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

       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 con-
       fig 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

       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

       -d     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 <command>
              Tells logrotate which command to use  when  mailing  logs.  This
              command  should accept two arguments: 1) the subject of the mes-
              sage, 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 <statefile>
              Tells logrotate to use an alternate state file.  This is  useful
              if  logrotate  is being run as a different user for various sets

       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 over-
       ride global ones, and later  definitions  override  earlier  ones)  and
       specify  logfiles  to  rotate.  A  simple configuration file looks like

       # sample logrotate configuration file

       /var/log/messages {
           rotate 5
               /usr/bin/killall -HUP syslogd

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

       /var/log/news/* {
           rotate 2
           olddir /var/log/news/old
               kill -HUP `cat /var/run/inn.pid`

       The first few lines set global options; in the example, logs  are  com-
       pressed 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
       one file, the log files are not compressed.

       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

       If the directory /var/log/news does not exist, this will  cause  logro-
       tate  to report an error. This error cannot be stopped with the missin-
       gok directive.

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

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

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

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

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

              Command line options may be passed to the  compression  program,
              if  one  is  in use.  The default, for gzip(1), is "-9" (maximum

       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 cre-
              ate option will have no effect, as the old  log  file  stays  in

              Truncate  the original log file to zero size in place after cre-
              ating a copy, instead of moving the old log file and  optionally
              creating  a new one.  It can be used when some program cannot be
              (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.

              Archive  old versions of log files adding a daily extension like
              YYYYMMDD instead of simply adding a number. The extension may be
              configured using the dateformat option.

       dateformat format_string
              Specify  the extension for dateext using the notation similar to
              strftime(3) function. Only  %Y  %m  %d  and  %s  specifiers  are
              allowed.  The default value is -%Y%m%d. Note that also the char-
              acter 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.

              Postpone compression of the previous log file to the next  rota-
              tion  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 previ-
              ous 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

              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 directories and named pipes) and files whose names  end
              When using the mail command, mail the just-rotated file, instead
              of the about-to-expire file.

              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 <count> 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.

       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.

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

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

              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).

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

              New  log  files  are  not  created  (this  overrides  the create

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

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

              Run prerotate and postrotate scripts for every log file which is
              rotated  (this  is  the default, and overrides the sharedscripts
              option). If the scripts exit with error, the  remaining  actions
              will not be executed for the affected log only.

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

              Do not rotate the log if it is empty (this overrides the ifempty

       olddir directory
              Logs are moved into directory for rotation. The  directory  must
              be  on  the  same physical 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.

              The  lines  between postrotate and endscript (both of which must
              appear on lines by themselves) are executed after the  log  file
              is  rotated.  These directives may only appear inside a log file
              definition.  See also prerotate. See sharedscripts and noshared-
              scripts for error handling.

              The  lines  between  prerotate and endscript (both of which must
              appear on lines by themselves) are 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.   See
              also  postrotate.   See  sharedscripts  and  nosharedscripts for
              error handling.

              The lines between firstaction and endscript (both of which  must
              postrotate  script  is  run  and  only  if  at  least one log is
              rotated. These directives may only appear inside a log file def-
              inition.  If  the script exits with error, just an error message
              is shown (as this is the last action). 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 when 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.

              Normally, prerotate and postrotate scripts are run for each  log
              which is rotated, meaning that a single script may be run multi-
              ple times for log file entries which match multiple files  (such
              as  the  /var/log/news/* example). If sharedscript is specified,
              the scripts are only run once, no matter how many logs match the
              wildcarded pattern.  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 exe-
              cuted 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 overwite log files count times before dele-
              tion.  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 directive.

       tabooext [+] list
              The  current  taboo  extension  list is changed (see the include
              run every night a log rotation will happen at  the  first  valid

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

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


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

       Erik Troan <ewt@redhat.com>
       Preston Brown <pbrown@redhat.com>
       Corrections and changes for Debian by Paul Martin <pm@debian.org>

Linux                           Wed Nov 5 2002                    LOGROTATE(8)
Man Pages Copyright Respective Owners. Site Copyright (C) 1994 - 2017 Hurricane Electric. All Rights Reserved.