Systemd journal getting very large on 18.04 - how to reduce?

Chris Green cl at
Sun Aug 5 07:17:56 UTC 2018

On Sun, Aug 05, 2018 at 01:16:25AM +0200, Oliver Grawert wrote:
> hi,
> Am Samstag, den 04.08.2018, 20:38 +0100 schrieb Chris Green:
> > I have an Ubuntu 18.04 system and I've just noticed that the
> > /var/log/journal directory is 4Gb, that's way too much.
> > 
> > How is it supposed to be limited.
> typically logrtate should cover it and rotate and compress it regulary,
> if this does not happen then there is a bug you should report.
> (the switch to journald-only-by-default is new in 18.04, someone might
> have missed something)
The journald.conf(5) man page tells me that the limit *is* 4Gb!  That
seems crazy to me, who wants 4Gb of journal files?

The rules (for 'real' disk based journal files) are:-

    Maximum of 10% of the file system where /var/log/journal is
    Must leave at least 10% of file system free
    Absolute maximum of 4Gb

These might make sense where /var/log is on a relatively small
separate file system but I'm sure most Ubuntu users won't be in this
situation (like me) and thus one will always hit the 4Gb absolute

It just doesn't sound sensible to me.

Where will I find the appropriate place to request a change
(enhancement, it's not a bug really)?

Chris Green

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