System Administration Guide: Virtualization Using the Solaris Operating System

Chapter 5 Administering Extended Accounting (Tasks)

This chapter describes how to administer the extended accounting subsystem.

For an overview of the extending accounting subsystem, see Chapter 4, Extended Accounting (Overview).

Administering the Extended Accounting Facility (Task Map)



For Instructions 

Activate the extended accounting facility. 

Use extended accounting to monitor resource consumption by each project running on your system. You can use the extended accounting subsystem to capture historical data for tasks, processes, and flows.

How to Activate Extended Accounting for Flows, Processes, Tasks, and Network Componentss

Display extended accounting status. 

Determine the status of the extended accounting facility. 

How to Display Extended Accounting Status

View available accounting resources. 

View the accounting resources available on your system. 

How to View Available Accounting Resources

Deactivate the flow, process, task, and net accounting instances. 

Turn off the extended accounting functionality. 

How to Deactivate Process, Task, Flow, and Network Management Accounting

Use the Perl interface to the extended accounting facility. 

Use the Perl interface to develop customized reporting and extraction scripts. 

Using the Perl Interface to libexacct

Using Extended Accounting Functionality

Users can manage extended accounting (start accounting, stop accounting, and change accounting configuration parameters) if they have the appropriate rights profile for the accounting type to be managed:

ProcedureHow to Activate Extended Accounting for Flows, Processes, Tasks, and Network Componentss

To activate the extended accounting facility for tasks, processes, flows, and network components, use the acctadm command. The optional final parameter to acctadm indicates whether the command should act on the flow, process, system task, or network accounting components of the extended accounting facility.

Note –

The System Administrator role includes the Process Management profile. For information on how to create the role and assign the role to a user, see Managing RBAC (Task Map) in System Administration Guide: Security Services.

  1. Become superuser or assume an equivalent role.

  2. Activate extended accounting for processes.

    # acctadm -e extended -f /var/adm/exacct/proc process
  3. Activate extended accounting for tasks.

    # acctadm -e extended,mstate -f /var/adm/exacct/task task
  4. Activate extended accounting for flows.

    # acctadm -e extended -f /var/adm/exacct/flow flow
  5. Activate extended accounting for network.

    # acctadm -e extended -f /var/adm/exacct/net net

    Run acctadm on links and flows administered by the dladm and flowadm commands.

See Also

See acctadm(1M) for more information.

How to Display Extended Accounting Status

Type acctadm without arguments to display the current status of the extended accounting facility.

machine% acctadm
                 Task accounting: active
            Task accounting file: /var/adm/exacct/task
          Tracked task resources: extended
        Untracked task resources: none
              Process accounting: active
         Process accounting file: /var/adm/exacct/proc
       Tracked process resources: extended
     Untracked process resources: host
                 Flow accounting: active
            Flow accounting file: /var/adm/exacct/flow
          Tracked flow resources: extended
        Untracked flow resources: none

In the previous example, system task accounting is active in extended mode and mstate mode. Process and flow accounting are active in extended mode.

Note –

In the context of extended accounting, microstate (mstate) refers to the extended data, associated with microstate process transitions, that is available in the process usage file (see proc(4)). This data provides substantially more detail about the activities of the process than basic or extended records.

How to View Available Accounting Resources

Available resources can vary from system to system, and from platform to platform. Use the acctadm command with the -r option to view the accounting resource groups available on your system.

machine% acctadm -r
extended pid,uid,gid,cpu,time,command,tty,projid,taskid,ancpid,wait-status,zone,flag,
memory,mstatedisplays as one line
basic    pid,uid,gid,cpu,time,command,tty,flag
extended taskid,projid,cpu,time,host,mstate,anctaskid,zone
basic    taskid,projid,cpu,time
basic    saddr,daddr,sport,dport,proto,nbytes,npkts,action
  extended name,devname,edest,vlan_tpid,vlan_tci,sap,cpuid, \
  priority,bwlimit,curtime,ibytes,obytes,ipkts,opks,ierrpkts \
  basic    name,devname,edest,vlan_tpid,vlan_tci,sap,cpuid, \
  priority,bwlimit,curtime,ibytes,obytes,ipkts,opks,ierrpkts \

ProcedureHow to Deactivate Process, Task, Flow, and Network Management Accounting

To deactivate process, task, flow, and network accounting, turn off each of them individually by using the acctadm command with the -x option.

  1. Become superuser or assume an equivalent role.

  2. Turn off process accounting.

    # acctadm -x process 
  3. Turn off task accounting.

    # acctadm -x task
  4. Turn off flow accounting.

    # acctadm -x flow
  5. Turn off network management accounting.

    # acctadm -x net
  6. Verify that task accounting, process accounting, flow and network accounting have been turned off.

    	# acctadm
                Task accounting: inactive
           Task accounting file: none
         Tracked task resources: none
       Untracked task resources: extended
             Process accounting: inactive
        Process accounting file: none
      Tracked process resources: none
    Untracked process resources: extended
                Flow accounting: inactive
           Flow accounting file: none
         Tracked flow resources: none
       Untracked flow resources: extended
                Net accounting: inactive
           Net accounting file: none
         Tracked Net resources: none
       Untracked Net resources: extended

Using the Perl Interface to libexacct

How to Recursively Print the Contents of an exacct Object

Use the following code to recursively print the contents of an exacct object. Note that this capability is provided by the library as the Sun::Solaris::Exacct::Object::dump() function. This capability is also available through the ea_dump_object() convenience function.

sub dump_object
             my ($obj, $indent) = @_;
             my $istr = '  ' x $indent;

             # Retrieve the catalog tag.  Because we are 
             # doing this in an array context, the
             # catalog tag will be returned as a (type, catalog, id) 
             # triplet, where each member of the triplet will behave as 
             # an integer or a string, depending on context.
             # If instead this next line provided a scalar context, e.g.
             #    my $cat  = $obj->catalog()->value();
             # then $cat would be set to the integer value of the 
             # catalog tag.
             my @cat = $obj->catalog()->value();

             # If the object is a plain item
             if ($obj->type() == &EO_ITEM) {
                     # Note: The '%s' formats provide s string context, so
                     # the components of the catalog tag will be displayed
                     # as the symbolic values. If we changed the '%s'
                     # formats to '%d', the numeric value of the components
                     # would be displayed.
                     printf("%sITEM\n%s  Catalog = %s|%s|%s\n", 
                        $istr, $istr, @cat);

                     # Retrieve the value of the item.  If the item contains
                     # in turn a nested exacct object (i.e., an item or
                     # group),then the value method will return a reference
                     # to the appropriate sort of perl object
                     # (Exacct::Object::Item or Exacct::Object::Group).
                     # We could of course figure out that the item contained
                     # a nested item orgroup by examining the catalog tag in
                     # @cat and looking for a type of EXT_EXACCT_OBJECT or
                     # EXT_GROUP.
                     my $val = $obj->value();
                     if (ref($val)) {
                             # If it is a nested object, recurse to dump it.
                             dump_object($val, $indent);
                     } else {
                             # Otherwise it is just a 'plain' value, so
                             # display it.
                             printf("%s  Value = %s\n", $istr, $val);

             # Otherwise we know we are dealing with a group.  Groups
             # represent contents as a perl list or array (depending on
             # context), so we can process the contents of the group
             # with a 'foreach' loop, which provides a list context.
             # In a list context the value method returns the content
             # of the group as a perl list, which is the quickest
             # mechanism, but doesn't allow the group to be modified.
             # If we wanted to modify the contents of the group we could
             # do so like this:
             #    my $grp = $obj->value();   # Returns an array reference
             #    $grp->[0] = $newitem;
             # but accessing the group elements this way is much slower.
             } else {
                     printf("%sGROUP\n%s  Catalog = %s|%s|%s\n",
                         $istr, $istr, @cat);
                     # 'foreach' provides a list context.
                     foreach my $val ($obj->value()) {
                             dump_object($val, $indent);
                     printf("%sENDGROUP\n", $istr);

How to Create a New Group Record and Write It to a File

Use this script to create a new group record and write it to a file named /tmp/exacct.


use strict;
use warnings;
use Sun::Solaris::Exacct qw(:EXACCT_ALL);
# Prototype list of catalog tags and values.
     my @items = (
             [ &EXT_STRING | &EXC_DEFAULT | &EXD_CREATOR      => "me"       ],
             [ &EXT_UINT32 | &EXC_DEFAULT | &EXD_PROC_PID     => $$         ],
             [ &EXT_UINT32 | &EXC_DEFAULT | &EXD_PROC_UID     => $<         ],
             [ &EXT_UINT32 | &EXC_DEFAULT | &EXD_PROC_GID     => $(         ],
             [ &EXT_STRING | &EXC_DEFAULT | &EXD_PROC_COMMAND => "/bin/rec" ],

     # Create a new group catalog object.
     my $cat = ea_new_catalog(&EXT_GROUP | &EXC_DEFAULT | &EXD_NONE)

     # Create a new Group object and retrieve its data array.
     my $group = ea_new_group($cat);
     my $ary = $group->value();

     # Push the new Items onto the Group array.
     foreach my $v (@items) {
             push(@$ary, ea_new_item(ea_new_catalog($v->[0]), $v->[1]));

     # Open the exacct file, write the record & close.
     my $f = ea_new_file('/tmp/exacct', &O_RDWR | &O_CREAT | &O_TRUNC)
        || die("create /tmp/exacct failed: ", ea_error_str(), "\n");
     $f = undef;

How to Print the Contents of an exacct File

Use the following Perl script to print the contents of an exacct file.


     use strict;
     use warnings;
     use Sun::Solaris::Exacct qw(:EXACCT_ALL);

     die("Usage is dumpexacct <exacct file>\n") unless (@ARGV == 1);

     # Open the exact file and display the header information.
     my $ef = ea_new_file($ARGV[0], &O_RDONLY) || die(error_str());
     printf("Creator:  %s\n", $ef->creator());
     printf("Hostname: %s\n\n", $ef->hostname());

     # Dump the file contents
     while (my $obj = $ef->get()) {

     # Report any errors
     if (ea_error() != EXR_OK && ea_error() != EXR_EOF)  {
             printf("\nERROR: %s\n", ea_error_str());

Example Output From Sun::Solaris::Exacct::Object->dump()

Here is example output produced by running Sun::Solaris::Exacct::Object->dump() on the file created in How to Create a New Group Record and Write It to a File.

Creator:  root
Hostname: localhost
         Value = me
         Value = 845523
         Value = 37845
         Value = 10
         Value = /bin/rec