What is gu.gif and stats directory?


On the DreamHost Web Panel I select the following in sequence: Main Menu > Status> Site Statistics > Web Server Statistics - Monthly Report > Failure Report: Listing files, sorted by the number of failed requests.

I have noticed that the following four items are always on the list of “failed requests” every month:


I have looked up the first two items on the internet and learned what they are. I have followed tutorials I found on the internet to create a favicon.png file but I realize that visitors to my website using some versions of the Internet Explorer web browser will create “failed requests” searching for a favicon.ico file. Similarly I have followed tutorials I found on the internet to create a very small sitemap.xml file. I once tried compressing the file to a sitemap.xml.gz file but I did not notice any significant change in file size. I got the impression from the tutorials that I should have either a sitemap.xml file OR a sitemap.xml.gz file.

My question is why do I get a few “failed requests” for a “gu.gif” file and a “stats” directory every month?

I have never knowingly created a gu.gif file or a stats directory on my website. I have kept backup copies on my computer of every change I have made to my website since I joined DreamHost in February so I have been able to search through the backup copies to verify this. I have tried doing internet searches for “gu.gif” expecting that it may be some form of standard filename similar to favicon.ico, sitemap.xml.gz or index.html that I should become aware of but I have not found any reference to a gu.gif file.

To the best of my knowledge the only statistics being collected regarding my website are the default statistics collected by the DreamHost Web Panel and whatever statistics the search engine robots (Google, Yahoo …) may collect. I am not aware of any reason to create a “stats” directory.

Does anyone know why I am getting a few “failed requests” every month for a “gu.gif” file and a “stats” directory?


Does it say who the referer is for those?

I get all kinds of failed requests for random junk, or outdated links. It’s only if I get a failed request referred to by my own site that I look into it.


I have not found any way to investigate who the referer is using the default website statistics provided by DreamHost.

I know what you are refering to by failed requests for random junk and outdated links. I have seen plenty of those listed. The random junk will usually show up in the statistics for a single month and then disappear. The outdated links will often appear for a month or two whenever I change my website by renaming, deleting or moving some files or directories.

The four items I mention in my original post are all items that have appeared regularly as having at least a few failed requests in every month’s statistics since I first signed up for a DreamHost account in February. I therefore do not consider them random. I have determined through on-line research that some versions of the Internet Explorer web browser are causing the failed requests for the favicon.ico file and the web crawling robots of one or more search engines are probably causing the failed requests for the sitemap.xml.gz file. (I am not sure which one of the web crawling robots.) I expect that the failed requests for the gu.gif file and stats directory may also be caused by a web crawling robot but I am asking to see if anyone knows.


You can look at your Apache access logs in your home directory under logs/yourdomain.com. Search for gu.gif or /stats/ and see what browser is requesting them and if there’s a referer. The referer will show up right before the browser identifier.