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NEWSYSLOG(8) OpenBSD System Manager's Manual NEWSYSLOG(8)
newsyslog - maintain system log files to manageable sizes
/usr/bin/newsyslog [-vmnr] [-f configuration file]
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. Optionally the
archived logs can be compressed to save space.
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 effects.
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 a whitespace
separating each field. Blank lines or lines beginning with ``#'' are ig-
nored. The fields of the configuration file are as follows:
logfile name The full pathname of the system log file to be
owner.group of archives (optional)
Specify an ownership 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
mode of logfile & archives
Octal mode of created log files and archives.
number of archives
Specify the number of archives to be kept besides the
log file itself.
size of archives When the size of the log file reaches this point, the
log file becomes trimmed as described above. If this
field is replaced by a ``*'', then the size of the log
file is not taken into account when determining when to
trim the log file.
archive interval Specify the time separation between the trimming of the
log file. If this field is replaced by a ``*'', the
number of hours since the last time the log was trimmed
will not be taken into consideration.
flags (optional) The flags field specifies if the archives 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 compress(1), 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.
monitor notification (optional)
Specify the account 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 the sendmail(8) log file as moni-
The following options can be used with newsyslog:
instructs newsyslog to use config-file instead of /etc/newsys-
log.conf for its configuration file.
-v places newsyslog in verbose mode. In this mode it will print out
each log and its reasons for either trimming that log or skipping
-n causes newsyslog not to trim the logs, but to print out what it
would do if this option were not specified.
-r removes 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.
-m places newsyslog in monitoring mode; only entries marked with an
``M'' in flags are processed, and notifications sent if any have
changed. Without this option, monitored entries are not processed.
/etc/newsyslog.conf Default configuration file.
gzip(1), compress(1), syslog(3), syslogd(8).
Theodore Ts'o, MIT Project Athena
Copyright 1987, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
OpenBSD July 7, 1997 2
Source: OpenBSD 2.6 man pages. Copyright: Portions are copyrighted by BERKELEY
SOFTWARE DESIGN, INC., The Regents of the University of California, Massachusetts
Institute of Technology, Free Software Foundation, FreeBSD Inc., and others.
(Corrections, notes, and links courtesy of RocketAware.com)
FreeBSD Sources for newsyslog(8)
OpenBSD sources for newsyslog(8)
Up to: Error Handling and Logging - Handling errors and logging. (syslog, error tables, et al)
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