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40. Login Accounting > Overview of the utmp and wtmp Files

Overview of the utmp and wtmp Files

UNIX systems maintain two data files containing information about users logging in and out of the system:

  • The utmp file maintains a record of users currently logged in to the system (as well as certain other information that we describe later). As each user logs in, a record is written to the utmp file. One of the fields in this record, ut_user, records the login name of the user. This record is later erased on logout. Programs such as who(1) use the information in the utmp file to display a list of currently logged-in users.


  

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