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

       -?, --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 <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.

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

       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`

       ~/log/*.log {}

       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 #.

       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  con-
       tains  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.  This is con-
       sidered 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

       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 "-6" (biased
              towards high compression at the expense of speed).  If you use a
              different  compression  command, you may need to change the com-
              pressoptions to match.
              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
              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 truncat-
              ing 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.

              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) 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.  Note that the datestamps  gener-
              ated  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.

              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.


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

              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
              with one of the taboo extensions, as specified by  the  tabooext

       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.

              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.

       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.  When maxsize is used,  both  the  size  and

              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

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

              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.

              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
              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  (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 shared-
              scripts is specified, whole pattern is  passed  to  the  script.
              See  also  prerotate.  See sharedscripts and nosharedscripts for
              error handling.

              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

              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.

              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
              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  kilo-
              bytes.   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 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, 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 directive.

       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  rota-
              tion.  If  the  user/group you specify here does not have suffi-
              cient privilege to make files with the ownership  you've  speci-
              fied in a create instruction, it will cause an error.

       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 normally the same as rotating
              logs on the first day of the week, but it works better if logro-
              tate is not run every night.

       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, Preston Brown, Jan Kaluza.


       Corrections and changes for Debian by Paul Martin <pm@debian.org>

Linux                           Wed Nov 5 2002                    LOGROTATE(8)
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