Reading time ∼2 mins

Request logging with morgan


This post is old. Some information may be inaccurate.

Table of contents

Imagine developing an Express application with several endpoints and remaining in the bind which of those were being used by the client application and when! Some form of logging can help in this situation, just to tell about the endpoint and the timestamp when it was requested by the client. Express makes this easy through morgan.


You can pick the Node.js application created in the post Using Express with TypeScript to follow this post.

Install dependencies for morgan

morgan is a request logger middleware for express. Install it in your project with the following command.

yarn add morgan
yarn add -D @types/morgan

If you want to save the logs in a file and rotate them daily, add rotating-file-stream as well.

yarn add rotating-file-stream

Add configurations for the logs

Add the following environment variables (through dotenv or environment variables of your system); these are locations of log files, log format and rolling durations.

MORGAN_LOG_FMT=[:date[iso]] :method :url :status :response-time ms - :res[content-length]

Create a file src/configuration/environment.ts and read these configurations in it.

// src/configuration/environment.ts

export const environment = {
  nodeEnv: process.env.ENV || process.env.NODE_ENV,
  logDir: process.env.LOG_DIR || 'logs',
  requestLogFile: process.env.MORGAN_LOG || 'requests.log',
  requestLogFormat: process.env.MORGAN_LOG_FMT || '[:date[iso]] :method :url :status :response-time ms - :res[content-length]',
  requestLogRollingInterval: process.env.MORGAN_LOG_ROLLING_INTERVAL || '1d'

Initialize the middleware for morgan

Create a file src/helper/request.logger.ts and add the following code.

// src/helper/request.logger.ts

import { Application } from 'express';
import morgan from 'morgan';
import { createStream } from 'rotating-file-stream';
import { environment } from '../configuration/environment';

// rotating stream for morgan
const accessLogStream = createStream(environment.requestLogFile, {
  interval: environment.requestLogRollingInterval,
  path: environment.logDir

// appenders for printing the logs to console and file
const consoleAppender = morgan(environment.requestLogFormat);
const fileAppender = morgan(environment.requestLogFormat, {
  stream: accessLogStream

// function to inject morgan in an express app
export const registerRequestLogger = (app: Application) => {

  // log to file only in `production`
  if (environment.nodeEnv === 'production') {

Here, we've used the configuration from environment.ts to initialize a console and file appender. When an express app is provided to the default function, these appenders will be injected to the app.

Enable request logging

Inject the appenders created above in the express app, as follows.

// src/server.ts

import express from 'express';
import { registerRequestLogger } from './helper/request.logger';
const app = express();
const port = 8080; // server port

// register morgan
// default route
app.get('/', (req, res) => res.json({
  message: 'Hello World!'

// server
app.listen(port, () => console.log(`Server started at http://localhost:${port}`));

Start the application; you should the request logs printed on console when the endpoints are consumed by a client (such as curl or Postman). Set the environment to production and morgan will print the logs in logs/requests.log file.


Source codemorgan-request-logging