[syslog-ng] syslog-ng 1.1.7 released

Scott Dellinger dellinsd@jmu.edu
Tue, 13 Apr 1999 16:20:23 -0400 (EDT)

On Tue, 13 Apr 1999, Richi Plana wrote:

> On Mon, 12 Apr 1999, Balazs Scheidler wrote:
> |o| I am thinking about builtin support for logfile rotation. One
> |o| could specify rotation parameters in destination statements:
> |o| 
> |o| destination d_messages { file /var/log/messages rotate(weekly, 9)
> |o| compress };
> |o| What do you think?
> That'd be nice, but a lot of systems have their own "rotate log" systems
> and they may wish to centralize log rotation. Perhaps something like what
> squid has (squid -k rotatelogs) would be a better solution, but one needs
> to set up some kind of IPC. Or how about SIGUSR1 to rotate the logs... eh,
> wot?

I started to write a reply agreeing completely with you, but this is a
sticky issue.  The design philosophy of unix programs is supposed to be to
make a program do a specific thing well, and to call other programs (that
do their specific thing well) to do other things -- and this has definite
advantages over the Windows idea of making huge programs with dozens of
overlapping features -- but log rotation is definitely a logical extension
of handling system logs.  From a configuration standpoint, it is much
cleaner to take care of everything regarding one log in one step. The
problem, however, is that there are a number of different ways that a site
might want to rotate its logs.  Probably the most common way is what was
contained in the proposed syntax above: filename.1, filename.2, etc.  At
JMU, however, we rotate our logs in the (what I think is much more
logical) filename.YYYY-MM-DD, in a couple instances with time of day
tacked on, and in most cases we gzip the logs as well.  If log rotation
were part of the syslog daemon, it would need to be flexible enough to
keep most people happy.  It would probably need to have at least the above
two ways of naming rotated logs (digits and times), it would need the
ability to compress logs immediately after rotation (gzip or bzip2), and
it would need the ability to call an external script to do whatever else a
site might like to do with a rotated log.  (And if you could have a file
rotate into a date-style filename anyway, why not have the ability to save
it there in the first place?)  Now, is it worth the time to write in these
features, and do it well?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But if it were done in a
flexible way, it would make configuration nice and easy, and keep it all
in one place.

(This is a complete 360 from where I stood when I originally started to

Scott Dellinger
Systems Administrator,
JMU Technical Services