GNU.WIKI: The GNU/Linux Knowledge Base

  [HOME] [HowTo] [ABS] [MAN1] [MAN2] [MAN3] [MAN4] [MAN5] [MAN6] [MAN7] [MAN8] [MAN9]

 


Enabling Process Accounting on Linux HOWTO

Albert M.C. Tam

bertie@scn.org

Kristin Thomas - Converted document from HTML to DocBook v4.1 (SGML)

2001-02-09
Revision History                                                             
Revision 1.1           2001-02-09           Revised by: KET                  
Revision 1.0           1997-08-08           Revised by: AMCT                 


Describes the basics of enabling process accounting on Linux.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Table of Contents
1. Preamble
2. Introduction
3. What is process accounting?
4. Current Status of Process Accounting under Linux
5. Requirements for Process Accounting on Linux
    5.1. Kernel
    5.2. Process Accounting Software
   
   
6. Process Accounting Setup on Linux
7. Miscellaneous Process Accounting Commands

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1. Preamble

This document is copylefted by Albert M.C. Tam ([mailto:bertie@scn.org]
bertie@scn.org). Permission to use, copy, distribute this document for
non-commerical purposes is hereby granted, provided that the author's/
editor's name and this notice appear in all copies and/or supporting
documents and provided that this document is not modified. This document is
distributed in hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, either
expressed or implied. While every effort has been taken to ensure the
accuracy of the information documented herein, the author/editor/maintainer
assumes NO RESPONSIBILITY for errors, or for damages resulting for the use of
the information documented herein.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Introduction

This document describes how to enable system process accounting on a Linux
host and the usage of various process accounting commands. It is intended for
users running kernel versions greater than or equal to 1.3.73 (tested on
RedHat?? 4.1 kernel 2.0.27). Kernels older than 1.3.73 may need a patch in
order to use the process accounting feature.

Feel free to send any feedback or comments to [bertie@scn.org] bertie@scn.org
if you find an error, or if any information is missing. I appreciate it.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. What is process accounting?

Process accounting is the method of recording and summarizing commands
executed on Linux. The modern Linux kernel is capable of keeping process
accounting records for the commands being run, the user who executed the
command, the CPU time, and much more.

Process accounting enables you to keep detailed accounting information for
the system resources used, their allocation among users, and system
monitoring.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

4. Current Status of Process Accounting under Linux

Process accounting support has been integrated into the newer kernels
(version >= 1.3.73). If you are running an older kernel, you may need some
patch files. The patches are available from [ftp://iguana.hut.fi/pub/linux/
Kernel/process_accounting] ftp://iguana.hut.fi/pub/linux/Kernel/
process_accounting
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

5. Requirements for Process Accounting on Linux

5.1. Kernel

A Linux kernel version greater than or equal to version 1.3.73 is required,
and I recommended 2.x. The kernel source is available from [http://
sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/kernel/v2.0] http://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/
kernel/v2.0
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

5.2. Process Accounting Software

Depending on the Linux distribution you have, you may not have the process
accounting software package installed on your system. If you don't have it,
try downloading the package from [http://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/system/
admin/quota-acct-modified.tgz] http://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/system/admin/
quota-acct-modified.tgz
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

6. Process Accounting Setup on Linux

 1. Compile and install process accounting software.
   
    The process accounting software package is available from [http://
    sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/system/admin/quota-acct-modified.tgz] http://
    sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/system/admin/quota-acct-modified.tgz
   
 2. Modify your system init script and turn on process accounting at boot
    time.
   
    Here's an example:
    # Turn process accounting on.                                    
    if [ -x /sbin/accton ]                                           
    then                                                             
                    /sbin/accton /var/log/pacct                      
                    echo "Process accounting turned on."             
    fi                                                               
                                                                     
   
 3. Create accounting record file "pacct."
   
    Your process accounting software will print out all commands executed to
    the file /var/log/pacct by default.
   
    To create the accounting record file:
    touch /var/log/pacct                                             
   
    This record file should be owned by root, and it has read-write
    permission for root and read permission for anybody else:
    chown root /var/log/pacct                                        
    chmod 0644 /var/log/pacct                                        
   
 4. Reboot.
   
    Now reboot your system for changes you made to take effect.
   

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
7. Miscellaneous Process Accounting Commands

ac
    ac prints out statistics about users' connection times in hours based on
    the logins and logouts in the current /var/log/wtmp file. ac is also
    capable of printing out time totals for each day (-d option), and for
    each user (-p option).
   
accton
    accton is used to turn on or turn off process accounting. The file is
    normally executed at system bootup or shutdown via system init scripts.
   
last
    last goes through the /var/log/wtmp file and prints out information about
    users' connection times.
   
sa
    sa summarizes accounting information from previously executed commands,
    software I/O operation times, and CPU times, as recorded in the
    accounting record file /var/account/pacct.
   
lastcomm
    lastcomm prints out the information about all previously executed
    commands, recorded in /var/account/pacct.
   





  All copyrights belong to their respective owners. Other site content (c) 2014, GNU.WIKI. Please report any site errors to webmaster@gnu.wiki.