Where is the log directory in WSL?

There seems to be no such directory as /var/log/.

My aim is to run this *nix cron daily command:

0 0 * * * cat /dev/null > /var/mail/* /var/log/*
  • There is a /var/log in WSL. But you can't use a directory as stdout. What do you want to do with your daily command? – muclux Jan 14 '18 at 19:03
  • The command would be rm -r /var/mail/* /var/log/* but I am not so sure if this is a good idea. – muclux Jan 14 '18 at 19:09
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    Redirecting to a list of files (and directories in your case, as /var/log contains subdirectories) will not work. You could use find /var/log -type f -exec > {} \; to empty all files in /var/log. – muclux Jan 14 '18 at 19:14

/var/log is at /var/log (at least in the version 16.04.3 LTS that I just installed in my Windows system).

$ ls -l /var/log
total 304
drwxr-xr-x 0 root root    512 Sep 22 18:15 apt
-rw-rw---- 1 root utmp      0 Sep 22 18:15 btmp
drwxr-xr-x 0 root root    512 Jul 19 01:29 dist-upgrade
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root  12794 Sep 22 18:15 dpkg.log
drwxr-xr-x 0 root root    512 Sep 22 18:13 fsck
-rw-rw-r-- 1 root utmp 292292 Jan 14 19:58 lastlog
drwxr-xr-x 0 root root    512 Aug 23 04:06 lxd
drwxr-x--- 0 root adm     512 Aug  1 04:46 unattended-upgrades
-rw-rw-r-- 1 root utmp      0 Sep 22 18:15 wtmp

But you won't be able to redirect your output to a list of files and subdirectories (as I told you in the comments).

You can empty all log files by the following cronjob (for root):

find /var/log -type f -exec truncate -s 0 {} \;

| improve this answer | |
  • Sure, input cannot be redirected to a directory but to a file in a directory. I need to ask your apologize, I confused the /var/log dir (which is available it my WSL also) with a file - I treated it as if it were a file. I can indeed do rm -rf, for example, to remove these directories even though a sysadmin recommended me to redirect /dev/null into the files inside them. Something I really wish to do. – Arcticooling Jan 14 '18 at 20:24
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    Your find command won't work the way you think it will. > will be handled by the shell before find is started, so the command executed will be find /var/log -type f -exec echo -n \; with the entire stdout redirected to a file named {}. You probably want something like -exec truncate -s 0 {} \; or -exec sh -c 'echo -n > "$1"' _ {} \; – muru Jan 15 '18 at 7:12
  • @muclux ah, looks like I edited my comment after you saw it, it should be truncate -s 0 {} \; (Sorry!) – muru Jan 15 '18 at 7:18
  • @muru My fault, I should have verified how truncate works (I didn't know this command). – muclux Jan 15 '18 at 7:27
  • Thanks both of you. In the end I used find /var/mail/* /var/log/* -type f -exec truncate -s 0 {} \; based on your example, @muclux. – Arcticooling Jan 15 '18 at 11:38

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