ACCT(2) Linux Programmer s Manual ACCT(2)

NAME acct - switch process accounting on or off

SYNOPSIS #include <unistd.h>

int acct(const char *filename);

Feature Test Macro Requirements for glibc (see feature_test_macros(7)):


DESCRIPTION The acct() system call enables or disables process accounting. If called with the name of an existing file as its argument, accounting is turned on, and records for each terminating process are appended to filename as it terminates. An argument of NULL causes accounting to be turned off.

RETURN VALUE On success, zero is returned. On error, -1 is returned, and errno is set appropriately.

ERRORS EACCES Write permission is denied for the specified file, or search permission is denied for one of the directories in the path pre- fix of filename (see also path_resolution(7)), or filename is not a regular file.

EFAULT filename points outside your accessible address space.

EIO Error writing to the file filename.

EISDIR filename is a directory.

ELOOP Too many symbolic links were encountered in resolving filename.

ENAMETOOLONG filename was too long.

ENFILE The system limit on the total number of open files has been reached.

ENOENT The specified filename does not exist.

ENOMEM Out of memory.

ENOSYS BSD process accounting has not been enabled when the operating system kernel was compiled. The kernel configuration parameter controlling this feature is CONFIG_BSD_PROCESS_ACCT.

ENOTDIR A component used as a directory in filename is not in fact a directory.

EPERM The calling process has insufficient privilege to enable process accounting. On Linux the CAP_SYS_PACCT capability is required.

EROFS filename refers to a file on a read-only file system.

EUSERS There are no more free file structures or we ran out of memory.


NOTES No accounting is produced for programs running when a system crash occurs. In particular, non-terminating processes are never accounted for.

The structure of the records written to the accounting file is described in acct(5).

SEE ALSO acct(5)

COLOPHON This page is part of release 3.22 of the Linux man-pages project. A description of the project, and information about reporting bugs, can be found at

Linux 2008-06-16 ACCT(2)