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LOGROTATE(8)                      System Administrator's Manual                      LOGROTATE(8)

NAME
       logrotate ‐ rotates, compresses, and mails system logs

SYNOPSIS
       logrotate [-dv] [-f|--force] [-s|--state file] config_file ..

DESCRIPTION
       logrotate is designed to ease administration of systems that generate large numbers of log
       files.  It allows automatic rotation, compression, removal,  and  mailing  of  log  files.
       Each log file may be handled daily, weekly, monthly, or when it grows too large.

       Normally,  logrotate  is run as a daily cron job.  It will not modify a log more than once
       in one day unless the criterion for that log is based on the log's size and  logrotate  is
       being run more than once each day, or unless the -f or --force option is used.

       Any  number of config files may be given on the command line. Later config files may over‐
       ride the options given in earlier files, so the order in which the logrotate config  files
       are  listed  is important.  Normally, a single config file which includes any other config
       files which are needed should be used.  See below for more information on how to  use  the
       include  directive to accomplish this.  If a directory is given on the command line, every
       file in that directory is used as a config file.

       If no command line arguments are given, logrotate will print version and copyright  infor‐
       mation, along with a short usage summary.  If any errors occur while rotating logs, logro‐
       tate will exit with non-zero status.

OPTIONS
       -?, --help
              Prints help message.

       -d, --debug
              Turns on debug mode and implies -v.  In debug mode, no changes will be made to  the
              logs or to the logrotate state file.

       -f, --force
              Tells  logrotate to force the rotation, even if it doesn't think this is necessary.
              Sometimes this is useful after adding new entries to a logrotate config file, or if
              old log files have been removed by hand, as the new files will be created, and log‐
              ging will continue correctly.

       -m, --mail 
              Tells logrotate which command to use when mailing logs. This command should  accept
              two  arguments:  1)  the  subject of the message, and 2) the recipient. The command
              must then read a message on standard input  and  mail  it  to  the  recipient.  The
              default mail command is /usr/bin/mail -s.

       -s, --state 
              Tells  logrotate  to  use  an alternate state file.  This is useful if logrotate is
              being run as a different user for various sets of log  files.   The  default  state
              file is /var/lib/logrotate/status.

       --usage
              Prints a short usage message.

       -v, --verbose
              Turns on verbose mode, ie. display messages during rotation.

CONFIGURATION FILE
       logrotate  reads  everything  about the log files it should be handling from the series of
       configuration files specified on the command line.  Each configuration file can set global
       options  (local  definitions  override global ones, and later definitions override earlier
       ones) and specify logfiles to rotate. A simple configuration file looks like this:

       # sample logrotate configuration file
       compress

       /var/log/messages {
           rotate 5
           weekly
           postrotate
               /usr/bin/killall -HUP syslogd
           endscript
       }

       "/var/log/httpd/access.log" /var/log/httpd/error.log {
           rotate 5
           mail www@my.org
           size 100k
           sharedscripts
           postrotate
               /usr/bin/killall -HUP httpd
           endscript
       }

       /var/log/news/* {
           monthly
           rotate 2
           olddir /var/log/news/old
           missingok
           postrotate
               kill -HUP `cat /var/run/inn.pid`
           endscript
           nocompress
       }

       ~/log/*.log {}

       The first few lines set global options; in the example, logs are compressed after they are
       rotated.   Note  that comments may appear anywhere in the config file as long as the first
       non-whitespace character on the line is a #.

       The next section of the config file defines how to handle the log file  /var/log/messages.
       The log will go through five weekly rotations before being removed. After the log file has
       been rotated (but before the old version of the log  has  been  compressed),  the  command
       /sbin/killall -HUP syslogd will be executed.

       The   next   section   defines  the  parameters  for  both  /var/log/httpd/access.log  and
       /var/log/httpd/error.log.  Each is rotated whenever it grows over 100k in  size,  and  the
       old  logs  files  are mailed (uncompressed) to www@my.org after going through 5 rotations,
       rather than being removed. The sharedscripts means that the postrotate script will only be
       run  once  (after  the  old  logs  have  been  compressed), not once for each log which is
       rotated.  Note that log file names may be enclosed in quotes (and that quotes are required
       if  the name contains spaces).  Normal shell quoting rules apply, with ', ", and \ charac‐
       ters supported.

       The next section defines the parameters for all of the files in /var/log/news.  Each  file
       is  rotated  on  a  monthly  basis.  This is considered a single rotation directive and if
       errors occur for more than one file, the log files are not compressed.

       The last section uses tilde expansion to rotate log files in the  home  directory  of  the
       current  user.  This is only available, if your glob library supports tilde expansion. GNU
       glob does support this.

       Please use wildcards with caution.  If you specify *, logrotate  will  rotate  all  files,
       including  previously rotated ones.  A way around this is to use the olddir directive or a
       more exact wildcard (such as *.log).

       If the directory /var/log/news does not exist, this will  cause  logrotate  to  report  an
       error. This error cannot be stopped with the missingok directive.

       Here is more information on the directives which may be included in a logrotate configura‐
       tion file:

       compress
              Old versions of log files are compressed with gzip(1) by default. See  also  nocom‐
              press.

       compresscmd
              Specifies which command to use to compress log files.  The default is gzip(1).  See
              also compress.

       uncompresscmd
              Specifies which command to use to uncompress log files.  The default is gunzip(1).

       compressext
              Specifies which extension to use on compressed logfiles, if compression is enabled.
              The default follows that of the configured compression command.

       compressoptions
              Command  line  options  may be passed to the compression program, if one is in use.
              The default, for gzip(1), is "-6" (biased towards high compression at  the  expense
              of  speed).  If you use a different compression command, you may need to change the
              compressoptions to match.

       copy   Make a copy of the log file, but don't change the original at all.  This option can
              be  used,  for  instance,  to make a snapshot of the current log file, or when some
              other utility needs to truncate or parse the file.  When this option is  used,  the
              create option will have no effect, as the old log file stays in place.

       copytruncate
              Truncate the original log file to zero size in place after creating a copy, instead
              of moving the old log file and optionally creating a new one.  It can be used  when
              some  program  cannot  be told to close its logfile and thus might continue writing
              (appending) to the previous log file forever.  Note that there is a very small time
              slice  between  copying  the  file and truncating it, so some logging data might be
              lost.  When this option is used, the create option will have no effect, as the  old
              log file stays in place.

       create mode owner group, create owner group
              Immediately  after  rotation  (before the postrotate script is run) the log file is
              created (with the same name as the log file just rotated).  mode specifies the mode
              for the log file in octal (the same as chmod(2)), owner specifies the user name who
              will own the log file, and group specifies the group the log file will  belong  to.
              Any  of  the log file attributes may be omitted, in which case those attributes for
              the new file will use the same values as the original  log  file  for  the  omitted
              attributes. This option can be disabled using the nocreate option.

       daily  Log files are rotated every day.

       dateext
              Archive  old versions of log files adding a date extension like YYYYMMDD instead of
              simply adding a number. The extension may be configured using  the  dateformat  and
              dateyesterday options.

       dateformat format_string
              Specify  the  extension for dateext using the notation similar to strftime(3) func‐
              tion. Only %Y %m %d and %s specifiers are allowed.  The default value  is  -%Y%m%d.
              Note  that also the character separating log name from the extension is part of the
              dateformat string. The system clock must be set past Sep 9th 2001 for  %s  to  work
              correctly.   Note  that  the  datestamps generated by this format must be lexically
              sortable (i.e., first the year, then the month then the day.  e.g.,  2001/12/01  is
              ok,  but  01/12/2001  is not, since 01/11/2002 would sort lower while it is later).
              This is because when using the rotate option, logrotate sorts all rotated filenames
              to find out which logfiles are older and should be removed.

       dateyesterday
              Use  yesterday's  instead  of today's date to create the dateext extension, so that
              the rotated log file has a date in its name that is  the  same  as  the  timestamps
              within it.

       delaycompress
              Postpone  compression  of  the  previous log file to the next rotation cycle.  This
              only has effect when used in combination with compress.  It can be used  when  some
              program  cannot be told to close its logfile and thus might continue writing to the
              previous log file for some time.

       extension ext
              Log files with ext extension can keep it after the rotation.   If  compression   is
              used,   the compression extension (normally .gz) appears after ext. For example you
              have a logfile named mylog.foo and want to rotate it to mylog.1.foo.gz  instead  of
              mylog.foo.1.gz.

       hourly Log  files  are rotated every hour. Note that usually logrotate is configured to be
              run by cron daily. You have to change this configuration and run  logrotate  hourly
              to be able to really rotate logs hourly.

       ifempty
              Rotate  the log file even if it is empty, overriding the notifempty option (ifempty
              is the default).

       include file_or_directory
              Reads the file given as an argument as if it was included inline where the  include
              directive appears. If a directory is given, most of the files in that directory are
              read in alphabetic order before processing of the  including  file  continues.  The
              only  files which are ignored are files which are not regular files (such as direc‐
              tories and named pipes) and files whose names end with one of the taboo extensions,
              as specified by the tabooext directive.

       mail address
              When  a log is rotated out of existence, it is mailed to address. If no mail should
              be generated by a particular log, the nomail directive may be used.

       mailfirst
              When using the mail command, mail the just-rotated file, instead of  the  about-to-
              expire file.

       maillast
              When  using  the  mail command, mail the about-to-expire file, instead of the just-
              rotated file (this is the default).

       maxage count
              Remove rotated logs older than  days. The age is only checked if the logfile
              is  to  be  rotated. The files are mailed to the configured address if maillast and
              mail are configured.

       maxsize size
              Log files are rotated when they grow bigger than size bytes even before  the  addi‐
              tionally  specified time interval (daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly).  The related
              size option is similar except that it is mutually exclusive with the time  interval
              options, and it causes log files to be rotated without regard for the last rotation
              time.  When maxsize is used, both the size and timestamp of a log file are  consid‐
              ered.

       minsize  size
              Log  files  are  rotated  when they grow bigger than size bytes, but not before the
              additionally specified time interval (daily,  weekly,  monthly,  or  yearly).   The
              related  size  option is similar except that it is mutually exclusive with the time
              interval options, and it causes log files to be rotated without regard for the last
              rotation time.  When minsize is used, both the size and timestamp of a log file are
              considered.

       missingok
              If the log file is missing, go on to the next one without issuing an error message.
              See also nomissingok.

       monthly
              Log  files are rotated the first time logrotate is run in a month (this is normally
              on the first day of the month).

       nocompress
              Old versions of log files are not compressed. See also compress.

       nocopy Do not copy the original log file and leave it in place.  (this overrides the  copy
              option).

       nocopytruncate
              Do  not  truncate  the original log file in place after creating a copy (this over‐
              rides the copytruncate option).

       nocreate
              New log files are not created (this overrides the create option).

       nodelaycompress
              Do not postpone compression of the previous log file to  the  next  rotation  cycle
              (this overrides the delaycompress option).

       nodateext
              Do  not  archive  old versions of log files with date extension (this overrides the
              dateext option).

       nomail Do not mail old log files to any address.

       nomissingok
              If a log file does not exist, issue an error. This is the default.

       noolddir
              Logs are rotated in the directory they normally reside in (this overrides the  old‐
              dir option).

       nosharedscripts
              Run  prerotate  and postrotate scripts for every log file which is rotated (this is
              the default, and overrides the sharedscripts option). The absolute path to the  log
              file is passed as first argument to the script. If the scripts exit with error, the
              remaining actions will not be executed for the affected log only.

       noshred
              Do not use shred when deleting old log files. See also shred.

       notifempty
              Do not rotate the log if it is empty (this overrides the ifempty option).

       olddir directory
              Logs are moved into directory for rotation. The directory must be on the same phys‐
              ical  device  as  the  log file being rotated, and is assumed to be relative to the
              directory holding the log file unless an absolute path name is specified. When this
              option is used all old versions of the log end up in directory.  This option may be
              overridden by the noolddir option.

       postrotate/endscript
              The lines between postrotate and endscript (both of which must appear on  lines  by
              themselves)  are  executed  (using  /bin/sh)  after  the log file is rotated. These
              directives may only appear inside a log file  definition.  Normally,  the  absolute
              path to the log file is passed as first argument to the script. If sharedscripts is
              specified, whole pattern is passed to the script.  See also prerotate. See  shared‐
              scripts and nosharedscripts for error handling.

       prerotate/endscript
              The  lines  between  prerotate and endscript (both of which must appear on lines by
              themselves) are executed (using /bin/sh) before the log file is rotated and only if
              the  log  will  actually  be rotated. These directives may only appear inside a log
              file definition. Normally, the absolute path to the log file  is  passed  as  first
              argument to the script.  If  sharedscripts is specified, whole pattern is passed to
              the script.  See also postrotate.  See sharedscripts and nosharedscripts for  error
              handling.

       firstaction/endscript
              The  lines between firstaction and endscript (both of which must appear on lines by
              themselves) are executed (using /bin/sh) once before all log files that  match  the
              wildcarded pattern are rotated, before prerotate script is run and only if at least
              one log will actually be rotated.  These directives may only appear  inside  a  log
              file  definition.  Whole  pattern is passed to the script as first argument. If the
              script exits with error, no further processing is done. See also lastaction.

       lastaction/endscript
              The lines between lastaction and endscript (both of which must appear on  lines  by
              themselves)  are  executed  (using /bin/sh) once after all log files that match the
              wildcarded pattern are rotated, after postrotate script is run and only if at least
              one  log is rotated. These directives may only appear inside a log file definition.
              Whole pattern is passed to the script as first argument. If the script  exits  with
              error,  just  an  error  message  is  shown  (as this is the last action). See also
              firstaction.

       preremove/endscript
              The lines between preremove and endscript (both of which must appear  on  lines  by
              themselves)  are  executed  (using /bin/sh) once just before removal of a log file.
              The logrotate will pass the name of file which is soon  to  be  removed.  See  also
              firstaction.

       rotate count
              Log  files  are  rotated  count times before being removed or mailed to the address
              specified in a mail directive. If count is 0, old versions are removed rather  than
              rotated.

       size size
              Log files are rotated only if they grow bigger then size bytes. If size is followed
              by k, the size is assumed to be in kilobytes.  If the M is used,  the  size  is  in
              megabytes, and if G is used, the size is in gigabytes. So size 100, size 100k, size
              100M and size 100G are all valid.

       sharedscripts
              Normally, prerotate and postrotate scripts are run for each log  which  is  rotated
              and  the  absolute  path to the log file is passed as first argument to the script.
              That means a single script may be run multiple times for  log  file  entries  which
              match  multiple  files  (such  as the /var/log/news/* example). If sharedscripts is
              specified, the scripts are only run once, no matter how many logs match  the  wild‐
              carded  pattern, and whole pattern is passed to them.  However, if none of the logs
              in the pattern require rotating, the scripts will not be run at all. If the scripts
              exit  with  error,  the  remaining  actions will not be executed for any logs. This
              option overrides the nosharedscripts option and implies create option.

       shred  Delete log files using shred -u instead of unlink().  This should ensure that  logs
              are  not readable after their scheduled deletion; this is off by default.  See also
              noshred.

       shredcycles count
              Asks GNU shred(1) to overwrite log files count times before deletion.  Without this
              option, shred's default will be used.

       start count
              This  is the number to use as the base for rotation. For example, if you specify 0,
              the logs will be created with a .0 extension as they are rotated from the  original
              log  files.   If  you specify 9, log files will be created with a .9, skipping 0-8.
              Files will still be rotated the number of times specified with  the  rotate  direc‐
              tive.

       su user group
              Rotate  log files set under this user and group instead of using default user/group
              (usually root). user specifies the user name used for rotation and group  specifies
              the  group used for rotation. If the user/group you specify here does not have suf‐
              ficient privilege to make files with the ownership you've  specified  in  a  create
              instruction, it will cause an error.

       tabooext [+] list
              The current taboo extension list is changed (see the include directive for informa‐
              tion on the taboo extensions). If a + precedes the list of extensions, the  current
              taboo  extension list is augmented, otherwise it is replaced. At startup, the taboo
              extension list contains .rpmsave, .rpmorig, ~,  .disabled,  .dpkg-old,  .dpkg-dist,
              .dpkg-new,  .dpkg-bak, .dpkg-del, .cfsaved, .ucf-old, .ucf-dist, .ucf-new, .rpmnew,
              .swp, .cfsaved, .rhn-cfg-tmp-*

       weekly Log files are rotated if the current weekday is less than the weekday of  the  last
              rotation  or  if  more than a week has passed since the last rotation. This is nor‐
              mally the same as rotating logs on the first day of the week, but it  works  better
              if logrotate is not run every night.

       yearly Log files are rotated if the current year is not the same as the last rotation.

FILES
       /var/lib/logrotate/status  Default state file.
       /etc/logrotate.conf        Configuration options.

SEE ALSO
       gzip(1)

NOTES
       The killall(1) program in Debian is found in the psmisc package.

AUTHORS
       Erik Troan, Preston Brown, Jan Kaluza.

       
       

       Corrections and changes for Debian by Paul Martin 

Linux                                     Wed Nov 5 2002                             LOGROTATE(8)

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