How to clean up your journal logs on arch linux

Verfasst von Stephan Schielke

Veröffentlicht am 23.11.2016

I ran low on disk space for my root volume. So the first thing I searched for where some large files in the /var/ folder I promptly could get rid of:

du -a /var | sort -n -r | head -n 20



To my surprise most of them were journal log files under /var/log/journal

They had an overall size of ~5G (out of my 100G for /):

journalctl --disk-usage


The safest way to remove unessesary entries is via the journalctl:

journalctl --vacuum-size=128M


After that you can verify if everything is still intact:

journalctl --verify


The next step for me was to ensure the journal wouldn't get this large anymore. 

The config file for the journalctl lies under /etc/systemd/journald.conf. The following entry limits the size of your journal logs:



Another possible way could be:



For more information have a look at the manual:

man journald.conf