NEWSYSLOG.CONF(5) BSD File Formats Manual NEWSYSLOG.CONF(5)NAMEnewsyslog.conf — newsyslog(8) configuration file
The newsyslog.conf file is used to set log file rotation configuration
for the newsyslog(8) utility. Configuration may designate that logs are
rotated based on size, last rotation time, or time of day. The
newsyslog.conf file can also be used to designate secure permissions to
log files at rotation time. During initialization, newsyslog(8) reads a
configuration file, normally /etc/newsyslog.conf, to determine which logs
may potentially be rotated and archived. Each line has five mandatory
fields and four optional fields, separated with whitespace. Blank lines
or lines beginning with ‘#’ are ignored. If ‘#’ is placed in the middle
of the line, the ‘#’ character and the rest of the line after it is
ignored. To prevent special meaning, the ‘#’ character may be escaped
with ‘\’; in this case preceding ‘\’ is removed and ‘#’ is treated as an
ordinary character. The fields of the configuration file are as follows:
Name of the system log file to be archived, or one of the literal
strings “⟨default⟩”, or “⟨include⟩”. The special default entry
will only be used if a log file name is given as a command line
argument to newsyslog(8), and if that log file name is not
matched by any other line in the configuration file. The include
entry is used to include other configuration files and supports
This optional field specifies the owner and group for the archive
file. The ‘:’ is essential regardless if the owner or group
field is left blank or contains a value. The field may be
numeric, or a name which is present in /etc/passwd or /etc/group.
mode Specify the file mode of the log file and archives.
count Specify the maximum number of archive files which may exist.
This does not consider the current log file.
size When the size of the log file reaches size in kilobytes, the log
file will be trimmed as described above. If this field contains
an asterisk (‘*’), the log file will not be trimmed based on
when The when field may consist of an interval, a specific time, or
both. If the when field contains an asterisk (‘*’), log rotation
will solely depend on the contents of the size field. Otherwise,
the when field consists of an optional interval in hours, usually
followed by an ‘@’-sign and a time in restricted ISO 8601 format.
Additionally, the format may also be constructed with a ‘$’ sign
along with a rotation time specification of once a day, once a
week, or once a month.
If a time is specified, the log file will only be trimmed if
newsyslog(8) is run within one hour of the specified time. If an
interval is specified, the log file will be trimmed if that many
hours have passed since the last rotation. When both a time and
an interval are specified then both conditions must be satisfied
for the rotation to take place.
There is no provision for the specification of a timezone. There
is little point in specifying an explicit minutes or seconds com‐
ponent in the current implementation, since the only comparison
is “within the hour”.
ISO 8601 restricted time format:
The lead-in character for a restricted ISO 8601 time is an ‘@’
sign. The particular format of the time in restricted ISO 8601
is: [[[[[cc]yy]mm]dd][T[hh[mm[ss]]]]]. Optional date fields
default to the appropriate component of the current date;
optional time fields default to midnight; hence if today is Janu‐
ary 22, 1999, the following date specifications are all equiva‐
Day, week, and month time format:
The lead-in character for day, week, and month specification is a
‘$’ sign. The particular format of day, week, and month specifi‐
cation 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 one of the letters
‘L’ or ‘l’ to specify the last day of the month.
$D0 rotate every night at midnight (same as @T00)
$D23 rotate every day at 23:00 (same as @T23)
$W0D23 rotate every week on Sunday at 23:00
$W5D16 rotate every week on Friday at 16:00
$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 (same as
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(8) inserts an ASCII
message into a log file during rotation. This message is
used to indicate when, and sometimes why the log file was
rotated. If B is specified, then that informational mes‐
sage 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 speci‐
fied on the command line.
D indicates that newsyslog(8) should set the UF_NODUMP flag
when creating a new version of this log file. This
option would affect how the dump(8) command treats the
log file when making a file system backup.
G indicates that the specified logfile_name is a shell pat‐
tern, and that newsyslog(8) should archive all filenames
matching that pattern using the other options on this
line. See glob(3) for details on syntax and matching
J indicates that newsyslog(8) 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 sig‐
naled 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 be a negative value to distinguish it from a
Z indicates that newsyslog(8) 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 containing a daemon's
process ID or to find a group process ID if the U flag was speci‐
fied. If this field is present, a signal_number is sent to the
process ID contained in this file. If this field is not present
and the N flag has not been specified, then a SIGHUP signal will
be sent to syslogd(8) or to the process id found in the file
specified by newsyslog(8)'s -S switch. 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.
SEE ALSObzip2(1), gzip(1), syslog(3), chown(8), newsyslog(8), syslogd(8)HISTORY
This manual page first appeared in FreeBSD 4.10.
BSD July 23, 2010 BSD