sa(8) — Linux manual page


SA(8)                    System Manager's Manual                   SA(8)

NAME         top

       sa -  summarizes accounting information

SYNOPSIS         top

       sa     [ -a | --list-all-names ]
              [ -b | --sort-sys-user-div-calls ]
              [ -c | --percentages ] [ -d | --sort-avio ]
              [ -D | --sort-tio ] [ -f | --not-interactive ]
              [ -i | --dont-read-summary-files ]
              [ -j | --print-seconds ] [ -k | --sort-cpu-avmem ]
              [ -K | --sort-ksec ] [ -l | --separate-times ]
              [ -m | --user-summary ] [ -n | --sort-num-calls ]
              [ -p | --show-paging ] [ -P | --show-paging-avg ]
              [ -r | --reverse-sort ] [ -s | --merge ]
              [ -t | --print-ratio ] [ -u | --print-users ]
              [ -v num | --threshold num ] [ --sort-real-time ]
              [ --debug ] [ -V | --version ] [ -h | --help ]
              [ --other-usracct-file filename ] [ --ahz hz ]
              [ --other-savacct-file filename ]
              [ [ --other-acct-file ] filename ]

DESCRIPTION         top

       sa summarizes information about previously executed commands as
       recorded in the acct file.  In addition, it condenses this data
       into a summary file named savacct which contains the number of
       times the command was called and the system resources used.  The
       information can also be summarized on a per-user basis; sa will
       save this information into a file named usracct.

       If no arguments are specified, sa will print information about
       all of the commands in the acct file.

       If called with a file name as the last argument, sa will use that
       file instead of the system's default acct file.

       By default, sa will sort the output by sum of user and system
       time.  If command names have unprintable characters, or are only
       called once, sa will sort them into a group called `***other'.
       If more than one sorting option is specified, the list will be
       sorted by the one specified last on the command line.

       The output fields are labeled as follows:

               sum of system and user time in cpu minutes

               "elapsed time" in minutes

               cpu-time averaged core usage, in 1k units

               average number of I/O operations per execution

               total number of I/O operations

               cpu storage integral (kilo-core seconds)

               user cpu time in cpu seconds

               system time in cpu seconds

       Note that these column titles do not appear in the first row of
       the table, but after each numeric entry (as units of measurement)
       in every row.  For example, you might see `79.29re', meaning
       79.29 cpu seconds of "real time".

       An asterisk will appear after the name of commands that forked
       but didn't call exec.

       GNU sa takes care to implement a number of features not found in
       other versions.  For example, most versions of sa don't pay
       attention to flags like `--print-seconds' and `--sort-num-calls'
       when printing out commands when combined with the `--user-
       summary' or `--print-users' flags.  GNU sa pays attention to
       these flags if they are applicable.  Also, MIPS' sa stores the
       average memory use as a short rather than a double, resulting in
       some round-off errors.  GNU sa uses double the whole way through.

OPTIONS         top

       The availability of these program options depends on your
       operating system.  In specific, the members that appear in the
       struct acct of your system's process accounting header file
       (usually acct.h ) determine which flags will be present.  For
       example, if your system's struct acct doesn't have the `ac_mem'
       field, the installed version of sa will not support the `--sort-
       cpu-avmem', `--sort-ksec', `-k', or `-K' options.

       In short, all of these flags may not be available on your

       -a, --list-all-names
              Force sa not to sort those command names with unprintable
              characters and those used only once into the ***other
       -b, --sort-sys-user-div-calls
              Sort the output by the sum of user and system time divided
              by the number of calls.
       -c, --percentages
              Print percentages of total time for the command's user,
              system, and real time values.
       -d, --sort-avio
              Sort the output by the average number of disk I/O
       -D, --sort-tio
              Print and sort the output by the total number of disk I/O
       -f, --not-interactive
              When using the `--threshold' option, assume that all
              answers to interactive queries will be affirmative.
       -i, --dont-read-summary-files
              Don't read the information in the system's default savacct
       -j, --print-seconds
              Instead of printing total minutes for each category, print
              seconds per call.
       -k, --sort-cpu-avmem
              Sort the output by cpu time average memory usage.
       -K, --sort-ksec
              Print and sort the output by the cpu-storage integral.
       -l, --separate-times
              Print separate columns for system and user time; usually
              the two are added together and listed as `cpu'.
       -m, --user-summary
              Print the number of processes and number of CPU minutes on
              a per-user basis.
       -n, --sort-num-calls
              Sort the output by the number of calls.  This is the
              default sorting method.
       -p, --show-paging
              Print the number of minor and major pagefaults and swaps.
       -P, --show-paging-avg
              Print the number of minor and major pagefaults and swaps
              divided by the number of calls.
       -r, --reverse-sort
              Sort output items in reverse order.
       -s, --merge
              Merge the summarized accounting data into the summary
              files savacct and usracct.
       -t, --print-ratio
              For each entry, print the ratio of real time to the sum of
              system and user times.  If the sum of system and user
              times is too small to report--the sum is zero--`*ignore*'
              will appear in this field.
       -u, --print-users
              For each command in the accounting file, print the userid
              and command name.  After printing all entries, quit.
              *Note*: this flag supersedes all others.
       -v num --threshold num
              Print commands which were executed num times or fewer and
              await a reply from the terminal.  If the response begins
              with `y', add the command to the `**junk**' group.
              It really doesn't make any sense to me that the stock
              version of sa separates statistics for a particular
              executable depending on whether or not that command
              forked.  Therefore, GNU sa lumps this information together
              unless this option is specified.
       --ahz hz
              Use this flag to tell the program what AHZ should be (in
              hertz).  This option is useful if you are trying to view
              an acct file created on another machine which has the same
              byte order and file format as your current machine, but
              has a different value for AHZ.
              Print verbose internal information.
       -V, --version
              Print the version number of sa.
       -h, --help
              Prints the usage string and default locations of system
              files to standard output and exits.
              Sort the output by the "real time" field.
       --other-usracct-file filename
              Write summaries by user ID to filename rather than the
              system's default usracct file.
       --other-savacct-file filename
              Write summaries by command name to filename rather than
              the system's default SAVACCT file.
       --other-acct-file filename
              Read from the file filename instead of the system's
              default ACCT file.

FILES         top

       acct   The raw system wide process accounting file. See acct(5)
              for further details.
              A summary of system process accounting sorted by command.
              A summary of system process accounting sorted by user ID.

BUGS         top

       There is not yet a wide experience base for comparing the output
       of GNU sa with versions of sa in many other systems.  The problem
       is that the data files grow big in a short time and therefore
       require a lot of disk space.

AUTHOR         top

       The GNU accounting utilities were written by Noel Cragg
       <>. The man page was adapted from the
       accounting texinfo page by Susan Kleinmann <>.

SEE ALSO         top

       acct(5), ac(1)

COLOPHON         top

       This page is part of the psacct (process accounting utilities)
       project.  Information about the project can be found at 
       ⟨⟩.  If you have a bug report for
       this manual page, see ⟨⟩.  This
       page was obtained from the tarball acct-6.6.4.tar.gz fetched from
       ⟨⟩ on 2024-06-14.  If you discover
       any rendering problems in this HTML version of the page, or you
       believe there is a better or more up-to-date source for the page,
       or you have corrections or improvements to the information in
       this COLOPHON (which is not part of the original manual page),
       send a mail to

                             1997 August 19                        SA(8)

Pages that refer to this page: ac(1)acct(5)