How best can logrotate be configured, on a per-user basis, to rotate files in the home directory of the user, under control of a per-user crontab -e?

1 Answer 1


Try this procedure:

  1. create /home/user/logrotate folder

    mkdir /home/user/logrotate
  2. create /home/user/logrotate/my.conf configuration file with logrotate directive as you need

  3. create /home/user/logrotate/cronjob to run logrotate every day at 2:30 AM (this is an example)

    30 2 * * * /usr/sbin/logrotate -s /home/user/logrotate/status /home/user/logrotate/my.conf > /dev/null 2>&1
  4. check your configuration file syntax:

    logrotate -d /home/user/logrotate/my.conf
  5. configure crontab to run logrotate (Warning: This removes existing entries in your crontab. Use crontab -e to manually add the line from step 3 to an existing crontab):

    crontab /home/user/logrotate/cronjob 

After this last command, logrotate will rotate file as described in /home/user/logrotate/my.conf and save log file status in /home/user/logrotate/status.


crontab -r   # remove crontab activities for user
crontab -l   # to list crontab activity for user
crontab -e   # edit user crontab entries

Here is logrotate and crontab man page.

  • 4
    Very instructive. Maybe it should be mentioned that 'crontab <file>' removes all previously configured cronjobs. This just happened to me - luckily I had a backup :)
    – jurgispods
    Feb 20, 2016 at 15:23
  • 1
    @pederpansen thanks for having improved my answer :)
    – Lety
    Feb 22, 2016 at 9:17
  • 2
    Thanks to the -s parameter will avoid error: error creating unique temp file: Permission denied. May 10, 2016 at 8:18
  • Running as normal user I get error: error creating output file /var/lib/logrotate/status.tmp: Permission denied
    – realtebo
    Aug 27, 2020 at 7:48
  • 1
    @realtebo parameter -s /home/user/logrotate/status should avoid this problem. Did you use it?
    – Lety
    Aug 28, 2020 at 9:50

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