Rotating log files

The LogRotate service periodically rotates logs and removes old rotated logs.

The LogRotate service periodically rotates logs and removes old rotated logs. To view previous LogRotate events, see LOG_ROTATE_EVENTS.

If the following files exceed the specified maximum size, they are rotated:

  • vertica.log
  • UDxFencedProcesses.log
  • MemoryReport.log
  • editor.log
  • dbLog

Rotated files are compressed and marked with a timestamp in the same location as the original log file: path/to/logfile.logtimestamp.gz. For example, /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/vertica.log is rotated to /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/vertica.log.2023-11-08-14-09-02-381909-05.gz.

If a log file was rotated, the previously rotated logs (.gz) in that directory are checked against the specified maximum age. Rotated logs older than the maximum age are deleted.

Upgrade behavior

The LogRotate service is automatically enabled, but if your database contains the configuration file for the Linux logrotate utility at /opt/vertica/config/logrotate/database_name, the LogRotate service will not run. If you upgraded from Vertica 23.4 or below, you must delete the configuration file on all nodes to use the LogRotate service.

Automatic rotation

To configure and enable the LogRotate service:

  1. Set the maximum allowed size of logs with LogRotateMaxSize. Log files larger than this age are rotated (compressed).
  2. Set the maximum allowed age of rotated logs with LogRotateMaxAge. Rotated (compressed) logs older than this age are deleted.
  3. Set how often the service runs with LogRotateInterval.
  4. Enable the service with EnableLogRotate.

For details on these parameters, see Monitoring parameters.

To view the current values for these parameters, query CONFIGURATION_PARAMETERS.

The following example configures the LogRotate service to automatically run every four hours, rotating logs that are larger than 1 kibibyte and removing rotated logs that are older than 12 days:

=> ALTER DATABASE DEFAULT SET LogRotateInterval = '4h', LogRotateMaxSize = '1k', LogRotateMaxAge = '12 days';

Manual rotation

You can manually rotate the logs on a particular node with the DO_LOGROTATE_LOCAL meta-function. This function takes optional arguments to force the rotation of all logs and override the values of LogRotateMaxSize and LogRotateMaxAge.

To rotate logs that are larger than 1 kilobyte, and then remove rotated logs that are older than 1 day:

=> SELECT do_logrotate_local('max_size=1K;max_age=1 day');

 Doing Logrotate
Considering file /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/vertica.log
File size: 35753 Bytes
Force rotate? no
Renaming to /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/vertica.log.2023-11-08-13-55-51-651129-05
Opening new log file /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/vertica.log
Compressing /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/vertica.log.2023-11-08-13-55-51-651129-05 to /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/vertica.log.2023-11-08-13-55-51-651129-05.gz
Done with /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/vertica.log

Considering file /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/UDxLogs/UDxFencedProcesses.log
File size: 68 Bytes
Force rotate? no
Rotation not required for file /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/UDxLogs/UDxFencedProcesses.log
Done with /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/UDxLogs/UDxFencedProcesses.log
(1 row)

To force rotation and then remove all logs older than 4 days (default value of LogRotateMaxAge):

=> SELECT do_logrotate_local('force;max_age=4 days');

 Doing Logrotate
Considering file /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/vertica.log
File size: 4310245 Bytes
Force rotate? yes
Renaming to /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/vertica.log.2023-11-10-13-45-15-53837-05
Opening new log file /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/vertica.log
Compressing /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/vertica.log.2023-11-10-13-45-15-53837-05 to /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/vertica.log.2023-11-10-13-45-15-53837-05.gz
Done with /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/vertica.log

Considering file /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/UDxLogs/UDxFencedProcesses.log
File size: 68 Bytes
Force rotate? yes
Remove old log file /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/UDxLogs/UDxFencedProcesses.log.2023-11-06-13-18-27-23141-05.gz
Remove old log file /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/UDxLogs/UDxFencedProcesses.log.2023-11-07-13-18-30-059008-05.gz
Remove old log file /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/UDxLogs/UDxFencedProcesses.log.2023-11-08-13-47-11-707903-05.gz
Remove old log file /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/UDxLogs/UDxFencedProcesses.log.2023-11-09-14-09-02-386402-05.gz
Renaming to /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/UDxLogs/UDxFencedProcesses.log.2023-11-10-13-45-15-647762-05
Opening new log file /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/UDxLogs/UDxFencedProcesses.log
Compressing /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/UDxLogs/UDxFencedProcesses.log.2023-11-10-13-45-15-647762-05 to /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/UDxLogs/UDxFencedProcesses.log.2023-11-10-13-45-15-647762-05.gz
Done with /scratch_b/qa/VMart/v_vmart_node0001_catalog/UDxLogs/UDxFencedProcesses.log

(1 row)

Rotating with the Linux logrotate utility

Most Linux distributions include the logrotate utility. By setting up a logrotate configuration file, you can use the utility to complete one or more of these tasks automatically:

  • Compress and rotate log files

  • Remove log files automatically

  • Email log files to named recipients

You can configure logrotate to complete these tasks at specific intervals, or when log files reach a particular size.

If logrotate is present when Vertica is installed, then Vertica automatically sets this utility to look for configuration files. Thus, logrotate searches for configuration files in the /opt/vertica/config/logrotate directory on each node.

When you create a database, Vertica creates database-specific logrotate configurations on each node in your cluster, which are used by the logrotate utility. It then creates a file with the path /opt/vertica/config/logrotate/dbname for each individual database.

For information about additional settings, use the man logrotate command.

Executing the Python script through the dbadmin logrotate cron job

During the installation of Vertica, the installer configures a cron job for the dbadmin user. This cron job is configured to execute a Python script that runs the logrotate utility. You can view the details of this cron job by viewing the dbadmin.cron file, which is located in the /opt/vertica/config directory.

If you want to customize a cron job to configure logrotate for your Vertica database, you must create the cron job under the dbadmin user.

Using the administration tools logrotate utility

You can use the admintools logrotate option to help configure logrotate scripts for a database and distribute the scripts across the cluster. The logrotate option allows you to specify:

  • How often to rotate logs

  • How large logs can become before being rotated

  • How long to keep the logs


The following example shows you how to set up log rotation on a weekly schedule and keeps for three months (12 logs).

$ admintools -t logrotate -d <dbname> -r weekly -k 12

See Writing administration tools scripts for more usage information.

Configure logrotate for MC

The Management Console log file is:


To configure logrotate for MC, configure the following file:


Edit the log4j.xml file and set these parameters as follows:

  1. Restrict the size of the log:

    <param name="MaxFileSize" value="1MB"/>
  2. Restrict the number of file backups for the log:

    <param name="MaxBackupIndex" value="1"/>
  3. Restart MC as the root user:

    # etc/init.d/vertica-consoled restart

Rotating logs manually

To implement a custom log rotation process, follow these steps:

  1. Rename or archive the existing vertica.log file. For example:

    $ mv vertica.log vertica.log.1
  2. Send the Vertica process the USR1 signal, using either of the following approaches:

    $ killall -USR1 vertica


    $ ps -ef | grep -i vertica
    $ kill -USR1 process-id