AWStats is an open source Web analytics reporting tool, suitable for analyzing data from Internet services such as web, streaming media, mail and FTP servers. AWstats parses and analyzes server log files, producing HTML reports. Data is visually presented within reports by tables and bar graphs. Static reports can be created through a command line interface, and on-demand reporting is supported through a web browser CGI program.
AWStats supports most major web server log file formats including Apache (NCSA combined/XLF/ELF log format or common/CLF log format), WebStar, IIS (W3C log format) and many other common web server log formats. Developers can contribute to the AWStats project through SourceForge.net.
Cross-platform availability Edit
Written in Perl, AWStats can be deployed on almost any operating system. It is a very popular server administration tool, with packages available for most Linux distributions. AWStats can be installed on a workstation, such as MS Windows, for local use in situations where log files can be downloaded from a remote server.
AWStats is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL).
Security considerations Edit
The on-demand CGI program has been the object of security exploits, as is the case of many CGI programs. Organizations wishing to provide public access to their Web analytics reports should consider generating static HTML reports. The on-demand facility can still be used by restricting its use to internal users. Precautions should be taken against referrer spam (Referrer spam filtering functionality was added in version 6.5).
There are three primary open source alternatives to AWStats.
- Analog offers a wealth of reporting options for a technical audience. It does not support the concept of a visitor, usually desired for business analysis.
- Webalizer is offered by many ISPs as it is fast and simple. It has a smaller functionality set compared to AWStats. Development and support appears to have stopped in 2002. This leads to issues such as Firefox browsers being counted as Netscape.
- W3Perl, a powerful alternative which has features similar to AWStats.
There are also a number of minor open source alternatives to AWStats.
The AWStats project provides a detailed comparison chart.
- AWStats official web site includes documentation, news, software download and community support forums.
- Antezeta AWStats Resource Center includes custom reports (Extra Sections) and functionality extensions.
- InternetOfficer AWStats Library with AWStats Referrers add-on, aws2xls utility, many Extra Sections and AWStats forum.
- Analyzing Web Logs with AWStats Part 1 and Part 2 are step-by-step AWStats guides to install, configure and interpret reports. Includes Linux and Windows examples.
- A quick AWstats guide - Custom AWStats installation in the user's home directory, configuration tips and creation of static HTML reports with extra sections.
- BetterAWStats - a PHP Frontend to show you AWStats data file differently
- JAWStats - an AJAX AWStats wrapper with minimal install that provides a fresh view of AWStats data.
- A view on how to Eliminate spam bots from AWStats for good