at com.example.myproject.MyEntityService.save(MyEntityService.java:59) <-- relevant call (see notes below)
    at com.example.myproject.MyServlet.doPost(MyServlet.java:164)
    ... 32 more
Caused by: java.sql.SQLException: Violation of unique constraint MY_ENTITY_UK_1: duplicate value(s) for column(s) MY_COLUMN in statement [...]
    at org.hsqldb.jdbc.Util.throwError(Unknown Source)
    at org.hsqldb.jdbc.jdbcPreparedStatement.executeUpdate(Unknown Source)
    at com.mchange.v2.c3p0.impl.NewProxyPreparedStatement.executeUpdate(NewProxyPreparedStatement.java:105)
    at org.hibernate.id.insert.AbstractSelectingDelegate.performInsert(AbstractSelectingDelegate.java:57)
    ... 54 more

Filtered stack trace

 javax.servlet.ServletException: Something bad happened
     at com.example.myproject.OpenSessionInViewFilter.doFilter(OpenSessionInViewFilter.java:60)
         1 line skipped for [org.mortbay.jetty]
     at com.example.myproject.ExceptionHandlerFilter.doFilter(ExceptionHandlerFilter.java:28)
         1 line skipped for [org.mortbay.jetty]
     at com.example.myproject.OutputBufferFilter.doFilter(OutputBufferFilter.java:33)
         14 lines skipped for [org.mortbay.jetty]
 Caused by: com.example.myproject.MyProjectServletException
     at com.example.myproject.MyServlet.doPost(MyServlet.java:169)
         4 lines skipped for [org.mortbay.jetty, javax.servlet]
     at com.example.myproject.OpenSessionInViewFilter.doFilter(OpenSessionInViewFilter.java:30)
     ... 27 more
 Caused by: org.hibernate.exception.ConstraintViolationException: could not insert: [com.example.myproject.MyEntity]
         22 lines skipped for [org.hibernate, sun.reflect, java.lang.reflect]
     at $Proxy19.save(Unknown Source)
     at com.example.myproject.MyEntityService.save(MyEntityService.java:59) <-- relevant call (see notes below)
     at com.example.myproject.MyServlet.doPost(MyServlet.java:164)
     ... 32 more
 Caused by: java.sql.SQLException: Violation of unique constraint MY_ENTITY_UK_1: duplicate value(s) for column(s) MY_COLUMN in statement [...]
     at org.hsqldb.jdbc.Util.throwError(Unknown Source)
     at org.hsqldb.jdbc.jdbcPreparedStatement.executeUpdate(Unknown Source)
     at com.mchange.v2.c3p0.impl.NewProxyPreparedStatement.executeUpdate(NewProxyPreparedStatement.java:105)
         1 line skipped for [org.hibernate]
     ... 54 more

Filter configuration

The filter can be configured in StackTraceFilter.packages which has to be available on the class path (default package). Defaults apply if StackTraceFilter.packages is absent.

Default configuration file

org.h2
org.apache.catalina
org.apache.coyote
org.apache.tomcat
com.arjuna
org.apache.cxf
org.hibernate
org.junit
org.jboss
java.lang.reflect.Method
sun.
com.sun
org.eclipse
junit.framework
com.sun.faces
javax.faces
org.richfaces
org.apache.el
javax.servlet

The format of StackTraceFilter.packages is one package prefix per line. Every entry is tested against startsWith. These are not regular expressions, and the entries do not support wildcards.

Verbose logging

You can turn on verbose logging to inspect the discovery of StackTraceFilter.packages by setting the system property logstash-gelf.StackTraceFilter.verbose to true.

Advanced Stack Trace Extraction

extractStackTrace allows an extended configuration to specify a positional reference of exceptions. You can specify a positional throwable reference by setting extractStackTrace to a numerical value. Throwable reference specifies a position inside the exception cause chain.

A reference of 0 corresponds with true and will extract the whole stack trace. Any positive value will walk the cause chain. So 1 corresponds with exception.getCause(), 2 with exception.getCause().getCause() (you’ll get the idea). If the reference value is greater than causes are available, walking up the chain is capped at the last found exception.

Negative values walk the exception chain from the root cause side. -1 will extract the root cause, -2 the exception wrapping the root cause.