nlog Getting started with nlog

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NLog is a free logging library for .NET. It is licensed under BSD-3, meaning it can be used in commercial applications.

NLog's source can be found at GitHub


Major versions:

versionrelease notesrelease date
4release notes2015-06-09
3release notes2014-06-02
2release notes2011-07-18
1release notes2011-01-07

Writing first logs

Install the NLog.Config package. (NuGet 3 users should install NLog and add the config manually.) Write to logger:

using NLog;

public class MyClass
  private static Logger logger = LogManager.GetCurrentClassLogger();

  public void MyMethod1()
    logger.Trace("Sample trace message");
    logger.Debug("Sample debug message");
    logger.Info("Sample informational message");
    logger.Warn("Sample warning message");
    logger.Error("Sample error message");
    logger.Fatal("Sample fatal error message");

    // alternatively you can call the Log() method 
    // and pass log level as the parameter.
    logger.Log(LogLevel.Info, "Sample informational message");

    catch(Exception ex)
       //example writing exception
      logger.Error(ex, "Error when sending mail");

This example config should be added with the NLog.Config package. Otherwise add the following to the root of the application - or next to the .dll as "nlog.config"

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<nlog xmlns=""
      xsi:schemaLocation=" NLog.xsd"
      internalLogLevel="Off" internalLogFile="c:\temp\nlog-internal.log">

  <!-- optional, add some variables
  <variable name="myvar" value="myvalue"/>

  for information on customizing logging rules and outputs.

    add your targets here
    See for possible targets.
    See for the possible layout renderers.

    <!--  Write events to a file with the date in the filename.  -->
    <target xsi:type="File" name="f" fileName="${basedir}/logs/${shortdate}.log"
            layout="${longdate} ${uppercase:${level}} ${message} ${exception}" />

    <!-- add your logging rules here -->

    Write all events with minimal level of Debug (So Debug, Info, Warn, Error and Fatal, but not Trace)  to "f"  -->
    <logger name="*" minlevel="Debug" writeTo="f" />

The config writes the log messages to a file.

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