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I have a bunch of ec2 instances running web services; every hour I want to copy the logs back to S3. Which works perfectly well.

But, it appears if I move the logs and then touch a new file, or just write the contents to 0 Apache stops writing the logs from that point.

How is it best to do this?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Log files are accessed through their file descriptor (inode), not their name.

To rotate apache logs safely you must re-create the log file and then restart apache.

Most distros come with apache logrotate settings preconfigured; take a look at those.

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Usually, the logrotate scripts issue a reload (send SIGHUP) to the running process after doing the logrotation and creating a new log file. This enables the running process (apache in your case) to reopen the log file and continue to write logs to the right file descriptor.

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The standard apache logrotate scripts run differently, because apache includes a restart command that does not close any connections. – adaptr Nov 30 '11 at 13:52

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