[c#] How do I do logging in C# without using 3rd party libraries?

I would like to implement logging in my application, but would rather not use any outside frameworks like log4net.

So I would like to do something like DOS's echo to a file. What is the most effective way to do it?

Is there a way to log unhandled exceptions logged without using an outside framework?

This question is related to c# .net winforms performance logging

The answer is


If you want your own custom Error Logging you can easily write your own code. I'll give you a snippet from one of my projects.

public void SaveLogFile(object method, Exception exception)
{
    string location = Environment.GetFolderPath(Environment.SpecialFolder.ApplicationData) + @"\FolderName\";
    try
    {
        //Opens a new file stream which allows asynchronous reading and writing
        using (StreamWriter sw = new StreamWriter(new FileStream(location + @"log.txt", FileMode.Append, FileAccess.Write, FileShare.ReadWrite)))
        {
            //Writes the method name with the exception and writes the exception underneath
            sw.WriteLine(String.Format("{0} ({1}) - Method: {2}", DateTime.Now.ToShortDateString(), DateTime.Now.ToShortTimeString(), method.ToString()));
            sw.WriteLine(exception.ToString()); sw.WriteLine("");
        }
    }
    catch (IOException)
    {
        if (!File.Exists(location + @"log.txt"))
        {
            File.Create(location + @"log.txt");
        }
    }
}

Then to actually write to the error log just write (q being the caught exception)

SaveLogFile(MethodBase.GetCurrentMethod(), `q`);

If you are looking for a real simple way to log, you can use this one liner. If the file doesn't exist, it's created.

System.IO.File.AppendAllText(@"c:\log.txt", "mymsg\n");

I would rather not use any outside frameworks like log4j.net.

Why? Log4net would probably address most of your requirements. For example check this class: RollingFileAppender.

Log4net is well documented and there are thousand of resources and use cases on the web.


I used to write my own error logging until I discovered ELMAH. I've never been able to get the emailing part down quite as perfectly as ELMAH does.


You can write directly to an event log. Check the following links:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307024
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.diagnostics.eventlog.aspx

And here's the sample from MSDN:

using System;
using System.Diagnostics;
using System.Threading;

class MySample{

    public static void Main(){

        // Create the source, if it does not already exist.
        if(!EventLog.SourceExists("MySource"))
        {
             //An event log source should not be created and immediately used.
             //There is a latency time to enable the source, it should be created
             //prior to executing the application that uses the source.
             //Execute this sample a second time to use the new source.
            EventLog.CreateEventSource("MySource", "MyNewLog");
            Console.WriteLine("CreatedEventSource");
            Console.WriteLine("Exiting, execute the application a second time to use the source.");
            // The source is created.  Exit the application to allow it to be registered.
            return;
        }

        // Create an EventLog instance and assign its source.
        EventLog myLog = new EventLog();
        myLog.Source = "MySource";

        // Write an informational entry to the event log.    
        myLog.WriteEntry("Writing to event log.");

    }
}

If you want to stay close to .NET check out Enterprise Library Logging Application Block. Look here. Or for a quickstart tutorial check this. I have used the Validation application Block from the Enterprise Library and it really suits my needs and is very easy to "inherit" (install it and refrence it!) in your project.


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