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Go Access - Easy Page Statistics Dashboard

Example GoAccess Widget


Option 1 - Visitors

Hey there! In this post, I am going to quickly explain, how one can find the count of unique visitors on any server running nginx.

This how-to has been tested on Ubuntu Server 18.04.2 LTS.

To reach this goal, we are going to use the tool Visitors. We will have to download the sourcecode, compile it to a usable program and feed it our access.log1.

Lets go.

  1. Create a new directory where you want to place visitors.

  2. cd into this directory and download the sourcecode. At the time of writing, the current version is 0.7.

    cd ~/your/path && wget
  3. This archive needs to be unzipped..

    tar -xzvf visitors-0.7.tar.gz
  4. The sourcecode needs to be compiled.

    • If make fails or you are unable to execute it, your machine needs the essential build tools.

      # as sudo
      apt-get install build-essential
  5. We are now able to let visitors parse the access.log1 and generate a report.html file.

    ~/your/path/visitors_0.7/visitors /var/log/nginx/access.log > report.html

If done correctly, Visitors will have written its report into the report.html file inside its root folder. cd ~/your/path/visitors_0.7/.

Since you are most likely on a commandline only machine, you will need a handy solution to view this .html file. For this, we will be using Lynx - a text only webbrowser.

All common distributions will have Lynx in its repository. Therefore one can easily install it via the following command:

apt-get install lynx

Feeding Lynx our report.html, gives you the opportunity to step through the report, using your keyboard.

The page will look similar to this: lynx example

Text written in Green, represent links.

Using your keyboard, right will follow this link, whereas left will go back. up and down let you navigate your cursor. Quit with Q.

As you can see in the above screenshot, lynx will analyse and group its results by day, month and pages as well as other files. Feel free to explore!

Option 2 - GoAccess Dashboard


To run the generation commands successfully, make sure that you have zcat and goaccess installed and available on your $PATH.

Simple CLI static generation

zcat -f /var/log/nginx/access.log.*.gz | 
goaccess /var/log/nginx/access.log -
-o /var/www/goaccess/report.html

Automatic, scheduled script generation

The following script runs based on a .env millisecond schedule. It generates a single .html goaccess dashboard file for each "group" of nginx log files. All generated .html dashboard files will be writte to /var/www/goaccess/<your-app-name/report.file. You can either visit them directly or build a small dashboard which links to each - for example.

You can specify the nginx output file name in the nginx config like this:

server {
access_log /var/log/nginx/my-app-1/access.log;
error_log /var/log/nginx/my-app-1/error.log;



const dotenvParseOutput = require('dotenv').config()
const {exec} = require('child_process');
const fs = require('fs');
const _ = require('lodash');

const TIMER_MS = process.env.TIMER_MS;

* List of nginx apps / single sites to track. Each app needs to correspond to the
* /var/log/nginx/<appName>/access.log path <appName> variable.
* @type {string[]}
const APPS = [
'unsorted' // all "other" non categoriesd nginx logs

const basePathLogs = "/var/log/nginx";
const accessLog = "/access.log";
const accessLogWildcard = accessLog + ".*.gz";

function getAccessLogPath(appName, isWildcard) {
const appPath = appName === 'unsorted' ? '' : appName;
const base = basePathLogs + "/" + appPath + accessLog;
const wildcard = basePathLogs + "/" + appPath + accessLogWildcard;

return isWildcard ? wildcard : base;

const basePathReports = "/var/www/goaccess";
const reportFile = "/report.html";

function getReportPath(appName) {
return basePathReports + "/" + appName + reportFile;

* Creates the goaccess --ws-url option string for a given app
* @param appName
* @returns {string}
function getHtmlTitle(appName) {
return "--html-report-title=" + appName + "_statistics";

const logFormat = "--log-format=COMBINED";

* Example: zcat -f /var/log/nginx/access.log.*.gz | goaccess /var/log/nginx/access.log - -o /var/www/goaccess/report.html --log-format=COMBINED --html-report-title=cffc_statistics
* Create a goaccess report.html for the given app and its access.log location
* @param appName -> the apps name
function buildCommand(appName) {
const cmdLogWildcardPath = getAccessLogPath(appName, true)
const cmdLogPath = getAccessLogPath(appName, false)
const reportPath = getReportPath(appName);

const commandFragments = [];
commandFragments.push('zcat -f')

return commandFragments.join(" ");

function start() {
console.log("If not installed, please install zcat/gzip and goaccess manually! \n");

* Check if nginx log path and goaccess output report path exist {@link APPS}.
* Create if not.
function checkPaths() {
function getPathOnly(filePath) {
return filePath.substring(0, filePath.lastIndexOf("/"));

_.forEach(APPS, function (app) {
const ACCESS_LOG_PATH = getPathOnly(getAccessLogPath(app, false));
const REPORT_PATH = getPathOnly(getReportPath(app));

console.log("Check and create path for: ", ACCESS_LOG_PATH);
console.log("Check and create path for: ", REPORT_PATH);

fs.mkdirSync(ACCESS_LOG_PATH, {recursive: true});
fs.mkdirSync(REPORT_PATH, {recursive: true});

* Execute goaccess report html generation for each given appname / path segment
function schedule() {
const commands =, buildCommand);

setInterval(() => {
_.forEach(commands, function (command) {
const cmd = exec(command, function (error, stdout, stderr) {
if (error) {
console.log('Error code: ' + error.code);
console.log('Signal received: ' + error.signal);
} else {

cmd.on('exit', function (code) {
// do nothing

// start the app

Thanks for reading!



  1. Default location /var/log/nginx/access.log 2