MirBSD manpage: newsyslog.conf(5), newsyslog(8)

NEWSYSLOG(8)             BSD System Manager's Manual              NEWSYSLOG(8)


     newsyslog, newsyslog.conf - rotate log files


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


     The newsyslog utility rotates log files when they exceed a configurable
     size or age. The log file is renamed to log.0 and an empty file is creat-
     ed in its place. An archive of older logs may be kept: in order of in-
     creasing age, these files are named log.1, log.2, and so on. When their
     number exceeds a given limit, the oldest is removed. The archived logs
     may also be compressed.

     The options are as follows:

     -a directory
             Specify a directory into which archived log files will be writ-
             ten. 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 rotat-
             ed as if the -a option was not specified.

     -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.

     -f config_file
             Use config_file instead of /etc/newsyslog.conf for the configura-
             tion file.

     -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

     In the default system configuration, newsyslog is run by cron(8), but it
     may also be run manually. If one or more log files are specified on the
     command line, only the specified files are 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 pro-
     gram is quite fast, it may be scheduled to run every hour without any ill

     When starting up, newsyslog reads in a configuration file to determine
     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 whitespace
     separating each field. Blank lines or lines beginning with a hash mark
     ('#') are ignored. The fields of the configuration file are as follows:

            The full pathname of the system log file to be archived.

            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 com-
            patibility, 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 archives.

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

     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 re-
            placed by an asterisk '*', or set to '0', 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 256 bytes are not rotated
            unless the 'A' (always rotate) or 'B' (binary) flag is set or the
            -F option is specified. This prevents newsyslog from rotating
            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 rota-
            tion will depend only on the contents of the size field. Other-
            wise, the when field consists of an optional interval in hours,
            possibly followed by an '@'-sign and a time in a restricted ISO
            8601 format or by a '$'-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 in-
            terval 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 time zone. There
            is little point in specifying an explicit minutes or seconds com-
            ponent in the current implementation, since the only comparison is
            'within the hour'.

            ISO 8601 restricted time format: The lead-in character for a res-
            tricted 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 exam-
            ple, if today is January 22, 1999, the following date specifica-
            tions are all equivalent:


            Day, week and month time format: The lead-in character for day,
            week and month specification is a dollar sign ($). The particular
            format of day, week and month specification is: [DHH], Ww[DHH]],
            and Mdd[DHH]], respectively. Optional time fields default to mid-
            night. 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 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 (which must begin, case-insensitively,
            with a valid flag letter, or it is skipped) specifies whether any
            special processing should be done. The flags are as follows:

            'A'     Archive even tiny files, e.g. for EU-DSGVO compliance.

            'B'     Binary file: skip writing the usual ASCII message to indi-
                    cate the fact that the logs have been turned over to the
                    end of the archived and the beginning of the new file.

            'F'     Follow symbolic links.

            'M'     Marks the entry as a monitored log file (see below).

            'Z'     Compress the archive files to save space, using gzip(1).

            Specify the username (or email address) that should receive notif-
            ication messages if this is a monitored log file. Notification
            messages are sent as email; the operator deserves what they get if
            they mark the mail log file as monitored. This field is only valid
            when the 'M' flag is set and may not start with a slash, double
            quote, or the string 'SIG', which indicate the fields below.

            This optional field specifies the absolute path of a file contain-
            ing the PID of a process to send a signal (usually SIGHUP) to in-
            stead of /var/run/syslog.pid.

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

            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 be 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 com-
            mand to be run, newsyslog will not send a SIGHUP to syslogd(8).


     /etc/newsyslog.conf  default configuration file


     The newsyslog utility exits 0 on success, and >0 if an error occurs.


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


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

MirBSD #10-current               May 2, 2018                                 3

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