Starting with Solaris 9 there is a very handy tool called logadm that makes management of any log files a breeze. Syslog and messages files, among others, are managed by logadm which is called from root’s crontab. Logadm reads /etc/logadm.conf file to figure out what it needs to do. By default there are following entries in logadm.conf:

/var/log/syslog -C 8 -P 'Wed Apr  8 02:10:22 2009' -a 'kill -HUP `cat /var/run/`'
/var/adm/messages -C 4 -P 'Fri Apr 10 02:10:15 2009' -a 'kill -HUP `cat /var/run/`'
/var/cron/log -c -s 512k -t /var/cron/olog
/var/lp/logs/lpsched -C 2 -N -t '$file.$N'
/var/fm/fmd/errlog -M '/usr/sbin/fmadm -q rotate errlog && mv /var/fm/fmd/errlog.0- $nfile' -N -s 2m
smf_logs -C 8 -s 1m /var/svc/log/* .log
/var/adm/pacct -C 0 -N -a '/usr/lib/acct/accton pacct' -g adm -m 664 -o adm -p never
/var/log/pool/poold -N -a 'pkill -HUP poold; true' -s 512k

Logadm provides -w switch which will write an entry into logadm.conf file that reflects current command line arguments. Of course logadm.conf can be edited using text editor, if that is the preferred method. If that’s the case, -V option can validate syntax of logadm.conf for you. Another handy option is -n which will cause logadm to do a dry run without actually performing the log rotation.

Other useful switches are:

  • -b and -a which allow specification of pre and post rotation commands to execute
  • -e sends error messages to a specific address instead of sending it to the owner of the crontab
  • -r removes entry from logadm.conf for a specific log file
  • -o sets different owner for the new log file from the original
  • -g sets different group for the new log file from the original
  • -m sets different permissions for the new log file from the original

For the whole story on logadm check out logadm man page.