Lighttpd rotating log files with logrotate tool

Posted on in Categories CentOS, Debian Linux, File system, FreeBSD, Gentoo Linux, Howto, lighttpd, Linux, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Storage, Ubuntu Linux, UNIX last updated December 18, 2007
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Last time I wrote about setting up virtual hosting for Lighttpd web server. Naturally next step is to setup log rotating with logrotate which rotates, compresses log files.

Our setup

Our sample setup has total 6 log files:
Default domain/IP log files:
/var/log/lighttpd/error.log virtual domain log files:
/var/log/lighttpd/error.log virtual domain log files:

logrotate Configuration

All you need to do is open/create logrotate configuration file for lighttpd. Open file /etc/logrotate.d/lighttpd:
# vi /etc/logrotate.d/lighttpd

Append following text:
"/var/log/lighttpd/*.log" "/var/log/lighttpd/*.log " "/var/log/lighttpd/*.log " {
rotate 7
/etc/init.d/lighttpd reload


  • “/var/log/lighttpd/*.log” “/var/log/lighttpd/*.log ” “/var/log/lighttpd/*.log “: Log files with wild card specification as per our setup.
  • missingok: If the log file is missing, go on to the next log file without issuing an error message.
  • copytruncate: Truncate the original log file to zero size in place after creating a copy, instead of moving the old log file and optionally creating a new one
  • rotate 7: Log files are rotated 7 times before being removed or mailed to the address specified in a mail directive. If count is 0, old versions are removed rather then rotated.
  • compress: Old versions of log files are compressed with gzip to save disk space.
  • notifempty: Do not rotate the log if it is empty
  • sharedscripts
    /etc/init.d/lighttpd reload
    The lines between postrotate and endscript (both of which must appear on lines by themselves) are executed after the log file is rotated. These directives may only appear inside a log file definition. In our case we are reloading lighttpd. Other opting could be send –HUP single using kill command.

Make sure crond runs automatically after system reboot

Now your logs will rotate with logrotate command which is called from cronjob (/etc/cron.daily/logrotate) everyday. So make sure crond is running all the time:
# /etc/init.d/crond start
# chkconfig --list crond
# chkconfig crond on

Alternatively, run text based GUI tool for same purpose (Redhat/CentOS/Fedora and friends):
# ntsysv

If you are using Debian Linux, type the following command to configure crond using text based GUI tools:
# rcconf

Alternatively you can use update-rc.d command (Debian / Ubuntu Linux) to start crond automatically after system reboot:
# update-rc.d crond defaults