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Unix "who" command is inaccurate

Posted on 2011-03-21
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Last Modified: 2013-12-23
Within AIX when I do a simple "who" command, the system replies back with the users that are logged on plus others that are definately not logged in. I have done a ps -ef| grep "USER" and the result is always nothing. In addition, looking at netstat, the users are not connected either.

Any ideas on why this occurs and how I go about correcting it?
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Question by:ScubeduFan
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Accepted Solution

by:
woolmilkporc earned 2000 total points
ID: 35187246
Hi,

this is a known blur in the processing of the /etc/utmp file in AIX. This file holds user process entries.
The problem is that when a user process terminates its entry in /etc/utmp is not always cleaned up.

Since this is a known problem there is a workaround, in the form of a dedicated cleanup daemon called "utmpd".

utmpd monitors the /etc/utmp file for validity of the user process entries at regular intervals and removes orphaned entries by cross checking the process id of the entry against the process table.

Log in as root and add to /etc/inittab:

utmpd:2:respawn:/usr/sbin/utmpd

and issue "telinit 2" to have the daemon respawned.

The default scan interval is 300 seconds. You can set the interval to let's say 180 seconds by adding this value as a commandline parameter to utmpd:

utmpd:2:respawn:/usr/sbin/utmpd 180


wmp
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Author Closing Comment

by:ScubeduFan
ID: 35327052
wmp ... thank you so much for this answer. You are truly a AIX guru. Your answer has saved me from countless issues. (sorry it took so long to accept the answer - my membership expired on me)
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