I want to clear my "/var/log/journal" directory.

I'm using debian 8

root@nyc3-x8:/var/log# uname -a
Linux nyc3-x8 3.16.0-4-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 3.16.36-1+deb8u2 (2016-10-19) x86_64 GNU/Linux

And my journal;

root@nyc3-x8:/var/log# du -hs journal/
11G journal/

I searched the forum and tried "journalctl --vacuum-time = xd" but it didn't work;

root@nyc3-x8:/var/log# journalctl --vacuum-time=1d
journalctl: unrecognized option '--vacuum-time=1d'

What should i do?



You can modify /etc/systemd/journald.conf to make the retention time shorter or limit the file size.

MaxRetentionSec= can specify the time to keep logs in seconds. You can override the default unit of time by using a value like "1month" or "1y"

SystemMaxUse= accepts percentage values, and defaults to 10%.

If changing these options and restarting don't make a difference (apparently corrupted logs will never be deleted), you can safely delete anything in the /var/log/journal directory with rm, just don't delete the directory itself.


It should be journalctl --vacuum-time 1d.

  • same result; root@nyc3-x8:/var/log# journalctl --vacuum-time 1d journalctl: unrecognized option '--vacuum-time' – Goktug Oct 10 '18 at 18:33
  • Did you try this? unix.stackexchange.com/a/184348/280841 – Amin Vakil Oct 10 '18 at 18:36
  • Yes, nothing has changed. – Goktug Oct 10 '18 at 18:41
  • Interesting. The above command works for me. Maybe it's about different versions of journalctl? – mc0e Apr 15 at 4:47

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