Basic configuration of Log4j in Spring using a .properties file

There are 2 ways to configure Log4j in Spring using:

  • a .properties file
  • a .xml file

The configuration with the. xml file allows to take advantage of some aspects that can not be configured with the .properties file that is therefore regarded as obsolete.
This article will explain how to configure Log4j using the .properties file and the configuration with .xml file will be treated in a subsequent article.
The tools used for the development of this application are:

  • Java 1.6.0_22
  • Tomcat 6.0.20
  • Spring 3.0.4
  • Log4j 1.2.15
  • NetBeans 6.9
    1. Create a NetBeans project or in other IDE called HelloWorld (you can reuse the same project of a previous article)


    1. Add the following libraries in the directory /WEB-INF/lib:
      • commons-logging.jar
      • log4j-1.2.15.jar
      • org.springframework.aop-3.0.4.RELEASE.jar
      • org.springframework.asm-3.0.4.RELEASE.jar
      • org.springframework.aspects-3.0.4.RELEASE.jar
      • org.springframework.beans-3.0.4.RELEASE.jar
      • org.springframework.context-3.0.4.RELEASE.jar
      • org.springframework.core-3.0.4.RELEASE.jar
      • org.springframework.expression-3.0.4.RELEASE.jar
      • org.springframework.instrument-3.0.4.RELEASE.jar
      • org.springframework.instrument.tomcat-3.0.4.RELEASE.jar
      • org.springframework.jdbc-3.0.4.RELEASE.jar
      • org.springframework.jms-3.0.4.RELEASE.jar
      • org.springframework.orm-3.0.4.RELEASE.jar
      • org.springframework.oxm-3.0.4.RELEASE.jar
      • org.springframework.test-3.0.4.RELEASE.jar
      • org.springframework.transaction-3.0.4.RELEASE.jar
      • org.springframework.web-3.0.4.RELEASE.jar
      • org.springframework.web.portlet-3.0.4.RELEASE.jar
      • org.springframework.web.servlet-3.0.4.RELEASE.jar
      • org.springframework.web.struts-3.0.4.RELEASE.jar


    1. Create the file /WEB-INF/web.xml

      The specific section about LogjJ is contained in the tags context-param and listener.
      In the context-param tag you define the path to the .properties file to configure Log4j; if you use the standard name, Log4j would set itself without Log4jConfigListener and the variable webapp.root used in the file would not be defined.


    1. Create the file /WEB-INF/HelloWorld-servlet.xml


    1. Create the file /WEB-INF/classes/

      In this example I used the variable webapp.root but you can use others like catalina.home.


    1. Create the file index.jsp in the root of the application


    1. Create the directory /WEB-INF/views and the file /WEB-INF/views/helloWorld.jsp


    1. Create the file /WEB-INF/classes/it/helloworld/controller/


  1. Deploy and launch the application and verify the log in the console and in the file ${webapp.root}/WEB-INF/logs/helloworld.log

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