acctcom for linux

William W. Austin waustin at
Wed Dec 16 22:54:30 UTC 2009

I recently made several updates to a Linux version of of acctcom  
(actually another accounting add-on package) which I've been using for  
several years, and one of the people testing it asked a question which  
I cannot answer.  I'm hoping that someone on this list can give me some  

I have previously (over a year ago) asked on both this and a couple of  
kernel lists (several times there) about this issue, but nobody has  
ever answered.  So if you have any info about this, I'd really  
appreciate it.

As in many (all?) previous Linux kernels, the struct acct (defined in
/usr/include/sys/acct.h) has members ac_io and ac_rw which are  
presumably counts of characters transferred and blocks read/written  

However, in the kernel code, the ac_io is set to 0 and the ac_rw gets  
set to (ac_io/512) or some such - it is set to 0 as well (and thus  
these are always reported as 0 in process accounting records.  not good  
if you're trying to measure them...).

Does anybody know why this is done that way?  A long time ago (IIRC  
late 2.2 and an early 2.4 kernel) I looked into "fixing" this in the  
kernel code but was not successful (I finally produced a bootable  
kernel, but it was unstable.  Then I changed jobs, got swamped at work,  
and eventually gave up).

As I said above, I have previously asked about this issue without  
success, and I have essentially given up changing or "fixing" it.

But if anyone knows __WHY__ it is this way (I'm hypothesizing that it's  
just too much work for too little added value), I'd really appreciate  
knowing the reason.  Curiosity and the cat and all that ...

- Bill

william w. austin                               waustin at
"life is just another phase i'm going through. this time, anyway ..."

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