How to Install Logrotate in Linux? A Comprehensive Guide


When it comes to managing log files on a Linux system, logrotate is an indispensable tool. Log files can quickly accumulate and consume valuable disk space, potentially leading to system slowdowns. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of installing logrotate in Linux and demonstrate how to use it effectively to manage log files. Whether you’re a seasoned Linux user or a beginner, this guide will provide you with the knowledge and confidence to streamline your log management process.

How to Install Logrotate in Linux?

Installing logrotate on your Linux system is a straightforward process. Follow these steps to get started:

  • Open a Terminal: Launch the terminal on your Linux system. You can do this by searching for “Terminal” in your applications menu or using the shortcut Ctrl + Alt + T.
  • Update Your System: Before installing new software, it’s a good practice to update your system’s package repository. Use the following command to update your package repository:bashCopy codesudo apt update
  • Install Logrotate: Once your package repository is updated, you can install logrotate using the following command:bashCopy codesudo apt install logrotate
  • Verify Installation: After the installation is complete, you can verify it by checking the installed version of logrotate:bashCopy codelogrotate --version

Congratulations! You’ve successfully installed logrotate on your Linux system. Now, let’s delve into the various aspects of using logrotate effectively.

Configuring Logrotate for Efficient Log Management

Logrotate comes with a configuration file that allows you to customize its behavior according to your needs. The configuration file is typically located at /etc/logrotate.conf. Here’s how you can configure logrotate:

  • Navigate to the Configuration Directory: Use the following command to navigate to the logrotate configuration directory:bashCopy codecd /etc/logrotate.d/
  • Create a Configuration File for a Specific Log: Each log file you want to manage with logrotate should have its own configuration file. Create a new file using a text editor:bashCopy codesudo nano myapp-log
  • Configure Log Rotation Settings: In the configuration file, you can specify various settings, including how often the log should be rotated, the number of old log files to keep, and the actions to take after rotation.bashCopy code/var/log/myapp.log { rotate 7 # Keep 7 rotated logs daily # Rotate daily missingok # Don't display an error if the log file is missing compress # Compress the rotated log files notifempty # Do not rotate if the log file is empty } Adjust the settings based on your requirements.
  • Save and Exit: After configuring the settings, save the file and exit the text editor.

Advanced Tips and Tricks for Logrotate

Handling Custom Log Rotation Frequency

By default, logrotate rotates logs on a daily basis. However, you can customize the rotation frequency according to your needs. For instance, to rotate logs every hour, modify the configuration as follows:

/var/log/myapp.log {
    rotate 24        # Keep 24 rotated logs
    hourly           # Rotate every hour

Using External Scripts

Logrotate allows you to run custom scripts before or after log rotation. This can be useful for tasks like notifying administrators or uploading rotated logs to remote servers.

To run a script before log rotation:

/var/log/myapp.log {

Combining Log Files

If your application generates multiple log files, you can configure logrotate to combine them into a single rotated file. This makes it easier to manage and analyze logs.

/var/log/myapp/*.log {
    combine            # Combine all log files into one rotated file


How do I manually trigger log rotation?

To manually trigger log rotation, you can use the following command:

sudo logrotate -f /etc/logrotate.conf

Can I rotate logs for specific users?

Yes, you can create individual log rotation configurations for specific users or applications. Simply create a separate configuration file and specify the log files you want to manage.

How can I exclude certain log files from rotation?

You can exclude specific log files from rotation by adding the norate option in the configuration. For example:

var/log/myapp.log {

What happens to the original log file after rotation?

After log rotation, the original log file is renamed with an incrementing number appended to its name. For instance, myapp.log.1, myapp.log.2, and so on.

How do I view rotated log files?

Rotated log files can be viewed using standard text editors or command-line tools. For example:

 /var/log/myapp.log.1     # Display contents of rotated log file
zcat /var/log/myapp.log.1.gz  # Display contents of compressed rotated log file

Is logrotate essential for all Linux systems?

Logrotate is a crucial tool for managing log files on Linux systems. It helps prevent disk space issues and ensures efficient log management.

How to install logrotate in Linux?

To install logrotate in Linux, use the package manager for your distribution, such as apt, yum, or dnf.

Where are the logrotate logs?

Logrotate logs are typically located in the /var/lib/logrotate/ directory.

Where is the default logrotate file?

The default logrotate configuration file is usually found at /etc/logrotate.conf.

How to start logrotate in Linux?

To manually start logrotate in Linux, use the command logrotate -f /etc/logrotate.conf.


In this comprehensive guide, you’ve learned how to install logrotate in Linux and effectively manage log files. By following the step-by-step instructions and implementing advanced tips and tricks, you can keep your system’s log files organized and prevent storage-related problems. Logrotate empowers you to automate the log rotation process, saving you time and effort while ensuring your Linux system runs smoothly.

Leave a comment