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I've got an Ubuntu server that's exhibiting a somewhat strange behavior. uptime reports the following:

07:48:10 up 627 days, 21:19, 3 users, load average: 0.04, 0.01, 0.00

w reports:

21:59:25 up 629 days, 11:30, 3 users, load average: 0.06, 0.10, 0.03
USER    TTY     FROM            LOGIN@  IDLE    JCPU    PCPU    WHAT
bedrick pts/8   c-67-171-191-108 21:59  0.00s   0.16s   0.00s   w

Note that it reports 3 users as being logged in. However, who and last both only show one user (myself). Any ideas about what might be going on?

  • 1
    Try other commands like: "w" and "finger" and see the output. – Khaled Nov 29 '10 at 16:46
  • This is w's output: – Steven Bedrick Dec 1 '10 at 5:55
  • 21:59:25 up 629 days, 11:30, 3 users, load average: 0.06, 0.10, 0.03 USER TTY FROM LOGIN@ IDLE JCPU PCPU WHAT bedrick pts/8 c-67-171-191-108 21:59 0.00s 0.16s 0.00s w – Steven Bedrick Dec 1 '10 at 5:56
  • Gah- the comment box mangled its output. The upshot is that it only shows the one login session (i.e., me) but still lists three users. – Steven Bedrick Dec 1 '10 at 5:57
  • 2
    I'm more puzzled by the discrepancy in uptime. – Simon Richter Mar 17 '11 at 7:37
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uptime shows you the number of sessions. If you have X and two xterms open, you'll see three sessions. who and last are being more discerning.

  • Thanks for the reply. X isn't running on this system, actually- the only way to log in is via SSH. – Steven Bedrick Nov 29 '10 at 16:29
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Does who show three entries with your username? That's the three that uptime is reporting.

  • Nope, it just shows the one entry representing my SSH session. – Steven Bedrick Nov 29 '10 at 17:07
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So you run top and your like uhhh... three users?

Type w. Typically you will see something like: gnome-session, bash, w.

This is expected. Gnome/KDE is your desktop environment. Bash is probably where your running "top" and w is the command you just executed... Cool huh?

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