Logrotate can really come in handy when you need to manage logfiles on your Linux machine. And this tutorial shows you how to set up logrotate via Ansible.

Example - Managing Rails Logfile with Logrotate


  • Triggers hourly
  • Rotate when log file is bigger than 100M
  • Only keep 10 copies

Configuring Ansible for Logrotate

  • roles/logrotate/tasks/main.yml
- name: set up logrotate for rails log
    src: rails.j2
    dest: /etc/logrotate.d/rails
    owner: root
    group: root
    mode: 0644

- name: ensure logrotate is in /etc/cron.hourly
    src: /etc/cron.daily/logrotate
    dest: /etc/cron.hourly/logrotate
    state: link
    force: yes
    mode: 0755 # the file needs to be excutable
  • roles/logrotate/templates/rails.j2

    Modify /path/to/your/rails/log/.log to your logfile’s path on your machine.

/path/to/your/rails/log/.log {
    size 100M             # triggers when file is bigger than 100M
    dateext               # use date extension
    dateformat -%Y%m%d-%s # the extention format
    rotate 10             # keep 10 files
    copytruncate          # truncates the original file
    missingok             # does not throw error if the file is missing
    notifempty            # does not rotate if the file is empty

Provisioning Logrotate with Ansible

Refer to Executing playbooks.


Checking whether Logrotate can be Called by Cron

# Should print "/etc/cron.hourly/logrotate"
$ run-parts --test /etc/cron.hourly

Getting File/Directory Permission Numerical Value in Linux

I usually use sites like Chmod Calculator to map values.

$ stat --format '%a' <filename>

Finding out when cron.hourly Really Executes

$ cat /etc/cron.d/0hourly