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System Administration Guide: Advanced Administration
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runacct Script

The main daily accounting script, runacct, is normally invoked by the cron command outside of normal business hours. The runacct script processes connect, fee, disk, and process accounting files. This script also prepares daily and cumulative summary files for use by the prdaily and monacct scripts for billing purposes.

The runacct script takes care not to damage files if errors occur.

A series of protection mechanisms that are used to perform the following tasks:

  • Recognize an error

  • Provide intelligent diagnostics

  • Complete processing in such a way that the runacct script can be restarted with minimal intervention

This script records its progress by writing descriptive messages to the active file. Files used by the runacct script are assumed to be in the /var/adm/acct/nite directory, unless otherwise noted. All diagnostic output during the execution of the runacct script is written to the fd2log file.

When the runacct script is invoked, it creates the lock and lock1 files. These files are used to prevent simultaneous execution of the runacct script. The runacct program prints an error message if these files exist when it is invoked. The lastdate file contains the month and day the runacct script was last invoked, and is used to prevent more than one execution per day.

If the runacct script detects an error, the following occurs:

  • A message is written to the console

  • Email is sent to root and adm

  • Locks might be removed

  • Diagnostics are saved

  • Execution is ended

For instructions on how to restart the runacct script, see How to Restart the runacct Script.

To allow the runacct script to be restarted, processing is broken down into separate re-entrant states. The statefile file is used to track the last state completed. When each state is completed, the statefile file is updated to reflect the next state. After processing for the state is complete, the statefile file is read and the next state is processed. When the runacct script reaches the CLEANUP state, it removes the locks and ends. States are executed as shown in the following table.

Table 10-1 States of the runacct Script




The turnacct switch command is executed to create a new pacct file. The /var/adm/pacctn process accounting files (except for the pacct file) are moved to the /var/adm/Spacctn.MMDD files. The /var/adm/wtmpx file is moved to the /var/adm/acct/nite/wtmp.MMDD file (with the current time record added on the end) and a new /var/adm/wtmp file is created. The closewtmp and utmp2wtmp programs add records to the wtmp.MMDD file and the new wtmpx file to account for users who are currently logged in.


The wtmpfix program checks the wtmp.MMDD file in the nite directory for accuracy. Because some date changes cause the acctcon program to fail, the wtmpfix program attempts to adjust the time stamps in the wtmpx file if a record of a date change appears. This program also deletes any corrupted entries from the wtmpx file. The fixed version of the wtmp.MMDD file is written to the tmpwtmp file.


The acctcon program is used to record connect accounting records in the file ctacct.MMDD. These records are in tacct.h format. In addition, the acctcon program creates the lineuse and reboots files. The reboots file records all the boot records found in the wtmpx file.


The acctprc program is used to convert the /var/adm/Spacctn.MMDD process accounting files into complete accounting records in the ptacctn.MMDD files. The Spacct and ptacct files are correlated by number so that if the runacct script fails, the Spacct files are not processed.


The acctmerg program merges the process accounting records with the connect accounting records to form the daytacct file.


The acctmerg program merges ASCII tacct records from the fee file into the daytacct file.


The dodisk script produces the disktacct file. If the dodisk script has been run, which produces the disktacct file, the DISK program merges the file into the daytacct file and moves the disktacct file to the /tmp/disktacct.MMDD file.


The acctmerg program merges the daytacct file with the sum/tacct file, the cumulative total accounting file. Each day, the daytacct file is saved in the sum/tacct.MMDD file so that the sum/tacct file can be re-created if it is corrupted or lost.


The acctcms program is run several times. This program is first run to generate the command summary by using the Spacctn files and write the data to the sum/daycms file. The acctcms program is then run to merge the sum/daycms file with the sum/cms cumulative command summary file. Finally, the acctcms program is run to produce nite/daycms and nite/cms, the ASCII command summary files from the sum/daycms and sum/cms files, respectively. The lastlogin program is used to create the /var/adm/acct/sum/loginlog log file. This file reports when each user last logged in. If the runacct script is run after midnight, the dates showing the time last logged in by some users will be incorrect by one day.


Any installation-dependent (local) accounting program can be run at this point. The runacct script expects this program to be called the /usr/lib/acct/runacct.local program.


This state cleans up temporary files, runs the prdaily script and saves its output in the sum/rpt.MMDD file, removes the locks, and then exits.

Caution - When restarting the runacct script in the CLEANUP state, remove the last ptacct file because this file will not be complete.

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