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     acct — enable or disable process accounting


     Standard C Library (libc, -lc)


     #include <unistd.h>

     acct(const char *file);


     The acct() system call enables or disables the collection of system accounting records.  If
     the argument file is a null pointer, accounting is disabled.  If file is an existing
     pathname (null-terminated), record collection is enabled and for every process initiated
     which terminates under normal conditions an accounting record is appended to file.  Abnormal
     conditions of termination are reboots or other fatal system problems.  Records for processes
     which never terminate cannot be produced by acct().

     For more information on the record structure used by acct(), see <sys/acct.h> and acct(5).

     This call is permitted only to the super-user.


     Accounting is automatically disabled when the file system the accounting file resides on
     runs out of space; it is enabled when space once again becomes available.  The values
     controlling this behaviour can be modified using the following sysctl(8) variables:

     kern.acct_chkfreq  Specifies the frequency (in seconds) with which free disk space should be

     kern.acct_resume   The percentage of free disk space above which process accounting will

     kern.acct_suspend  The percentage of free disk space below which process accounting will


     On error -1 is returned.  The file must exist and the call may be exercised only by the


     The acct() system call will fail if one of the following is true:

     [EPERM]            The caller is not the super-user.

     [ENOTDIR]          A component of the path prefix is not a directory.

     [ENAMETOOLONG]     A component of a pathname exceeded 255 characters, or an entire path name
                        exceeded 1023 characters.

     [ENOENT]           The named file does not exist.

     [EACCES]           Search permission is denied for a component of the path prefix, or the
                        path name is not a regular file.

     [ELOOP]            Too many symbolic links were encountered in translating the pathname.

     [EROFS]            The named file resides on a read-only file system.

     [EFAULT]           The file argument points outside the process's allocated address space.

     [EIO]              An I/O error occurred while reading from or writing to the file system.


     acct(5), accton(8), sa(8)


     The acct() function appeared in Version 7 AT&T UNIX.