How to rotate SSL logs or archive them for SPS server?

Document ID : KB000051138
Last Modified Date : 14/02/2018
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The SSL Logs are written using the Apache CustomLog directive. Which is not actually controlled by the Secure Proxy Server. The log rotation is controlled as specified in apache web server documentation "Apache > HTTP Server > Documentation > Version 2.2 > Log Files" Which is available at It states...


Log Rotation

On even a moderately busy server, the quantity of information stored in the log files is very large. The access log file typically grows 1 MB or more per 10,000 requests. It will consequently be necessary to periodically rotate the log files by moving or deleting the existing logs. This cannot be done while the server is running, because Apache will continue writing to the old log file as long as it holds the file open. Instead, the server must be restarted after the log files are moved or deleted so that it will open new log files.

By using a graceful restart, the server can be instructed to open new log files without losing any existing or pending connections from clients. However, in order to accomplish this, the server must continue to write to the old log files while it finishes serving old requests. It is therefore necessary to wait for some time after the restart before doing any processing on the log files. A typical scenario that simply rotates the logs and compresses the old logs to save space is:

mv access_log access_log.old   
mv error_log error_log.old   
apachectl graceful   
sleep 600   
gzip access_log.old error_log.old  

Another way to perform log rotation is using piped logs as discussed in the next section.

Piped Logs

Apache httpd is capable of writing error and access log files through a pipe to another process, rather than directly to a file. This capability dramatically increases the flexibility of logging, without adding code to the main server. In order to write logs to a pipe, simply replace the filename with the pipe character "|", followed by the name of the executable which should accept log entries on its standard input. Apache will start the piped-log process when the server starts, and will restart it if it crashes while the server is running. (This last feature is why we can refer to this technique as "reliable piped logging".)

Piped log processes are spawned by the parent Apache httpd process, and inherit the userid of that process. This means that piped log programs usually run as root. It is therefore very important to keep the programs simple and secure.

One important use of piped logs is to allow log rotation without having to restart the server. The Apache HTTP Server includes a simple program called rotatelogs for this purpose. For example, to rotate the logs every 24 hours, you can use:

CustomLog "|/usr/local/apache/bin/rotatelogs /var/log/access_log 86400" common

Notice that quotes are used to enclose the entire command that will be called for the pipe. Although these examples are for the access log, the same technique can be used for the error log.

A similar but much more flexible log rotation program called cronolog is available at an external site.

As with conditional logging, piped logs are a very powerful tool, but they should not be used where a simpler solution like off-line post-processing is available.