If catalina.out becomes 2GB in size, tomcat crashes and fails to start without any error message. To avoid this scenario you should rotate catalina.out frequently. This article describes how to setup auto rotation of catalina.out on a linux/unix machine.

How to automatically rotate catalina.out daily or when it becomes bigger than 5M

1. Create this file


2. Copy the following contents into the above file

/var/log/tomcat/catalina.out {   copytruncate   daily   rotate 7   compress   missingok   size 5M  }

About the above configuration:

  • Make sure that the path /var/log/tomcat/catalina.out above is adjusted to point to your tomcat’s catalina.out
  • daily – rotates the catalina.out daily
  • rotate – keeps at most 7 log files
  • compress – compressesthe rotated files
  • size – rotates if the size of catalina.out is bigger than 5M

You don’t need to do anything else.

How it works

  1. Every night the cron daemon runs jobs listed in the /etc/cron.daily/ directory
  2. This triggers the /etc/cron.daily/logrotate file which is generally shipped with linux installations. It runs the command “/usr/sbin/logrotate /etc/logrotate.conf
  3. The /etc/logrotate.confincludes all scripts in the/etc/logrotate.d/ directory.
  4. This triggers the /etc/logrotate.d/tomcat file that you wrote in the previous step.

Run logrotate manually

Run the following command to run the cron job manually

/usr/sbin/logrotate /etc/logrotate.conf

More logrotate options

To see all logrotate options on your system, see the manual:

man logrotate

From http://www.vineetmanohar.com



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