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.
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
In short, all of these flags may not be available on your machine.
Force sa not to sort those command names with unprintable
characters and those used only once into the ***other group.
Sort the output by the sum of user and system time divided by
the number of calls.
Print percentages of total time for the command's user,
system, and real time values.
Sort the output by the average number of disk I/O operations.
Print and sort the output by the total number of disk I/O
When using the `--threshold' option, assume that all answers
to interactive queries will be affirmative.
Don't read the information in the system's default savacct
Instead of printing total minutes for each category, print
seconds per call.
Sort the output by cpu time average memory usage.
Print and sort the output by the cpu-storage integral.
Print separate columns for system and user time; usually the
two are added together and listed as `cpu'.
Print the number of processes and number of CPU minutes on a
Sort the output by the number of calls. This is the default
Print the number of minor and major pagefaults and swaps.
Print the number of minor and major pagefaults and swaps
divided by the number of calls.
Sort output items in reverse order.
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.
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
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.--debug
Print verbose internal information.
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.
Write summaries by user ID to filename rather than the
system's default usracct file.
Write summaries by command name to filename rather than the
system's default SAVACCT file.
Read from the file filename instead of the system's default
acct The raw system wide process accounting file. See acct(5) for
A summary of system process accounting sorted by command.
A summary of system process accounting sorted by user ID.
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.
This page is part of the psacct (process accounting utilities)
project. Information about the project can be found at
⟨http://www.gnu.org/software/acct/⟩. If you have a bug report for
this manual page, see ⟨http://www.gnu.org/software/acct/⟩. This page
was obtained from the project's upstream Subversion repository
⟨svn://svn.savannah.gnu.org/acct/trunk⟩ on 2017-03-13. If you dis‐
cover 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
1997 August 19 SA(8)