Development repository for the Chef Cookbook for logrotate
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Latest commit 083672d Aug 7, 2017 @stevendanna committed on GitHub Merge pull request #120 from tas50/testing
Testing fixes

logrotate Cookbook

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Manages the logrotate package and provides a definition to manage application specific logrotate configuration.



Should work on any platform that includes a 'logrotate' package and writes logrotate configuration to /etc/logrotate.d. Tested on Ubuntu and Centos.


  • Chef 12.5+


  • none



Generates and controls a global /etc/logrotate.conf file that will include additional files generated by the logrotate_app definition (see below). The contents of the configuration file is controlled through node attributes under node['logrotate']['global']. The default attributes are based on the configuration from the Ubuntu logrotate package.

To define a valueless directive (e.g. compress, copy) simply add an attribute named for the directive with a truthy value:

node['logrotate']['global']['compress'] = 'any value here'

Note that defining a valueless directive with a falsey value will not make it false, but will remove it:

# Removes a defaulted 'compress' directive; does not add a 'nocompress' directive.
node.override['logrotate']['global']['compress'] = false

To fully override a booleanish directive like compress, you should probably remove the positive form and add the negative form:

node.override['logrotate']['global']['compress'] = false
node.override['logrotate']['global']['nocompress'] = true

The same is true of frequency directives; to be certain the frequency directive you want is included in the global configuration, you should override the ones you don't want as false:

%w[ daily weekly yearly ].each do |freq|
  node.override['logrotate']['global'][freq] = false
node.override['logrotate']['global']['monthly'] = true

To define a parameter with a value (e.g. create, mail) add an attribute with the desired value:

node['logrotate']['global']['create'] = '0644 root adm'

To define a path stanza in the global configuration (generally unneeded because of the logrotate_app definition) just add an attribute with the path as the name and a hash containing directives and parameters as described above:

node['logrotate']['global']['/var/log/wtmp'] = {
  'missingok' => true,
  'monthly'   => true,
  'create'    => '0660 root utmp',
  'rotate'    => 1

firstaction, prerotate, postrotate, and lastaction scripts can be defined either as arrays of the lines to put in the script or multiline strings:

node['logrotate']['global']['/var/log/foo/*.log'] = {
  'missingok'  => true,
  'monthly'    => true,
  'create'     => '0660 root adm',
  'rotate'     => 1,
  'prerotate'  => ['service foo start_rotate', 'logger started foo service log rotation'],
  'postrotate' => <<-EOF
    service foo end_rotate
    logger completed foo service log rotation



This resource can be used to drop off customized logrotate config files on a per application basis.

The resource takes the following properties:

  • path: specifies a single path (string) or multiple paths (array) that should have logrotation stanzas created in the config file. No default, this must be specified.

  • cookbook: The cookbook that continues the template for logrotate_app config definitions. By default this is logrotate. Users can provide their own template by setting this attribute to point at a different cookbook.

  • template_name: sets the template source, default is "logrotate.erb".

  • template_mode: the mode to create the logrotate template with (default: "0644")

  • template_owner: the owner of the logrotate template (default: "root")

  • template_group: the group of the logrotate template (default: "root")

  • frequency: sets the frequency for rotation. Default value is 'weekly'. Valid values are: hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, see the logrotate man page for more information. Note that usually logrotate is configured to be run by cron daily. You have to change this configuration and run logrotate hourly to be able to really rotate logs hourly. Hourly rotation requires logrotate v3.8.5 or higher.

  • options: Any logrotate configuration option that doesn't specify a value. See the logrotate(8) manual page of v3.9.2 or earlier for details.

In addition to these properties, any logrotate option that takes a parameter can be used as a logrotate_app property. For example, to set the rotate option you can use a resource declaration such as:

logrotate_app 'tomcat-myapp' do
  path      '/var/log/tomcat/myapp.log'
  frequency 'daily'
  rotate    30
  create    '644 root adm'

See the logrotate(8) manual page of v3.9.2 or earlier for the list of available options.


The default recipe will ensure logrotate is always up to date.

To create application specific logrotate configs, use the logrotate_app definition. For example, to rotate logs for a tomcat application named myapp that writes its log file to /var/log/tomcat/myapp.log:

logrotate_app 'tomcat-myapp' do
  path      '/var/log/tomcat/myapp.log'
  frequency 'daily'
  rotate    30
  create    '644 root adm'

To rotate multiple logfile paths, specify the path as an array:

logrotate_app 'tomcat-myapp' do
  path      ['/var/log/tomcat/myapp.log', '/opt/local/tomcat/catalina.out']
  frequency 'daily'
  create    '644 root adm'
  rotate    7

To specify which logrotate options, specify the options as an array:

logrotate_app 'tomcat-myapp' do
  path      '/var/log/tomcat/myapp.log'
  options   ['missingok', 'delaycompress', 'notifempty']
  frequency 'daily'
  rotate    30
  create    '644 root adm'

License & Authors

Copyright 2009, Scott M. Likens
Copyright 2011-2012, Chef Software, Inc.
Copyright 2016, Steven Danna

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the "License");
you may not use this file except in compliance with the License.
You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software
distributed under the License is distributed on an "AS IS" BASIS,
See the License for the specific language governing permissions and
limitations under the License.