OS: Running RHEL 5.6.

Situation: I need to rotate /var/log/messagees on a different schedule than the rest of the syslog logs.

By default syslog logs are rotated weekly based on the /etc/logrotate.conf and /etc/logrotate.d/syslog configuration files.

If you look at /etc/logrotate.d/syslog you will find that there is one logrotate configuration block for all of the logs. If I want /var/log/messages to rotate on a different schedule I need to create a separate configuration block for it. This would result in restarting syslogd twice (based on copying the existing config).

Question: Is there a way to rotate /var/log/messages on a different schedule than the other syslog logs without having to send HUP to syslogd twice? Or does this even matter? What is the best practice here?

  • 3
    I believe the only thing HUP signal does it tell syslog to close, and re-open the log files. I can't imagine this would be a huge problem unless you an extremely active system.
    – Zoredache
    May 22, 2012 at 23:38

1 Answer 1


Set up a separate block for the messages log in /etc/logrotate.d/rsyslog (or whatever it's called on your install). It should use the setting for the specific log file match preferentially to a general one.

No, as Zoredache mentioned, multiple HUPs shouldn't break anything unless you're really hammering rsyslog anyway.

  • Thanks guys, the system is not too busy. I will impalement this. I couldn't think of a reason not to, wanted to see if anyone saw any negatives in doing things this way.
    – Joshua
    May 23, 2012 at 23:43
  • If you think the answer fits your question, please make sure you accept and/or upvote the answers. You're more likely to get folks to answer your future questions if you have a high percentage of accepted answers.
    – Magellan
    May 24, 2012 at 0:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.