System V-Style Accounting: AIX, HP-UX, and Solaris

The System V-style accounting scheme is much more elaborate than the BSD-style variant. It is used by AIX, HP-UX, and Solaris systems.

This facility is a complex system of commands, shell scripts, and C programs, called by one another in long sequences, all purported to be totally automated and requiring little or no intervention. In reality, it’s a design only a fervent partisan could love (although, to be fair, it does generally get the job done on stable systems). Older versions of the manual pages alternated between assuring the reader that the system was robust, reliable, and trouble-free and describing convoluted procedures for patching corrupted accounting data files. Most of the latter has been edited out at this point, but be forewarned.

The main accounting file is named pacct, usually found in /var/adm . Other key subdirectories used by the system are found under /var/adm/acct:


Reports by fiscal period (usually month) and old binary fiscal period summary files


Daily binary summary file; daily processed accounting record; raw disk accounting records; and status, error log, and lock files


Binary daily and current fiscal period cumulative summary files and daily reports

On AIX systems, these subdirectories have to be created by hand:

# cd /var/adm/acct
# mkdir -m 755 fiscal nite sum
# chown adm.adm fiscal nite sum 

In addition to the wtmp and pacct files discussed previously, there are some other raw data files generated ...

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