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

     newsyslog -- maintain system log files to manageable sizes

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

     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.

     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 writ-
             ten.  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.

     -d directory
             Specify a directory which all log files will be relative to.  To
             allow archiving of logs outside the root, the directory passed to
             the -a option is unaffected.

     -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.  How-
             ever, 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

     -N      Do not perform any rotations.  This option is intended to be used
             with the -C or -CC options when creating log files is the only

     -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 trig-
             ger 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 exe-
             cute 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 exam-
     ine log files that match those arguments; otherwise, it will examine all
     files listed in the configuration file.

     /etc/newsyslog.conf      newsyslog configuration file

     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.

     The newsyslog utility originated from NetBSD and first appeared in
     FreeBSD 2.2.

     Theodore Ts'o, MIT Project Athena

     Copyright 1987, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

     bzip2(1), gzip(1), syslog(3), newsyslog.conf(5), chown(8), syslogd(8)

     Does not yet automatically read the logs to find security breaches.

FreeBSD 6.2                    February 24, 2005                   FreeBSD 6.2


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