Monitoring User Activity

Monitoring User Activity

System access can be monitored interactively using a number of measures. For example, syslog entries can be automatically viewed in real time using this command:

$ tail -f /var/adm/messages

However, most administrators want to view interactively what remote users are doing on a system at any time. We will examine two methods here for viewing remote user activity. The command who displays who is currently logged into the system. The output of who displays the username, connecting line, date of login, idle time, process ID, and a comment. Here’s an example output:

$ who
root       console      Nov 22 12:39
natashia    pts/0        Nov 19 21:05    (client.site.com)

This command can be automated to update the list of active users. An alternative to who is the w command, which displays a more detailed summary of the current activity on the system, including the current process name for each user. The header output from w shows the current time, the uptime of the current system, and the number of users actively logged into the system. The average system load is also displayed as a series of three numbers at the end of the w header, indicating the average number of jobs in the run queue for the previous 1, 5, and 15 minutes. In addition to the output generated by who, the w command displays the current foreground process for each user, which is usually a shell. For example, the following command shows that the root user has an active shelltool running under Open Windows, while the user natashia is running the Cornell shell:

7:15pm  up 1 day(s),  5:11,  2 users,  load average: 1.00, 1.00, 1.01
User     tty           login@  idle   JCPU   PCPU  what
root   console      Thu12pm 3days      6      6    shelltool
natashia   pts/12      Thu11am  8:45      9         /usr/local/bin/tcsh

The w and who commands are useful tools for getting an overview of current usage patterns on any Solaris system. Another useful command is last, which displays historical usage patterns for the current system in a sequential format:

$ last
natashia  pts/4        hp              Wed Apr 11 19:00   still logged in
root      console      :0              Tue Apr 10 20:11   still logged in
natashia  pts/2        nec             Tue Apr 10 19:17 - 19:24  (00:06)
natashia  pts/6        austin          Tue Apr 10 15:53 - 15:53  (00:00)
root      console      :0              Tue Apr 10 14:24 - 16:25  (02:01)
reboot    system boot                  Tue Apr 10 14:04
natashia  pts/5        hp              Thu Apr  5 21:38 - 21:40  (00:01)
natashia  pts/5        hp              Thu Apr  5 21:22 - 21:37  (00:15)
natashia  pts/5        10.64.18.1      Thu Apr  5 19:30 - 20:00  (00:30)
natashia  pts/5        hp              Thu Apr  5 19:18 - 19:29  (00:11)
root      console      :0              Thu Apr  5 19:17 - 22:05 (4+02:48)
reboot    system boot                  Thu Apr  5 19:14
natashia  pts/5        hp              Tue Apr  3 16:14 - 18:26  (02:11)
natashia  pts/5        hp              Tue Apr  3 08:48 - 10:35  (01:47)
root      console      :0              Tue Apr  3 08:45 - 22:01  (13:15)
reboot    system boot                  Tue Apr  3 08:43
root      console      :0              Fri Mar 30 18:54 - 19:27  (00:32)
reboot    system boot                  Fri Mar 30 18:46
natashia  pts/6        hp              Tue Mar 27 20:46 - 21:51  (01:04)
root      console      :0              Tue Mar 27 19:50 - 21:51  (02:01)
reboot    system boot                  Tue Mar 27 19:48
root      console      :0              Mon Mar 26 17:43 - 17:47  (00:04)

An alternative view of system usage by application is provided by lastcomm. It shows the list of commands executed in reverse chronological order, as shown in this example:

$ lastcomm
man         pwatters pts/2          0.02 secs Mon Sep  2 20:24
sh          pwatters pts/2          0.01 secs Mon Sep  2 20:24
more        pwatters pts/2          0.03 secs Mon Sep  2 20:24
nsgmls      pwatters pts/2          0.84 secs Mon Sep  2 20:24
sh          pwatters pts/2          0.01 secs Mon Sep  2 20:24
mv          pwatters pts/2          0.01 secs Mon Sep  2 20:24
sh          pwatters pts/2          0.01 secs Mon Sep  2 20:24
col         pwatters pts/2          0.02 secs Mon Sep  2 20:24
nroff       pwatters pts/2          0.04 secs Mon Sep  2 20:24
eqn         pwatters pts/2          0.01 secs Mon Sep  2 20:24
tbl         pwatters pts/2          0.01 secs Mon Sep  2 20:24
cat         pwatters pts/2          0.01 secs Mon Sep  2 20:24
sh          pwatters pts/2          0.02 secs Mon Sep  2 20:24
sgml2rof    pwatters pts/2          0.01 secs Mon Sep  2 20:24
instant     pwatters pts/2          0.05 secs Mon Sep  2 20:24
sh          pwatters pts/2          0.01 secs Mon Sep  2 20:24
grep        pwatters pts/2          0.01 secs Mon Sep  2 20:24
lastcomm    pwatters pts/2          0.16 secs Mon Sep  2 20:24


Part I: Solaris 9 Operating Environment, Exam I
 
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