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Reduce the Maximum Journal Size

This is a proposed Change for Fedora Linux.
This document represents a proposed Change. As part of the Changes process, proposals are publicly announced in order to receive community feedback. This proposal will only be implemented if approved by the Fedora Engineering Steering Committee.


Reduce the amount of disk space that the journal can use, by introducing a 3 month retention limit, on top of the existing 4 GB disk space limit.


  • Name: chrismurphy
  • Email: <your email address so we can contact you, invite you to meetings, etc. Please provide your Bugzilla email address if it is different from your email in FAS>

Current status

  • Targeted release: Fedora Linux 38
  • Last updated: 2022-12-21
  • FESCo issue: <will be assigned by the Wrangler>
  • Tracker bug: <will be assigned by the Wrangler>
  • Release notes tracker: <will be assigned by the Wrangler>

Detailed Description

Currently, the journal can occupy up to 4 GB of disk space. 4 GB is a lot of space to use for logs, and this has been a source of user complaints.

Limiting the journal logs to 3 months retention is primarily intended to reduce the amount of disk space used. The time-based limit also intended to set the journal limit based on the need for the data, as opposed to the more arbitrary disk space criteria.


Benefit to Fedora

  • Reduce the amount of disk space used for logs, thus increasing the amount of space available for other things
  • Reduce user complaints
  • A more privacy-conscious design


  • Proposal owners:
    • Create a PR to change the Package-x-generic-16.pngsystemd journal limit defaults.
    • If the change isn't accepted in systemd, implement it as a downstream patch.
  • Other developers:
    • Other developers aren't expected to be affected.
  • Release engineering: #Releng issue number
  • Policies and guidelines: N/A (not needed for this Change)
  • Trademark approval: N/A (not needed for this Change)
  • Alignment with Objectives: N/A (not needed for this Change)

Upgrade/compatibility impact

How To Test

Post-release it will be useful to validate that the change has had the intended effect of reducing disk usage. This can be checked with sudo journalctl --disk-usage.

User Experience

The main user experience change will be increased disk space availability.


No dependencies.

Contingency Plan

  • Contingency mechanism: proposal owner to revert the code change if necessary.
  • Contingency deadline: beta freeze.
  • Blocks release? No.


man journald.conf

Release Notes