If you’re one of those that likes planting shrubbery but ignores maintenance thereafter, then today’s column is for you. Linux servers and Asterisk® PBXs need some regular attention. If you don’t invest a little time in the backup and log purging tasks, sooner or later you’ll regret it when disaster strikes.

With Incredible PBX® 2020 and 2021 servers, you only have yourself to blame if you don’t make regular backups and move them off site. Simply run /root/incrediblebackup2020 and move the image from /backup to a safe place. For Incredible PBX 16 servers, use the /root/incrediblebackup16 script. If you’re considering a move of your on premise Incredible PBX 2020 or 2021 server to the cloud, then we recommend making a full FreePBX® backup. Simply use the FileStore module in FreePBX in conjunction with the FreePBX Backup module to backup to S3, FTP, SCP, or DropBox. For those using cloud platforms for your PBXs, we strongly recommend investing the few cents more to activate automatic backups or snapshots. See the Incredible PBX Wiki for provider suggestions.

Next, let’s turn to logs. On Linux-based systems running Asterisk, there are literally dozens of logs. If you don’t monitor them carefully, you run the risk of a system failure once your storage device fills up. For PUBLIC implementations of Incredible PBX, you also need to monitor /var/log/secure (CentOS) and /var/log/auth.log (Debian/Ubuntu) for SSH break-in attempts. Monitoring the logs for most other system problems is less necessary because these issues typically will rear their ugly heads in a way that you will instantly know there’s a problem.

That leaves us with taming log creep. Even though many of the logs rotate and manage their own total size, this isn’t true for all of them. The easiest way to identify where your problem areas are is to do full listings of the files in both the /var/log and /var/log/asterisk directories: ls -al /var/log && ls -al /var/log/asterisk. When you see the size of logs creeping into 7 digits or more, it’s time to take corrective action. The simplest way is to build yourself a bash script that runs as a cron job every week or so. Here’s what we typically put in the script. The first few lines clean out the rotated logs, and the other lines initialize all of the current log files except the SSH log. You would obviously want to examine any extremely large logs for issues and security breaches before running this script! We typically create a backup before running the script. This preserves a historical record in case of any problems.

#!/bin/bash
rm -rf /tmp/*
rm -f /var/log/*-2*
rm -f /var/log/asterisk/*-2*
rm -f /var/log/httpd/*-2*
rm -f /var/log/*.gz
rm -f /var/log/asterisk/*.gz
rm -f /var/log/apache2/*.gz
rm -f /var/log/apache2/*.1
rm -f /var/log/*.1
rm -f /var/log/asterisk/*.1
truncate -s 0 /root/.mysql_history
truncate -s 0 /root/.asterisk_history
truncate -s 0 /root/.bash_history
truncate -s 0 /var/log/wtmp
truncate -s 0 /var/log/lastlog
truncate -s 0 /var/log/mysql/error.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/auth.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/boot.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/cron
truncate -s 0 /var/log/cron.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/daemon.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/debug
truncate -s 0 /var/log/dmesg
truncate -s 0 /var/log/dmesg.old
truncate -s 0 /var/log/dracut.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/fail2ban.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/ipchecker.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/kern
truncate -s 0 /var/log/kern.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/knockd.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/mail.err
truncate -s 0 /var/log/mail.info
truncate -s 0 /var/log/maillog
truncate -s 0 /var/log/mail.warn
truncate -s 0 /var/log/messages
truncate -s 0 /var/log/mysqld.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/slpd.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/syslog
truncate -s 0 /var/log/alternatives.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/bootstrap.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/dpkg.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/tallylog
truncate -s 0 /var/log/yum.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/faillog
truncate -s 0 /var/log/fontconfig.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/regen_ssh_keys.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/apache2/access.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/apache2/error.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/apache2/other_vhosts_access.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/asterisk/freepbx_dbug
truncate -s 0 /var/log/asterisk/freepbx_debug
truncate -s 0 /var/log/asterisk/freepbx.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/asterisk/freepbx_security.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/asterisk/full
truncate -s 0 /var/log/asterisk/h323_log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/asterisk/messages
truncate -s 0 /var/log/asterisk/queue_log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/asterisk/ucp_out.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/asterisk/clearlydevices_out.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/asterisk/clearlysp_out.log
truncate -s 0 /var/log/asterisk/core*.log

To automate this process, create a truncate-logs script in /root with the entries above. Make the script executable: chmod +x /root/truncate-logs. Then add this entry to the bottom of /etc/crontab: 35 4 * * 6 root /root/truncate-logs >/dev/null 2>&1. This would run the script every Saturday morning at 4:35 a.m.

Originally published: Monday, April 26, 2021



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