Ubuntu how clear journal logs and free up some disk space


On a machine that has Ubuntu 20.04LTS was recently running out of space, while using the Disk Usage Analysis tool we noticed that /var/log/journal was taking a bit more than 4 GB.

We knew that the machine was not hosting any kind of public service nor did it have any hardware problems, so we decided to clear up old logs. To do so, we used the following command that removed all logs that were older than two days.

sudo journalctl --vacuum-time=2d;

The result was great as it saved 3.9 GB of space:

Vacuuming done, freed 3.9G of archived journals from /var/log/journal/ee4a566eacf347dbb47e03b3f33821a1.

More information on journalctl can be found here. You can find more options on removing old logs, for example limiting the total size of logs that you want to keep, using this variation which will keep only 50 MB of data:

sudo journalctl --vacuum-size=50M;

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