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Re: Possible 'who' bug?

From: Bob Proulx
Subject: Re: Possible 'who' bug?
Date: Thu, 25 Apr 2002 23:19:59 -0600

> Possible bug with 'who', or kernel?

Possibly neither.

> I have a couple of entries listed when I do a 'who' that I can't seem to get 
> rid of (other than rebooting).  I've even gone so far as to take my system 
> down to INIT runlevel 1 (single-user mode) and kill all extraneous processes 
> (so that only the kernel threads and the single-user mode bash shell are 
> running) and yet I still always see:
> peter    pts/19   Apr 22 17:20
> peter    pts/21   Apr 22 17:24
> My computer is still in this 'state' so if there is anything you want me to 
> look at (yo get you some more debug info) let me know.

The who command formats and prints the contents of /var/run/utmp aka
/etc/utmp aka /var/adm/utmp.  [Many names because there are many
different systems and people have differing ideas about where it
should go.]  who does not modify the contents and has not control over
it.  The who command just prints out what other operating system
programs have logged there.

I have also seen cases where entries get written to the file and
nothing cleans those up.  Normally when you log into a computer any
interactive tty login will be recorded in that file.  When you log out
the entry will be removed.  This also happens when you start up xterm
windows.  But if things crash they do not get the chance to clean up
the file and will sometimes leave that data around.  If this is
happening often then probably something systematic is occurring which
you could track down and fix.  This might be a program not quite
properly configured on your system.

You did not say which operating system you were working on.  Different
systems handle this differently.  You can usually do a 'man utmp' to
get information about your particular system.

Sorry this is not of more help in solving your problem.  But perhaps
it will help in some way.  Good luck.


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