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Linux Mastering Development

How to detect and clean up junk journal files?

One of our Ubuntu 18.04 hosts was caught with 12 GB of *.journal files, far more than intended. Attempting to find out if they were worth keeping, I ran

journalctl --file $f

on each file older than today; which always resulted in either Failed to open files or --- No entries ---.

Am I correct to conclude that such files are junk and can be discarded?

If they are, why do they exist? What is a supported way to clean them up? Is it worthwhile to regularly check systems for their existence?

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