Use this documentation with care! It describes the heavily outdated version 5, which was actively developed around 2010 and is considered dead by the rsyslog team for many years now.

This documentation reflects the latest update of the previously existing (now removed) v5-stable branch. It describes the 5.10.2 version, which was never released. As such, it contains some content that does not apply to any released version.

To obtain the doc that properly matches your installed v5 version, obtain the doc set from your distro. Each version of rsyslog contained the version that exactly matches it.

As general advise, it is strongly suggested to upgrade to the current version supported by the rsyslog project. The current version can always be found on the right-hand side info box on the rsyslog web site.

Note that there is no rsyslog community support available for this heavily outdated version. If you need to stick with it, please ask your distribution for support.



Type: global configuration directive

Parameter Values: boolean (on/off, yes/no)

Available: 4.7.0+, 5.3.0-5.8.x, NOT available in 5.9.x or higher

Note: this directive has been removed and is no longer available. The documentation is currently being retained for historical reaons. Expect it to go away at some later stage as well.

Default: off


Forces rsyslogd to change the ownership for output files that already exist. Please note that this tries to fix a potential problem that exists outside the scope of rsyslog. Actually, it tries to fix invalid ownership/permission settings set by the original file creator.

Rsyslog changes the ownership during initial execution with root privileges. When a privelege drop is configured, privileges are dropped after the file owner ship is changed. Not that this currently is a limitation in rsyslog’s privilege drop code, which is on the TODO list to be removed. See Caveats section below for the important implications.


This directive tries to fix a problem that actually is outside the scope of rsyslog. As such, there are a couple of restrictions and situations in which it will not work. Users are strongly encouraged to fix their system instead of turning this directive on - it should only be used as a last resort.

At least in the following scenario, this directive will fail expectedly:

It does not address the situation that someone changes the ownership *after* rsyslogd has started. Let’s, for example, consider a log rotation script.

  • rsyslog is started
  • ownership is changed
  • privileges dropped
  • log rotation (lr) script starts
  • lr removes files
  • lr creates new files with root:adm (or whatever else)
  • lr HUPs rsyslogd
  • rsyslogd closes files
  • rsyslogd tries to open files
  • rsyslogd tries to change ownership –> fail as we are non-root now
  • file open fails

Please note that once the privilege drop code is refactored, this directive will no longer work, because then privileges will be dropped before any action is performed, and thus we will no longer be able to chown files that do not belong to the user rsyslogd is configured to run under.

So expect the directive to go away. It will not be removed in version 4, but may disappear at any time for any version greater than 4.


$FileOwner loguser $omfileForceChown on

[rsyslog.conf overview] [manual index] [rsyslog site]

This documentation is part of the rsyslog project.

Copyright © 2007 by Rainer Gerhards and Adiscon. Released under the GNU GPL version 2 or higher.

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