Pragmatism in the real world

Simple logging of ZF2 exceptions

I recently had a problem with a ZF2 based website where users were reporting seeing the error page displayed, but I couldn’t reproduce in testing. To find this problem I decided to log every exception to a file so I could then go back and work out what was happening. In a standard ZF2 application, the easiest way to do this is to add a listener to the ‘dispatch.error’ event and log using ZendLog.

To do this, I started with the Application’s Module class and added an event listener:

    public function onBootstrap($e)
        $eventManager = $e->getApplication()->getEventManager();
        $eventManager->attach('dispatch.error', function($event){
            $exception = $event->getResult()->exception;
            if ($exception) {
                $sm = $event->getApplication()->getServiceManager();
                $service = $sm->get('ApplicationServiceErrorHandling');

This code attaches an anonymous function to the ‘dispatch.error’ event which retrieves the exception from the event’s result and passes it to the logException() method in an ErrorHandling class. We retrieve ErrorHandling from the service manager which allows us to inject an instance of ZendLog into it:

    public function getServiceConfig()
        return array(
            'factories' => array(
                'ApplicationServiceErrorHandling' =>  function($sm) {
                    $logger = $sm->get('ZendLog');
                    $service = new ErrorHandlingService($logger);
                    return $service;
                'ZendLog' => function ($sm) {
                    $filename = 'log_' . date('F') . '.txt';
                    $log = new Logger();
                    $writer = new LogWriterStream('./data/logs/' . $filename);

                    return $log;

There’s obviously a few use statements at the top of the file for this to work:

use ApplicationServiceErrorHandling as ErrorHandlingService;
use ZendLogLogger;
use ZendLogWriterStream as LogWriterStream;

The logging itself is done within the ErrorHandling class:

namespace ApplicationService;

class ErrorHandling
    protected $logger;

    function __construct($logger)
        $this->logger = $logger;

    function logException(Exception $e)
        $trace = $e->getTraceAsString();
        $i = 1;
        do {
            $messages[] = $i++ . ": " . $e->getMessage();
        } while ($e = $e->getPrevious());

        $log = "Exception:n" . implode("n", $messages);
        $log .= "nTrace:n" . $trace;


The logException method simply creates a string containing the exception’s message along with any previous exception messages and the trace. We then call the Log‘s err method to store the log and can peruse at our leisure.

Update: I have updated the logException method to use a do..while() loop as it’s neater and doesn’t cause a an out-of-memory error that the previous code did. That is, it’s a good idea to reuse the same variable when calling getPrevious()!

9 thoughts on “Simple logging of ZF2 exceptions

  1. There's two improvements I'd make to this: in your listener, instead of pulling the SM from the application, and the application from the event, I'd likely compose it in; also, return early if no exception is present, and do the body of the work in the function body:

    $application = $e->getTarget();
    $eventManager = $application->getEventManager();
    $services = $application->getServiceManager();
    $eventManager->attach('dispatch.error', function ($event) use ($services) {
        $exception = $event->getResult()->exception;
        if (!$exception) {
        $service = $services->get('ApplicationServiceErrorHandling');

    All told, great post!

  2. Rob,

    I'm trying to incorporate this into the zend skeleton application, but i'm having a problem.

    In the skeleton application the onBootstrap function has the following two lines;

    $moduleRouteListener = new ModuleRouteListener();

    these seem to be prevent your event handler from firing. Do you know why that is?

  3. Hello,

    thanks for the script but i get an Error
    Fatal error: Class 'ApplicationServiceErrorHandling' not found in /usr/local/zend/var/apps/http/dialog/module/Application/Module.php on line 91

    How can i fix it?

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