Scripting: How do I process accounting file /var/account/pact?

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The file /var/account/pacct can not be used directly as it does not store accounting data in clear text format. Each time a process terminates a record for this process is appended to the accounting file.

In order to use this file to generate customize report from perl or shell script you need to convert this file in text format. You need to use dump-acct command which print an acct/pacct file in human-readable format.

# dump-acct /var/account/pacct

All fields are separated by vertical line. Fields are: command, user time, system time, effective time, uid, gid, memory, io, time. To print username and command you can use awk command in pipe as follows:

# dump-acct /var/account/pacct | awk -F’|’ ‘{ print $1 ” = ” $5 }’

Please note that to print an utmp file in human-readable format use command dump-utmp as follows:

# dump-utmp /var/log/wtmp

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

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2 comment

  1. In my X86 – the file size is too large can any one tell me how can i reduce the size…
    4.8 G pacct
    1.5 G pacct.1

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