The NewSyslog Project
I'm maintaining an enhanced version of
originally written by Theodore Ts'o and now found in almost every *BSD
clone and GNU/Linux system. It has integrated the best features of the
versions supplied with NetBSD, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD, and it's internal
algorithms have been almost completely re-written.
newsyslog is a highly configurable program for managing and
archiving log files.
So, just what does this
newsyslog have to offer? Here's a
list of some of the most interesting features taken from the README file
in the latest release:
It is more portable (using GNU Autoconf) and it can be
compiled and installed on most any modern Unix or Unix-like
It has support for fixed time-of-day daily archiving with a
command-line option to identify the daily roll-over invocation
(which may be at midnight, or at any other regular daily time).
It supports the FreeBSD feature that allows specification of
the log roll-over time as a daily, weekly, or monthly interval
(with optional time-of-day specification for the last two).
[The other overly flexible, ISO 8601 interpretation of the
interval "@" option is not supported -- it is too generic and
not meaningful enough in the context of log file management.]
It supports optional PID files so that non-standard daemons
can be told to re-open their logfiles after archiving has
taken place. (Including /dev/null which disables signalling
of any daemon when the specified log file is rolled over.)
It can send a signal other than SIGHUP to the daemon
associated with a given log file.
It can leave the most recently archived log file uncompressed,
which is necessary for daemons like httpd and smail because
they continue to write to the current log file until their
current jobs have completed. (This also makes it much easier
to review recent log data with normal Unix tools.) [NetBSD
now has this feature.]
It supports the FreeBSD feature of being able to restrict
processing to just those log files specified on the command
Unlike the NetBSD version it first parses the config file
before taking any action, meaning that if any errors are
encountered it will report them and quit without doing
Unlike the FreeBSD version, it will roll a log file if
either the interval or size limits have been reached
(FreeBSD's version makes it too easy to have a rapidly growing
log file overflow the filesystem).
Unlike the NetBSD version it always creates any missing log
file (though this can be disabled on a per-file basis).
It uses an advisory lock on the current configuration file to
prevent multiple invocations from tripping over each other.
The documentation is far better!
As of the last time this web page was updated the current release was:
The latest beta test release is:
You can read about the history of user-visible changes up to the latest
the online copy of the NEWS file.
The most recent release is always available as:
You can read both the
newsyslog manual page and the
newsyslog.conf manual page online.
Michael Lucas wrote a nice little
article about newsyslog in his ``Big Scary Daemons'' column in
O'Reilly's ONLamp.com on-line
newsletter. It's not quite 100% accurate in the details mentioned with
respect to my version, but it'll get you started!
My version of
newsyslog is listed on FreshMeat.net at
You can read about any ideas I've recorded for possible future
the online copy of the ToDo file.
The original version of
newsyslog upon which this version is
based came from NetBSD.
For further information about the NewSyslog project in particular, or to
comment on this particular web page, please contact me at this address:
Last updated on 09/07/15 at 20:52:25 (version 1.15).
Copyright © 2001 -
Greg A. Woods. All rights Reserved