Why creating a fresh log file is called log rotate instead of log refresh or log delete? What does the word rotate emphasis?

1 Answer 1


It's called logrotate because typically it is used to "rotate" logs to new files periodically -- that is, it doesn't delete or refresh them (at least from my interpretation of those words).

One definition of "rotate" provided by the Random House Dictionary is:

to cause to go through a cycle of changes or follow in a fixed routine of succession: to rotate crops.

logrotate does as described -- typically log becomes log.1, log.1 becomes log.2, etc. They are not typically deleted before they reach the threshold -- log deletion is not the primary function of logrotate, rotation is.


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