Provided by: acct_6.5.1-1ubuntu1_i386
sa - summarizes accounting information
sa [ -a | --list-all-names ]
[ -b | --sort-sys-user-div-calls ]
[ -c | --percentages ] [ -d | --sort-avio ]
[ -D | --sort-tio ] [ -f | --not-interactive ]
[ -i | --dont-read-summary-file ]
[ -j | --print-seconds ] [ -k | --sort-cpu-avmem ]
[ -K | --sort-ksec ] [ -l | --separate-times ]
[ -m | --user-summary ] [ -n | --sort-num-calls ]
[ -p | --show-paging ] [ -P | --show-paging-avg ]
[ -r | --reverse-sort ] [ -s | --merge ]
[ -t | --print-ratio ] [ -u | --print-users ]
[ -v num | --threshold num ] [ --sort-real-time ]
[ --debug ] [ -V | --version ] [ -h | --help ]
[ --other-usracct-file filename ] [ --ahz hz ]
[ --other-savacct-file filename ]
[ [ --other-acct-file ] filename ]
sa summarizes information about previously executed commands as
recorded in the acct file. In addition, it condenses this data into a
summary file named savacct which contains the number of times the
command was called and the system resources used. The information can
also be summarized on a per-user basis; sa will save this information
into a file named usracct.
If no arguments are specified, sa will print information about all of
the commands in the acct file.
If called with a file name as the last argument, sa will use that file
instead of the system’s default acct file.
By default, sa will sort the output by sum of user and system time. If
command names have unprintable characters, or are only called once, sa
will sort them into a group called ‘***other’. If more than one
sorting option is specified, the list will be sorted by the one
specified last on the command line.
The output fields are labeled as follows:
cpu sum of system and user time in cpu seconds
re "real time" in cpu seconds
k cpu-time averaged core usage, in 1k units
avio average number of I/O operations per execution
tio total number of I/O operations
k*sec cpu storage integral (kilo-core seconds)
u user cpu time in cpu seconds
s system time in cpu seconds
Note that these column titles do not appear in the first row of the
table, but after each numeric entry (as units of measurement) in every
row. For example, you might see ‘79.29re’, meaning 79.29 cpu seconds
of "real time".
An asterisk will appear after the name of commands that forked but
didn’t call exec.
GNU sa takes care to implement a number of features not found in other
versions. For example, most versions of sa don’t pay attention to
flags like ‘--print-seconds’ and ‘--sort-num-calls’ when printing out
commands when combined with the ‘--user-summary’ or ‘--print-users’
flags. GNU sa pays attention to these flags if they are applicable.
Also, MIPS’ sa stores the average memory use as a short rather than a
double, resulting in some round-off errors. GNU sa uses double the
whole way through.
The availability of these program options depends on your operating
system. In specific, the members that appear in the struct acct of
your system’s process accounting header file (usually acct.h )
determine which flags will be present. For example, if your system’s
struct acct doesn’t have the ‘ac_mem’ field, the installed version of
sa will not support the ‘--sort-cpu-avmem’, ‘--sort-ksec’, ‘-k’, or
In short, all of these flags may not be available on your machine.
Force sa not to sort those command names with unprintable
characters and those used only once into the ***other group.
Sort the output by the sum of user and system time divided by
the number of calls.
Print percentages of total time for the command’s user, system,
and real time values.
Sort the output by the average number of disk I/O operations.
Print and sort the output by the total number of disk I/O
When using the ‘--threshold’ option, assume that all answers to
interactive queries will be affirmative.
Don’t read the information in the system’s default savacct file.
Instead of printing total minutes for each category, print
seconds per call.
Sort the output by cpu time average memory usage.
Print and sort the output by the cpu-storage integral.
Print separate columns for system and user time; usually the two
are added together and listed as ‘cpu’.
Print the number of processes and number of CPU minutes on a
Sort the output by the number of calls. This is the default
Print the number of minor and major pagefaults and swaps.
Print the number of minor and major pagefaults and swaps divided
by the number of calls.
Sort output items in reverse order.
Merge the summarized accounting data into the summary files
savacct and usracct.
For each entry, print the ratio of real time to the sum of
system and user times. If the sum of system and user times is
too small to report--the sum is zero--‘*ignore*’ will appear in
For each command in the accounting file, print the userid and
command name. After printing all entries, quit. *Note*: this
flag supersedes all others.
-v num --threshold num
Print commands which were executed num times or fewer and await
a reply from the terminal. If the response begins with ‘y’, add
the command to the ‘**junk**’ group.
It really doesn’t make any sense to me that the stock version of
sa separates statistics for a particular executable depending on
whether or not that command forked. Therefore, GNU sa lumps
this information together unless this option is specified.
Use this flag to tell the program what AHZ should be (in hertz).
This option is useful if you are trying to view an acct file
created on another machine which has the same byte order and
file format as your current machine, but has a different value
Print verbose internal information.
Print the version number of sa.
Prints the usage string and default locations of system files to
standard output and exits.
Sort the output by the "real time" field.
Write summaries by user ID to filename rather than the system’s
default usracct file.
Write summaries by command name to filename rather than the
system’s default SAVACCT file.
Read from the file filename instead of the system’s default ACCT
acct The raw system wide process accounting file. See acct(5) (or
pacct(5)) for further details.
A summary of system process accounting sorted by command.
A summary of system process accounting sorted by user ID.
There is not yet a wide experience base for comparing the output of GNU
sa with versions of sa in many other systems. The problem is that the
data files grow big in a short time and therefore require a lot of disk
The GNU accounting utilities were written by Noel Cragg
<firstname.lastname@example.org>. The man page was adapted from the accounting
texinfo page by Susan Kleinmann <email@example.com>.
1997 August 19 SA(8)