I followed this link to change log-rotate configuration for RHEL 6

After I made the change to config file, what should I do to let this take effect?

4 Answers 4


logrotate uses crontab to work. It's scheduled work, not a daemon, so no need to reload its configuration.
When the crontab executes logrotate, it will use your new config file automatically.
If you need to test your config you can also execute logrotate on your own with the command:

logrotate /etc/logrotate.d/your-logrotate-config

If you want to have a debug output use argument -d

logrotate -d /etc/logrotate.d/your-logrotate-config

You may need to be root or a specific user to run this command. Or as mentioned in comments, identify the logrotate line in the output of the command crontab -l and execute the command line refer to slm's answer to have a precise cron.daily explanation

  • 2
    Just to add to your answer, the cron entry for logrotate is scheduled to run once a day.
    – Ketan
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 17:12
  • @Ketan, so, how can i make it affect right away? thanks
    – BufBills
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 17:17
  • 2
    If you want it to take effect immediately run the cron afterwords.
    – slm
    Commented Feb 20, 2014 at 17:29
  • 12
    logrotate has a -d option for testing (or "debugging"), I'd recommend running it at least once with that. Commented Feb 23, 2017 at 16:52
  • 1
    A very common frustration is the new, required su directive su root syslog. Which brings logrotate to a halt when not added in. To top off people's frustration, when they add the directive, and then run (force) logrotate, it continues to spit out "error: skipping "/var/log/syslog" because parent directory has insecure permissions (It's world writable or writable by group which is not "root" ..." for 20 hrs after the config change, as if the the settings/process are cached!? If you are stuck there, chgrp on /var/log to root, run logrotate, chgrp back to syslog. It will clear up by next run
    – ppostma1
    Commented May 24, 2017 at 16:16

Most of the logrotate setups I've seen on various distros runs out of the /etc/cron.daily. There's a shell script there aptly named logrotate.


$ ls -l /etc/cron.daily/logrotate 
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 180 May 18  2011 /etc/cron.daily/logrotate

Manual run

If you want to make it run manually simply run the script as root:

$ sudo /etc/cron.daily/logrotate

If you take a look at a script that's typically there, it shows you how you can also run logrotate manually, by simply running logrotate + the path to its configuration file.


/usr/sbin/logrotate /etc/logrotate.conf
if [ $EXITVALUE != 0 ]; then
    /usr/bin/logger -t logrotate "ALERT exited abnormally with [$EXITVALUE]"
exit 0

It should be automatic via cron. You can force it to test your changes.

For global logrotate:

sudo logrotate -v -f /etc/logrotate.conf

For a single conf file:

sudo logrotate -v -f /etc/logrotate.d/someapp.conf
  • 20
    -f for force rotation, there is also -d for debug, which is also Dry run, it will print everything it would have done but not actually do it. Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 23:37

On my CentOS 6.5 machine for setting up logrotatefor nginx I had to do this:

logrotate /etc/logrotate.d/nginx

And then I checked if logrotate taking care of my new nginx config like this:

cat /var/lib/logrotate.status

Edit : cat /var/lib/logrotate/status

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