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I am connected to a campus network. I have access to all the machines. I want to run some simulations on some of these machines. For this purpose I need to find out machines on the network on which no one had logged in for a long time or which have been idle for a long time. How do I do this? Someone suggested I use ldapsearch. I am a LINUX newbie and I am enthusiastic to learn new stuff. What will be a smart solution for finding this info?

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Assuming the machines are Unix, finger does the job of telling you who's logged in. Your campus may have other packages installed, as well.

Some thoughts - what if someone wants to use a machine after you started using it? Will they know that you're bogging it down? Will they mind? Will the campus computer administrators mind? What if you include the campus mailserver in your list of machines that you think no one is logged onto?

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Finger would get the job done. In addition to your thoughts, this just sounds wrong to me. If we replace his words "run some simulations" to "run some malicious code", it sounds really bad. – RateControl Oct 19 '10 at 18:55
Well, he's got access (so he says) and it's a school. A fun thing to do at school used to be to run a forkbomb on an Ultrix box that didn't have protection from that sort of thing. Quite a learning experience. – mfinni Oct 19 '10 at 19:22
Do not speak the name of That Which Has Been Banished and Might Arise Again! You've doomed us all! Doooomed! – Gerald Combs Oct 19 '10 at 19:34
We tunnelled too deep, and awoke something made of darkness and fire. – mfinni Oct 19 '10 at 20:05
Wait - did you mean forkbombs, or Ultrix? – mfinni Oct 19 '10 at 20:05

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