ACCT(2) System Calls Manual ACCT(2)

acctenable or disable process accounting

#include <unistd.h>

acct(const char *file);

The () call enables or disables the collection of system accounting records. If the argument file is a nil pointer, accounting is disabled. If file is an 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 can not be produced by acct().

For more information on the record structure used by (), see /usr/include/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 acct() function returns the value 0 if successful; otherwise the value -1 is returned and the global variable errno is set to indicate the error. The file must exist and the call may be exercised only by the super-user.

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

The caller is not the super-user.
A component of the path prefix is not a directory.
A component of a pathname exceeded {NAME_MAX} characters, or an entire path name exceeded {PATH_MAX} characters.
The named file does not exist.
Search permission is denied for a component of the path prefix, or the path name is not a regular file.
Too many symbolic links were encountered in translating the pathname.
The named file resides on a read-only file system.
File points outside the process's allocated address space.
An I/O error occurred while reading from or writing to the file system.

acct(5), sa(8)

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

June 4, 1993 BSD 4