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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

     newsyslog - trim log files to manageable sizes

SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]

     newsyslog [-Fmnrv] [-a directory] [-f config_file] [log ...]

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

     newsyslog is a program that 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.  The archived logs
may be optionally
 compressed to save space.

     The options are as follows:

     -F       Force newsyslog to trim logs regardless of the size
and/or age
             requirements specified in /etc/newsyslog.conf.  This
option may
             be combined with the -n or -v flags to aid in debugging problems
             with /etc/newsyslog.conf.

     -m      Monitoring mode; only entries marked with an `M'  in
flags are
             processed.   For  each log file being monitored, any
log output
             since the last time newsyslog was run  with  the  -m
flag is mailed
             to  the user listed in the monitor notification section.

     -n      Do not trim the logs, but  instead  print  out  what
would be done if
             this option were not specified.

     -r       Removes the restriction that newsyslog must be running as root.
             Note that in this mode newsyslog will not be able to
send a
             SIGHUP signal to syslogd(8).

     -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

     -a directory
             Specify  a  directory  into which archived log files
will be written.
  If directory is a relative path, it is appended to the parent
  directory  of  each log and the archived log is
stored in the
             result.  If an absolute path is given, all  archived
logs are
             stored  in  the  given directory.  If directory does
not exist for a
             specified log, it is ignored for that entry and  the
log is rotated
 as if the -a option was not specified.

     -f config_file
             Use  config_file  instead of /etc/newsyslog.conf for
the configuration

     If one or more log files are specified on the command  line,
only the
     specified  logs  will be rotated.  Note that each log specified must have
     an entry in /etc/newsyslog.conf.

     A log can be archived because of two reasons: The  log  file
can have grown
     bigger  than  a preset size in kilobytes, or a preset number
of hours may
     have elapsed since the last log archive.  The granularity of
newsyslog is
     dependent  on  how  often it is scheduled to run in cron(8).
Since the program
 is quite fast, it may be scheduled to  run  every  hour
without any ill

     When starting up, newsyslog reads in a configuration file to
     which logs should be looked at.  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 up to three optional fields, with
     separating each field.  Blank lines or lines beginning  with
a hash mark
     (`#') are ignored.  The fields of the configuration file are
as follows:

     logfile_name      The full pathname of the system  log  file
to be

     owner:group        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
fields may be
                       numeric, or a name which is looked  up  in
the system
                       password  and  group databases.  For backwards compatibility,
 a `.' may be  used  instead  of  a
`:'.  If either
                       owner or group is not specified, the owner
and/or group
                       of the existing log file is used.

     mode              File mode (in octal) to  use  for  created
log files and

     count              The number of archives to be kept besides
the log file

     size              When the size of the log  file  (in  kilobytes) reaches
                       this point, the log file is trimmed as described above.
                       If this field is replaced by an `*',  then
the size of
                       the  log  file  is  not taken into account
when determining
                       when to trim the log  file.   By  default,
files smaller
                       than  512 bytes are not rotated unless the
`B' (binary)
                       flag is set.  This prevents newsyslog from
                       files consisting solely of a message indicating that
                       the log file has been turned over.

     when              The when field can consist of an interval,
a specific
                       time, or both.  If the when field consists
of 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,
                       followed  by  an  `@'-sign and a time in a
restricted ISO
                       8601 format or by a `$'-sign  and  a  time
                       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  the  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    [Toc]    [Back]
                       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 For
                       example, if today is January 22, 1999, the
                       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

                             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

                     Some examples:
                             $D0     rotate every night  at  midnight (same as
                             $D23    rotate every day at 23:00 hr
(same as
                             $W0D23  rotate every week on  Sunday
at 23:00 hr
                             $W5D16   rotate every week on Friday
at 16:00 hr
                             $M1D0   rotate on 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
the month at
                                     6:00 hr (same as @05T06)

     flags              The optional flags field specifies if the
                       should have any special processing done to
the archived
                       log  files.   The  `Z'  flag will make the
archive files
                       compressed to save space using gzip(1)  or
                       depending on compilation options.  The `B'
flag means
                       that the file is a binary file, and so the
ASCII message
  which  newsyslog inserts to indicate
the fact that
                       the logs have been turned over should  not
be included.
                       The  `M'  flag marks this entry as a monitored log file.
                       The `F' flag specifies that symbolic links
should be

     monitor            Specify  the  username (or email address)
that should receive
 notification messages if this  is  a
monitored log
                       file.   Notification  messages are sent as
email; the operator
 deserves what they get if they mark
                       sendmail(8)  log  file as monitored.  This
field is only
                       valid when the `M' flag is set.

     pid_file          This optional field specifies a file  containing the PID
                       of  a  process  to  send a signal (usually
SIGHUP) to instead
 of /var/run/syslog.pid.

     signal            Specify the signal to send to the  process
instead of
                       SIGHUP.   Signal  names  must  start  with
``SIG'' and be
                       the signal name, not the number, e.g., SIGUSR1.

     command           This optional field specifies a command to
run instead
                       of sending a signal to the  process.   The
command must
                       be  enclosed  in double quotes (`"').  The
empty string,
                       `""', can use used  to  prevent  newsyslog
from sending a
                       signal  or  running a command.  You cannot
specify both a
                       command and a  PID  file.   NOTE:  If  you
specify a command
                       to  be  run,  newsyslog  will  not  send a

FILES    [Toc]    [Back]

     /etc/newsyslog.conf  default configuration file

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

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

AUTHORS    [Toc]    [Back]

     Theodore Ts'o, MIT Project Athena
     Copyright 1987, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

OpenBSD     3.6                        January      24,      2003
[ Back ]
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