Looking for logrotate in FreeBSD? Use newsyslog.conf!

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Published on May 7th 2014 - Listed in BSD Unix


 

On a dedicated web server an access log was written to a non-default path, filling up slowly but surely the disk space. After a manual verification I saw that the log file was never rotated:

stat example.com_combined.log
88 306985 -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 1251416 3125313490 "Nov 12 22:11:51 2013" "May  7 08:44:38 2014" "May  7 08:44:38 2014" "May 10 22:05:05 2012" 16384 6107168 0 example.com_combined.log

Meaning that this file was first created on May 10th 2012 - almost two years ago.

In my Linux habit, I wanted to check out logrotate.conf, but as this is a FreeBSD system, logrotate does not exist. Instead the log rotation can be configured in /etc/newsyslog.conf.
I added the following line:

# logfilename [owner:group] mode count size when  flags [/pid_file] [sig_num]
/usr/home/log/example.com_combined.log  644 12 * $W0D23 J /var/run/httpd.pid 30

This line explained in short:

/usr/home/log/example.com_combined.log -> The file to rotate
644 -> The permissions the file should have after rotation (chmod)
12 -> Keep 12 rotated versions
* -> Don't worry about the size
$W0D23 -> Rotate the log file weekly on the 0th day (Sunday) at 23:00
J -> Use compression on the rotated log file (bz2)
/var/run/httpd.pid -> The file holding the process ID writing into this log file
30 -> Send the SIGNAL 30 (SIGUSR1) to the PID (in this case Apache), causes a reload

For further and more detailed explanation, check out the FreeBSD man page for newsyslog.conf.


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