BSD-Style Accounting: FreeBSD, Linux, and AIX
Administering BSD-style accounting involves several tasks:
Enabling the accounting system and arranging for it to be started automatically at boot time.
Periodically merging raw accounting records into the summary data files.
Running accounting reports.
As indicated, BSD-style accounting uses some additional accounting
summary files, located in the same directory as the primary accounting
file. These files store processed, summarized versions of the
accumulated raw accounting data. They are maintained by the
sa command and are useful in keeping the size
of the accounting file to a manageable level:
The standard accounting summary file
The user-based accounting summary file
Enabling and Disabling Accounting
accton command controls the current state of a BSD-style
accounting facility. The command enables accounting when an accounting
file is specified as its argument (its location in the filesystem
varies). Without an argument, the command disables accounting. Once
the command is executed, accounting records will be written
automatically to the accounting file.
The one tricky aspect of
accton is that any raw accounting data file
you specify must already exist, because the command will not create
it. Accordingly, commands such as the following are used to start the
accounting system from one of the system boot scripts:
return="done" echo -n "Starting process accounting: " test -e /var/account/pacct || touch /var/adm/pacct /usr/sbin/accton ...