[SDBUG] /var/log/wtmp and /var/log/system/log.*

Bill Studenmund wrstuden at netbsd.org
Sat Apr 5 18:04:51 PST 2003

On Sat, 5 Apr 2003, Peter Leftwich wrote:

> Apparently there was a power outage in my area of San Diego this morning
> sometime between 8:56 AM (the last time that gaim (multi-userID chat
> program) logged a sign on or sign off) and 11:25 AM (when I got out of bed).
> I'm wondering why FreeBSD (and in general, all Unix flavors), don't do this:
>   * Every minute, on the minute, "touch /var/log/system/log.`date +%m%d%y`"
> That way, whether a user is logged in or not, and a system gets rebooted or
> shutdown (hard), the sysadmin can supplement /var/log/wtmp with accurate
> information and thus reconstruct what the uptime would have been for that
> "power-on session."  Can someone comment on what to use for the "at"
> command command-line, and whether I'd put this in
> /usr/local/etc/rc.d/SOMETHING.sh or where?  I think this is an interesting
> omission from Unixes in general.  What's your opinion?

One problem with that is that it would keep your hard disk spun up. If you
have power management turned on, that'll kill it. :-)

If you want to do that, get a USB memory stick or something like that, and
write to it.

Oh, a line in cron might be the best. 'at' is great for running one-off
things, while cron is better for repeating tasks.

Take care,


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