Getting Started


Component: NServiceBus
NuGet Package: NServiceBus (7.x)

Default Logging

NServiceBus has a built-in logging mechanism that does not depend on any external libraries. While limited in terms of available log targets, this built-in mechanism is production-ready and offers defaults that are reasonable for most deployments. The built-in framework is available and used as default in all NServiceBus hosting modes (e.g. self-hosting or Windows Service). Regardless of if the built-in logging or a custom logging library is used under the hood, the NServiceBus logging abstractions can be used for logging in the user code. By default NServiceBus has three log targets configured:


All Info (and above) messages are written to the current console if one is available in the hosting environment.

Errors will be written with ConsoleColor.Red. Warnings will be written with ConsoleColor.DarkYellow. All other message will be written with ConsoleColor.White.


All Warn (and above) messages are written to Trace.WriteLine and therefore can be forwarded to any trace listener.

Rolling file

All Info (and above) messages are written to file. NServiceBus maintains up to 10 log files, each up to 10 MB in size. When the current file becomes full, NServiceBus automatically switches to the next one. If all ten files are full, the oldest file is overwritten.

The default logging directory is HttpContext.Current.Server.MapPath("~/App_Data/") for websites and AppDomain.CurrentDomain.BaseDirectory for all other processes.

The default file name is nsb_log_yyyy-MM-dd_N.txt, where N is a sequence number for when the log file reaches the max size.

Changing the defaults

The built-in logging mechanism allows customizing the logging directory and applying a global filter/threshold for log entries.

Changing the Logging Level

Each log entry is associated with a level that describes how important and critical that entry is. The built-in levels are following (in order of increasing importance)

  • Debug
  • Info
  • Warn
  • Error
  • Fatal

Configuring the global threshold to one of the levels described above means that all messages below that level are discarded. For example setting the threshold value to Warn means that only Warn, Error and Fatal messages are written.

The LogManager class is the entry point for the logging configuration. If needed, it allows using custom logging integrations (see below). It also allows customization of the default built-in logging. The Use generic method returns the LoggingFactoryDefinition-derived object that provides the customization APIs.

var defaultFactory = LogManager.Use<DefaultFactory>();

Changing the log path

var defaultFactory = LogManager.Use<DefaultFactory>();

Custom Logging

For custom logging it is recommended to use the Microsoft.Extensions.Logging package with a supported provider.

When to configure logging

It is important to configure logging before any endpoint configuration is done since logging is configured in the static context of each NServiceBus class. It should be configured as early as possible at the startup of the app. For example

Additional exception data

Starting from NServiceBus version 7.2, exceptions from message processing might contain additional error information in the Exception.Data property. While the default logger exposes this information automatically, other loggers might require additional configuration.

Custom behaviors can provide additional exception data by adding information to the Exception.Data property.

Unit testing

Unit testing of logging is supported by the NServiceBus.Testing library.


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