The Log Debug option returns a lot of BADNEWS errors. What do they mean and should I be worried?

Liz Sanderson
Liz Sanderson
  • Updated


The Log Debug option causes additional messages to be logged in the FME log file.

In general, you should only use Log Debug when an error has already occurred and you are seeking further information. The additional messages may provide extra details that help you to iron out problems in your translation.

It is not good practice to leave this option turned on permanently. BADNEWS "errors" (one type of additional debug message) are usually part of the regular internal workings of FME (for example BADNEWS: End of File Reached, is a phenomenon common to almost every translation) yet their wording reads like a serious error.

So Log Debug are of little benefit to the average user and can lead to concerns that the translation has failed.

Our advice is to NOT use Log Debug if your translation appears to run correctly. Only if there is a regular warning or error should Log Debug be used to obtain further information.

How to Enable or Disable Log Debug

Workbench Methodology

Debug logging can be enabled/disabled as follows in FME Workbench:

  1. Select Tools > FME Options > Translation > Log Message Filter
  2. Check (or uncheck) the "Log Debug" option
  3. Click OK to close the FME Options dialog

Saved Workspaces

Once activated, Log Debug is turned on in the current workspace, and saved as an option in that workspace. If the workspace is then run on FME Server, in the FME Quick Translator, or from the command line, then the log will include debug information.

Therefore, care should be taken not to (for example) share a workspace with Log Debug activated, as it might alarm a different user who is not aware of the nature of its results.

Note: There is no method for turning on debugging information for workspaces on FME Server. You must set the option for each workspace using FME Workbench. If there are multiple workspaces you must set the option individually on each.

Command Line Methodology

Debug logging can be enabled using the keyword FME_DEBUG in a command line. There are various parameters that are available to go with this keyword, some of which are:


Using these individually would let you be more selective about the types of logging than the Log Debug option as a whole allows.

For example:

fme [myworkspace.fmw] FME_DEBUG BADNEWS

...applies BADNEWS logging to a translation. To apply multiple options, use (for example):


...with multiple instances of FME_DEBUG with a + symbol.

Old School Methodology

The older style of setting options in FME involves what are called Directives. The Directive to turn on Log Debug is called FME_DEBUG. This can be used inside a Mapping File, for example:


You could also set this in the dialog under Tools > Edit Header in Workbench.

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