Commons logging configuration under WebSphere

Sometimes you want to customize logging level for given package in your application (to see tracing details for example). If you're using commons-logging library the configuration file is called "" and it should be places somewhere on classpath.


Then we can configure SimpleLog back-end just declared in


You place those two files on classpath, redeploy application and … NOTHING HAPPENS. Those files aren't visible!

Why is it happening? Here's the explanation:

  • Default WebSphere class-loader is defined as PARENT_FIRST, that means WebSphere classpath is being searched in first place
  • WebSphere ships with that selects JDK 1.4 logging back-end

That's why your commons logging configuration is not visible.

How to fix that: place files inside /opt/IBM/WID61/pf/wps/properties directory (it's the first entry on the classpath). Then those files will become visible and log level customisation is possible then.

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