files that grow like topsy

Kerry Hoath kerry at
Thu Feb 14 08:00:11 EST 2002

There might be a package called savelogs
or logrotate which you can run from cron that can
handle renaming gzipping and deleting logs.
Under debian /var/log/messages and syslog get renamed and gzipped on
a daily basis and 7 days of logs are kept.
12 months of wtmp are compressed and kept.
You can delete wtmp and it should be created. If you want to make
damn sure, touch the file and chown it to the user/group of the old
one and things should be fine.
logrotate and savelog will do all this for you.
Debian does this automatically as does Redhat.
Slackware is suboptimal in this regard. Unless you went digging you might never
know why diskspace was beeing eaten.

Regards, Kerry.
On Thu, Feb 14, 2002 at 07:40:26AM -0500, Charles Hallenbeck wrote:
> I have been concerned about some files in Linux which appear to
> grow and are never automatically shrunk, such as
> /var/log/messages and /var/log/wtmp. I have made a crontab entry
> that empties the messages file once a month, but I am wondering
> if anyone knows whether it is safe to do the same for wtmp. Right
> now that file is over 5 MB in size on my system and contains a
> record of all my logins. I could just zap it and see what happens
> I guess, but I wonder if someone wiser than I can tell me ahead
> of time what would happen and maybe save me some grief.
> Thanks - Chuck
> Visit me now at
> The Moon is Waxing Crescent (4% of Full)
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Kerry Hoath:  kerry at kerry at or  kerry at

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