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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

     newsyslog -- maintain system log files to manageable sizes

SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]

     newsyslog [-CFnrsv] [-R tagname] [-a directory] [-f config_file]
	       [file ...]

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

     The newsyslog utility should be scheduled to run periodically by cron(8).
     When it is executed it archives log files if necessary.  If a log file is
     determined to require archiving, newsyslog rearranges the files so that
     ``logfile'' is empty, ``logfile.0'' has the last period's logs in it,
     ``logfile.1'' has the next to last period's logs in it, and so on, up to
     a user-specified number of archived logs.	Optionally the archived logs
     can be compressed to save space.

     A log can be archived for three reasons:

	   1.	It is larger than the configured size (in kilobytes).

	   2.	A configured number of hours have elapsed since the log was
		last archived.

	   3.	This is the specific configured hour for rotation of the log.

     The granularity of newsyslog is dependent on how often it is scheduled to
     run by cron(8).  Since the program is quite fast, it may be scheduled to
     run every hour without any ill effects, and mode three (above) assumes
     that this is so.

     When starting up, newsyslog reads in a configuration file to determine
     which logs may potentially be archived.  By default, this configuration
     file is /etc/newsyslog.conf.  Each line of the file contains information
     about a particular log file that should be handled by newsyslog.  Each
     line has five mandatory fields and four optional fields, with whitespace
     separating each field.  Blank lines or lines beginning with ``#'' are
     ignored.  If ``#'' is placed in the middle of the line, ``#'' character
     and the rest of the line after it is ignored.  To prevent special meaning,
 the ``#'' may be escaped with ``\'', in this case preceding ``\'' is
     removed and ``#'' treated as ordinary character.  The fields of the configuration
 file are as follows:

	     Name of the system log file to be archived, or the literal string
	     ``<default>''.  The special default entry will be only be used if
	     some log file name is given as a command line argument on the
	     newsyslog command, and if that log file name is not matched by
	     any other line in the configuration file.

	     This optional field specifies the owner and group for the archive
	     file.  The ":" is essential, even if the owner or group field is
	     left blank.  The field may be numeric, or a name which is present
	     in /etc/passwd or /etc/group.

     mode    Specify the mode of the log file and archives.

     count   Specify the number of archive files to be kept besides the log
	     file itself.

     size    When the size of the log file reaches size in kilobytes, the log
	     file will be trimmed as described above.  If this field is
	     replaced by an asterisk (`*'), then the size of the log file is
	     not taken into account when determining when to trim the log

     when    The when field can consist of an interval, a specific time, or
	     both.  If the when field is an asterisk (`*') log rotation will
	     depend only on the contents of the size field.  Otherwise, the
	     when field consists of an optional interval in hours, optionally
	     followed by an `@'-sign and a time in a restricted ISO 8601 format
 or by an `$'-sign and a time specification for logfile rotation
 at a fixed time once per day, per week or per month.

	     If a time is specified, the log file will only be trimmed if
	     newsyslog is run within one hour of the specified time.  If an
	     interval is specified, the log file will be trimmed if that many
	     hours have passed since the last rotation.  When both a time and
	     an interval are specified, both conditions must be satisfied for
	     the rotation to take place.

	     There is no provision for specification of a timezone.  There is
	     little point in specifying an explicit minutes or seconds component
 in the current implementation, since the only comparison is
	     `within the hour'.

	     ISO 8601 restricted time format

	     The lead-in character for a restricted ISO 8601 time is an
	     `@'-sign.	The particular format of the time in restricted ISO
	     8601 is: [[[[[cc]yy]mm]dd][T[hh[mm[ss]]]]].  Optional date fields
	     default to the appropriate component of the current date;
	     optional time fields default to midnight; hence if today is January
 22, 1999, the following date specifications are all equivalent:


	     Day, week and month time format

	     The lead-in character for day, week and month specification is a
	     `$'-sign.	The particular format of day, week and month specification
 is: [Dhh], [Ww[Dhh]] and [Mdd[Dhh]] respectively.
	     Optional time fields default to midnight.	The ranges for day and
	     hour specifications are:

		   hh	   hours, range 0 ... 23
		   w	   day of week, range 0 ... 6, 0 = Sunday
		   dd	   day of month, range 1 ... 31, or the letter L or l
			   to specify the last day of the month.

	     Some examples:

		   $D0	   rotate every night at midnight (same as @T00)
		   $D23    rotate every day at 23:00 hr (same as @T23)
		   $W0D23  rotate every week on Sunday at 23:00 hr
		   $W5D16  rotate every week on Friday at 16:00 hr
		   $M1D0   rotate at the first day of every month at midnight
			   (i.e., the start of the day; same as @01T00)
		   $M5D6   rotate on every 5th day of month at 6:00 hr (same
			   as @05T06)

     flags   This optional field is made up of one or more characters that
	     specify any special processing to be done for the log files
	     matched by this line.  The following are valid flags:

	     B	     indicates that the log file is a binary file, or has some
		     special format.  Usually newsyslog inserts an ASCII message
 into a log file when rotating the file, to indicate
		     when and sometimes why the log file was rotated.  If B is
		     specified, then that informational message will not be
		     inserted into the log file.

	     C	     indicates that the log file should be created if it does
		     not already exist, and if the -C option was also specified
 on the command line.

	     G	     indicates that the specified logfile_name is a shell pattern,
 and that newsyslog should archive all filenames
		     matching that pattern, using the other options specified
		     on this line.  See glob(3) for details on syntax and
		     matching rules.

	     J	     indicates that newsyslog should attempt to save disk
		     space by compressing the rotated log file using bzip2(1).

	     N	     indicates that there is no process which needs to be signalled
 when this log file is rotated.

	     U	     indicates that the file specified by path_to_pid_file
		     will contain the id for a process group, instead of a
		     process.  This option also requires that the first line
		     in that file must be a negative value, to distinguish it
		     from a value for a process id.

	     W	     if used with the Z or J flag, this indicates that
		     newsyslog should wait for previously started compression
		     jobs to complete before starting a new one for this
		     entry.  If this is used with the G flag, and if multiple
		     log files match the given pattern, then newsyslog will
		     compress those logs one by one.  This ensures that only
		     one compression job is running at a time.

	     Z	     indicates that newsyslog should attempt to save disk
		     space by compressing the rotated log file using gzip(1).

	     -	     a minus sign will not cause any special processing, but
		     it can be used as a placeholder to create a flags field
		     when you need to specify any of the following fields.

	     This optional field specifies the file name to read to find the
	     daemon process id, or to find a process group id if the U flag
	     was specified.  If this field is present, a signal_number is sent
	     the process id contained in this file.  If this field is not
	     present, then a SIGHUP signal will be sent to syslogd(8), unless
	     the N flag has been specified.  This field must start with "/" in
	     order to be recognized properly.

	     This optional field specifies the signal number that will be sent
	     to the daemon process (or to all processes in a process group, if
	     the U flag was specified).  If this field is not present, then a
	     SIGHUP signal will be sent.

OPTIONS    [Toc]    [Back]

     The following options can be used with newsyslog:

     -f config_file
	     Instruct newsyslog to use config_file instead of
	     /etc/newsyslog.conf for its configuration file.

     -a directory
	     Specify a directory into which archived log files will be written.
  If a relative path is given, it is appended to the path of
	     each log file and the resulting path is used as the directory
	     into which the archived log for that log file will be written.
	     If an absolute path is given, all archived logs are written into
	     the given directory.  If any component of the path directory does
	     not exist, it will be created when newsyslog is run.

     -v      Place newsyslog in verbose mode.  In this mode it will print out
	     each log and its reasons for either trimming that log or skipping

     -n      Cause newsyslog not to trim the logs, but to print out what it
	     would do if this option were not specified.

     -r      Remove the restriction that newsyslog must be running as root.
	     Of course, newsyslog will not be able to send a HUP signal to
	     syslogd(8) so this option should only be used in debugging.

     -s      Specify that newsyslog should not send any signals to any daemon
	     processes that it would normally signal when rotating a log file.
	     For any log file which is rotated, this option will usually also
	     mean the rotated log file will not be compressed if there is a
	     daemon which would have been signalled without this option.  However,
 this option is most likely to be useful when specified with
	     the -R option, and in that case the compression will be done.

     -C      If specified once, then newsyslog will create any log files which
	     do not exist, and which have the C flag specified in their config
	     file entry.  If specified multiple times, then newsyslog will
	     create all log files which do not already exist.  If log files
	     are given on the command-line, then the -C or -CC will only apply
	     to those specific log files.

     -F      Force newsyslog to trim the logs, even if the trim conditions
	     have not been met.  This option is useful for diagnosing system
	     problems by providing you with fresh logs that contain only the

     -R tagname
	     Specify that newsyslog should rotate a given list of files, even
	     if trim conditions are not met for those files.  The tagname is
	     only used in the messages written to the log files which are
	     rotated.  This differs from the -F option in that one or more log
	     files must also be specified, so that newsyslog will only operate
	     on those specific files.  This option is mainly intended for the
	     daemons or programs which write some log files, and want to trigger
 a rotate based on their own criteria.	With this option they
	     can execute newsyslog to trigger the rotate when they want it to
	     happen, and still give the system administrator a way to specify
	     the rules of rotation (such as how many backup copies are kept,
	     and what kind of compression is done).  When a daemon does execute
 newsyslog with the -R option, it should make sure all of the
	     log files are closed before calling newsyslog, and then it should
	     re-open the files after newsyslog returns.  Usually the calling
	     process will also want to specify the -s option, so newsyslog
	     will not send a signal to the very process which called it to
	     force the rotate.	Skipping the signal step will also mean that
	     newsyslog will return faster, since newsyslog normally waits a
	     few seconds after any signal that is sent.

     If additional command line arguments are given, newsyslog will only examine
 log files that match those arguments; otherwise, it will examine all
     files listed in the configuration file.

FILES    [Toc]    [Back]

     /etc/newsyslog.conf      newsyslog configuration file

BUGS    [Toc]    [Back]

     Doesn't yet automatically read the logs to find security breaches.

AUTHORS    [Toc]    [Back]

     Theodore Ts'o, MIT Project Athena

     Copyright 1987, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

COMPATIBILITY    [Toc]    [Back]

     Previous versions of the newsyslog utility used the dot (``.'') character
     to distinguish the group name.  Beginning with FreeBSD 3.3, this has been
     changed to a colon (``:'') character so that user and group names may
     contain the dot character.  The dot (``.'') character is still accepted
     for backwards compatibility.

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

     gzip(1), syslog(3), chown(8), syslogd(8)

FreeBSD 5.2.1			April 27, 2003			 FreeBSD 5.2.1
[ Back ]
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