logrotate uses configuration files that are read by an application called LOGROTATE to manage log files on Unix-like systems, including Linux. LOGROTATE can do daily, weekly, monthly and yearly rotation, as well as handling compressed log files and sending out e-mail notifications when logs reach a certain size. Here are five ways you can use LOGROTATE to manage your Linux log files more effectively.
What is log rotation?
Log rotation, often called log rotation or log rotation protocol, is a technique in which an application periodically creates new versions of one or more previous log files and then renames the old versions. This is done in order to avoid filling up a fixed-size storage device (such as a disk drive) with new versions of rotated logs. If storage space fills up, old logs can be deleted, possibly leading to the loss of some information.
- How does it work? When configured correctly and applied consistently, each version gets more recent in time than its predecessor until the oldest version reaches its retention age, at which point it will also be deleted by default.
Why use it?
- LOGROTATE is a free open-source utility that you can use to organize, compress, and delete your log files for better long-term data management.
- Unlike RSYSLOGD, which doesn’t handle log rotation, it automatically closes the log files and rotates them when they reach a certain size.
- This saves space on the file system and reduces backup times by rotating logs more often.
- It is compatible with both UNIX and Windows which means you can use it even if you are switching platforms or using cross-platform programs like Firefox or Samba to share files between operating systems.
- Its modular nature lets you choose among many plugins so you get the exact type of logging software that fits your needs for security and troubleshooting purposes.
Which commands do I need?
The LOGROTATE utility is a simple way to manage log files by rotating, compressing, and limiting their size. Here are five things you can do with it:
1) Rotate logs periodically. Logs quickly take up lots of disk space if they’re not rotated, and many events will happen after a full rotation has taken place.
2) Limit the size of logs that are rotated by default. Many utilities use one GB as their maximum log size – this is great for storing old logs, but terrible if you want to track problems with a one-time event that would only produce 500KB of data in the log file. Instead, limit the maximum size at any given time so you don’t fill up your hard drive unnecessarily.
How do I set up my system?
LOGROTATE is a utility that was designed to help with rotating log files. It can be installed on any version of UNIX and takes only minutes. Since logs grow over time, LOGROTATE rotates them so that you do not fill up your disk drive and take up all the space on it. This includes rolling over daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly based on your needs.
The nuts and bolts of how it works
Log files contain a wealth of information that helps administrators and developers debug an application or debug an operating system. However, if you’re not careful about how you manage your log files, you can quickly find yourself in a situation where log files are consuming all of your disk space. This is where LOGROTATION comes in handy. It is a tool for managing and rotating different types of log files on UNIX-based systems. It tells the system which logs need to be rotated and when they should be done so.