logrotate(8) — Linux manual page

NAME | SYNOPSIS | DESCRIPTION | OPTIONS | CONFIGURATION FILE | CONFIGURATION FILE DIRECTIVES | SCRIPTS | USER AND GROUP | FILES | SEE ALSO | AUTHORS | COLOPHON

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

NAME         top

       logrotate ‐ rotates, compresses, and mails system logs

SYNOPSIS         top

       logrotate [--force] [--debug] [--state file] [--skip-state-lock]
       [--verbose] [--log file] [--mail command] config_file
       [config_file2 ...]

DESCRIPTION         top

       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 override 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 information, along with a short usage
       summary.  If any errors occur while rotating logs, logrotate will
       exit with non-zero status.

OPTIONS         top

       -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 logging will continue correctly.

       -d, --debug
              Turn on debug mode, which means that no changes are made
              to the logs and the logrotate state file is not updated.
              Only debug messages are printed.

       -s, --state statefile
              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.  To prevent parallel execution
              logrotate by default acquires a lock on the state file, if
              it cannot be acquired logrotate will exit with value 3.
              The default state file is /var/lib/logrotate.status.  If
              /dev/null is given as the state file, then logrotate will
              not try to write the state file.

       --skip-state-lock
              Do not lock the state file, for example if locking is
              unsupported or prohibited.

       -v, --verbose
              Turns on verbose mode, for example to display messages
              during rotation.

       -l, --log file
              Tells logrotate to log verbose output into the log_file.
              The verbose output logged to that file is the same as when
              running logrotate with -v switch.  The log file is
              overwritten on every logrotate execution.

       -m, --mail command
              Tells logrotate which command to use when mailing logs.
              This command should accept the following arguments:

              1) the subject of the message given with '-s subject'
              2) the recipient.

              The command must then read a message on standard input and
              mail it to the recipient.  The default mail command is
              /bin/mail.

       --usage
              Prints a short usage message.

       -?, --help
              Prints help message.

       --version
              Display version information.

CONFIGURATION FILE         top

       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.  Global
       options do not affect preceding include directives.  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 recipient@example.org
           size 100k
           sharedscripts
           postrotate
               /usr/bin/killall -HUP httpd
           endscript
       }

       /var/log/news/* {
           monthly
           rotate 2
           olddir /var/log/news/old
           missingok
           sharedscripts
           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 #.

       Values are separated from directives by whitespace and/or an
       optional =.  Numbers must be specified in a format understood by
       strtoul(3).

       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 /usr/bin/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 100 kilobytes in size, and the old
       logs files are mailed (uncompressed) to recipient@example.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 \
       characters supported.

       The next section defines the parameters for all of the files in
       /var/log/news. Each file is rotated on a monthly basis.

       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).

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

CONFIGURATION FILE DIRECTIVES         top

       These directives may be included in a logrotate configuration
       file:

   Rotation
       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.
              If count is -1, old logs are not removed at all, except
              they are affected by maxage (use with caution, may waste
              performance and disk space).  Default is 0.

       olddir directory
              Logs are moved into directory for rotation.  The directory
              must be on the same physical device as the log file being
              rotated, unless copy, copytruncate or renamecopy option is
              used.  The directory 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.

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

       su user group
              Rotate log files set under this user and group instead of
              using default user/group (usually root).  user specifies
              the user used for rotation and group specifies the group
              used for rotation (see the section USER AND GROUP for
              details).  If the user/group you specify here does not
              have sufficient privilege to make files with the ownership
              you've specified in a create directive, it will cause an
              error.  If logrotate runs with root privileges, it is
              recommended to use the su directive to rotate files in
              directories that are directly or indirectly in control of
              non-privileged users.

   Frequency
       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.

       daily  Log files are rotated every day.

       weekly [weekday]
              Log files are rotated once each weekday, or if the date is
              advanced by at least 7 days since the last rotation (while
              ignoring the exact time).  The weekday interpretation is
              following: 0 means Sunday, 1 means Monday, ..., 6 means
              Saturday; the special value 7 means each 7 days,
              irrespectively of weekday.  Defaults to 0 if the weekday
              argument is omitted.

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

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

       size size
              Log files are rotated only if they grow bigger than 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.  This option is mutually exclusive with the time
              interval options, and it causes log files to be rotated
              without regard for the last rotation time, if specified
              after the time criteria (the last specified option takes
              the precedence).

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

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

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

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

       minage count
              Do not rotate logs which are less than <count> days old.

       maxage count
              Remove rotated logs older than <count> days.  The age is
              only checked if the logfile is to be rotated.  rotate -1
              does not hinder removal.  The files are mailed to the
              configured address if maillast and mail are configured.

       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, if specified after the time criteria (the
              last specified option takes the precedence).  When minsize
              is used, both the size and timestamp of a log file are
              considered.

       maxsize size
              Log files are rotated when they grow bigger than size
              bytes even 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, if
              specified after the time criteria (the last specified
              option takes the precedence).  When maxsize is used, both
              the size and timestamp of a log file are considered.

       tabooext [+] list
              The current taboo extension list is changed (see the
              include directive for information 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 ,v,
              .cfsaved, .disabled, .dpkg-bak, .dpkg-del, .dpkg-dist,
              .dpkg-new, .dpkg-old, .rhn-cfg-tmp-*, .rpmnew, .rpmorig,
              .rpmsave, .swp, .ucf-dist, .ucf-new, .ucf-old, ~

       taboopat [+] list
              The current taboo glob pattern list is changed (see the
              include directive for information on the taboo extensions
              and patterns).  If a + precedes the list of patterns, the
              current taboo pattern list is augmented, otherwise it is
              replaced.  At startup, the taboo pattern list is empty.

   Files and Folders
       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 who will own the log file, and group specifies
              the group the log file will belong to (see the section
              USER AND GROUP for details).  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.

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

       createolddir mode owner group
              If the directory specified by olddir directive does not
              exist, it is created. mode specifies the mode for the
              olddir directory in octal (the same as chmod(2)), owner
              specifies the user who will own the olddir directory, and
              group specifies the group the olddir directory will belong
              to (see the section USER AND GROUP
               for details).  This option can be disabled using the
              nocreateolddir option.

       nocreateolddir
              olddir directory is not created by logrotate when it does
              not exist.

       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.  The copy option allows
              storing rotated log files on the different devices using
              olddir directive.

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

       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.  The copytruncate option allows storing
              rotated log files on the different devices using olddir
              directive.  The copytruncate option implies norenamecopy.

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

       renamecopy
              Log file is renamed to temporary filename in the same
              directory by adding ".tmp" extension to it.  After that,
              postrotate script is run and log file is copied from
              temporary filename to final filename.  In the end,
              temporary filename is removed.  The renamecopy option
              allows storing rotated log files on the different devices
              using olddir directive.  The renamecopy option implies
              nocopytruncate.

       norenamecopy
              Do not rename and copy the original log file (this
              overrides the renamecopy 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.

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

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

   Compression
       compress
              Old versions of log files are compressed with gzip(1) by
              default.  See also nocompress.

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

       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.

       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.

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

   Filenames
       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.

       addextension ext
              Log files are given the final extension ext after
              rotation.  If the original file already ends with ext, the
              extension is not duplicated, but merely moved to the end,
              that is both filename and filenameext would get rotated to
              filename.1ext.  If compression is used, the compression
              extension (normally .gz) appears after ext.

       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 directive.

       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.

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

       dateformat format_string
              Specify the extension for dateext using the notation
              similar to strftime(3) function.  Only %Y %m %d %H %M %S
              %V and %s specifiers are allowed.  The default value is
              -%Y%m%d except hourly, which uses -%Y%m%d%H as default
              value.  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 (that is first the year,
              then the month then the day.  For example 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.

       datehourago
              Use hour ago instead of current date to create the dateext
              extension, so that the rotated log file has a hour in its
              name that is the same as the timestamps within it.  Useful
              with rotate hourly.

   Mail
       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.

       nomail Do not mail old log files to any address.

       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).

   Additional config files
       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
              directories and named pipes) and files whose names end
              with one of the taboo extensions or patterns, as specified
              by the tabooext or taboopat directives, respectively.  The
              given path may start with ~/ to make it relative to the
              home directory of the executing user.  For security
              reasons configuration files must not be group-writable nor
              world-writable.

   Scripts
       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 wildcarded 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 (or any log fails to rotate),
              the remaining actions will not be executed for any logs.
              This option overrides the nosharedscripts 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.  The absolute
              path to the final rotated log file is passed as the second
              argument to the postrotate script.  If the scripts exit
              with error, the remaining actions will not be executed for
              the affected log only.

       firstaction
           script
       endscript
              The script is executed once before all log files that
              match the wildcarded pattern are rotated, before the
              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.  The whole pattern is passed
              to the script as its first argument. If the script exits
              with an error, no further processing is done.  See also
              lastaction and the SCRIPTS section.

       lastaction
           script
       endscript
              The script is executed once after all log files that match
              the wildcarded pattern are rotated, after the postrotate
              script is run and only if at least one log is rotated.
              These directives may only appear inside a log file
              definition.  The whole pattern is passed to the script as
              its first argument.  If the script exits with an error,
              just an error message is shown (as this is the last
              action).  See also firstaction and the SCRIPTS section.

       prerotate
           script
       endscript
              The script is executed 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
              the first argument to the script.  If sharedscripts is
              specified, the whole pattern is passed to the script.  See
              also postrotate and the SCRIPTS section.  See
              sharedscripts and nosharedscripts for error handling.

       postrotate
           script
       endscript
              The script is executed 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 the first argument to the script and the
              absolute path to the final rotated log file is passed as
              the second argument to the script.  If sharedscripts is
              specified, the whole pattern is passed as the first
              argument to the script, and the second argument is
              omitted.  See also prerotate and the SCRIPTS section.  See
              sharedscripts and nosharedscripts for error handling.

       preremove
           script
       endscript
              The script is executed once just before removal of a log
              file.  logrotate will pass the name of file which is soon
              to be removed as the first argument to the script. See
              also firstaction and the SCRIPTS section.

SCRIPTS         top

       The lines between the starting keyword (e.g. prerotate) and
       endscript (both of which must appear on lines by themselves) are
       executed (using /bin/sh).  The script inherits some traits from
       the logrotate process, including stderr, stdout, the current
       directory, the environment, and the umask.  Scripts are run as
       the invoking user and group, irrespective of any su directive.
       If the --log flag was specified, file descriptor 3 is the log
       file.

USER AND GROUP         top

       User and group identifiers are resolved first by trying the
       textual representation and, in case it fails, afterwards by the
       numeric value.

FILES         top

       /var/lib/logrotate.status   Default state file.

       /etc/logrotate.conf         Configuration options.

SEE ALSO         top

       chmod(2), gunzip(1), gzip(1), mail(1), shred(1), strftime(3),
       strtoul(3), <https://github.com/logrotate/logrotate>

AUTHORS         top

       Erik Troan, Preston Brown, Jan Kaluza.

       <https://github.com/logrotate/logrotate>

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the logrotate (simplify the administration
       of log files) project.  Information about the project can be
       found at ⟨https://github.com/logrotate/logrotate⟩.  If you have a
       bug report for this manual page, see
       ⟨https://github.com/logrotate/logrotate/issues⟩.  This page was
       obtained from the project's upstream Git repository
       ⟨https://github.com/logrotate/logrotate.git⟩ on 2021-06-20.  (At
       that time, the date of the most recent commit that was found in
       the repository was 2021-06-14.)  If you discover any rendering
       problems in this HTML version of the page, or you believe there
       is a better or more up-to-date source for the page, or you have
       corrections or improvements to the information in this COLOPHON
       (which is not part of the original manual page), send a mail to
       man-pages@man7.org

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