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I am currently using the psacct package on Centos to perform accounting on processes run by users.

The info file1 suggests that it is possible to output pid and ppid depending on what information your operating system provides in it's struct acct.

pid and ppid are listed in /usr/include/linux/acct.h on my system:

struct acct_v3
{
        char            ac_flag;                /* Flags */
        char            ac_version;             /* Always set to ACCT_VERSION */
        __u16           ac_tty;                 /* Control Terminal */
        __u32           ac_exitcode;            /* Exitcode */
        __u32           ac_uid;                 /* Real User ID */
        __u32           ac_gid;                 /* Real Group ID */
        __u32           ac_pid;                 /* Process ID */
        __u32           ac_ppid;                /* Parent Process ID */
...

But pid and ppid are not output when I run dump-acct:

# dump-acct /var/account/pacct.1 | tail
awk              |   0.0|   0.0|  81.0|    0|    0|8792.0|Thu Nov 24 04:03:04 2011
tmpwatch         |   0.0|   0.0|   1.0|    0|    0|3816.0|Thu Nov 24 04:03:04 2011
cups             |   0.0|   0.0|   4.0|    0|    0|8728.0|Thu Nov 24 04:03:04 2011
awk              |   0.0|   0.0|   4.0|    0|    0|8792.0|Thu Nov 24 04:03:04 2011
runlevel         |   0.0|   0.0|   0.0|    0|    0|3804.0|Thu Nov 24 04:03:04 2011
chkconfig        |   0.0|   0.0|   0.0|    0|    0|3840.0|Thu Nov 24 04:03:04 2011
inn-cron-expire  |   0.0|   0.0|   0.0|    0|    0|8728.0|Thu Nov 24 04:03:04 2011
awk              |   0.0|   0.0|   0.0|    0|    0|8792.0|Thu Nov 24 04:03:04 2011
gzip             |   5.0|   0.0|   9.0|    0|    0|4044.0|Thu Nov 24 04:03:04 2011
accton           |   0.0|   0.0|   1.0|    0|    0|   0.0|Thu Nov 24 04:03:04 2011

Is it likely that there is no support in my kernel for this feature or that my psacct version does not support this?

How can I add pid and ppid to my accounting logs?

CentOS release 5.6

Kernel 2.6.18-238.19.1.el5

psacct 6.3.2

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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I just found this in the changelog for the psacct RPM:

* Fri Nov 13 2009 Ivana Varekova <varekova(at)redhat.com> - 6.3.2-56
  - fix the psacct to deal with all acct types and
    if it is possible and wanted then add the possibility
    to display the pid and ppid number

So it looks like it depends in exactly which release you are using.

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CentOS release 5.6
psacct 6.3.2

The psacct package shipped with CentOS 5.6 has release number 44:

Name       : psacct
Arch       : x86_64
Version    : 6.3.2
Release    : 44.el5
Size       : 107 k
Repo       : installed
Summary    : Utilities for monitoring process activities.
License    : GPL
Description: The psacct package contains several utilities for monitoring process
           : activities, including ac, lastcomm, accton and sa. The ac command
           : displays statistics about how long users have been logged on. The
           : lastcomm command displays information about previous executed
           : commands. The accton command turns process accounting on or off. The
           : sa command summarizes information about previously executed
           : commands.

and as @Ladadadada mentioned, according to the change log, PID and PPID are only available from 6.3.2-56 version. On my CentOS 6 (psacct-6.3.2-63):

accton           |   0.0|   0.0|   1.0|    0|    0|3832.0|   16114    16111|Thu Nov 24 13:37:50 2011
touch            |   0.0|   0.0|   3.0|    0|    0|105088.0|   16115    16111|Thu Nov 24 13:37:50 2011
psacct           |   0.0|   0.0|   9.0|    0|    0|106304.0|   16111    16059|Thu Nov 24 13:37:50 2011
w                |   0.0|   0.0|   3.0|    0|    0|105280.0|   16116    16059|Thu Nov 24 13:37:52 2011
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