lastcomm — print out information about previously executed commands.

Examples (TL;DR)



[ command-name ... ]
[ user-name ... ]
[ terminal-name ... ]
[ OPTION ... ]


lastcomm prints out information about previously executed commands.  If no arguments are specified, lastcomm will print info about all of the commands in acct (the record file).  If called with one or more of command-name, user-name, or terminal-name, only records containing those items will be displayed.  For  example, to find out which users used command `a.out'  and which users were logged into `tty0', type:

lastcomm a.out tty0

This will print any entry for which `a.out' or `tty0'  matches in any of the record's fields (command, name, or terminal).  If  you want to find only items that match *all* of the arguments on the command  line, you must use the '-strict-match' option.  For example, to list  all of the executions of command a.out by user root on terminal tty0, type:

lastcomm --strict-match --command a.out --user root --tty tty0

The order of the arguments is not important.

For each entry the following information is printed:
  + command name of the process
  + flags, as recorded by the system accounting routines:
       S -- command executed by super-user
       F -- command executed after a fork but without a following exec
       C -- command run in PDP-11 compatibility mode (VAX only)
       D -- command terminated with the generation of a core file
       X -- command was terminated with the signal SIGTERM
  + the name of the user who ran the process
  + time the process started



Print only entries that match *all* of the arguments on the command line.


Print control characters.

--user name

List records for user with name. This is useful if you're trying to match a username that happens to be the same as a command (e.g., ed ).

--command name

List records for command name.

--tty name

List records for tty name.


Read file forwards instead of backwards. This avoids trying to seek on the file and can be used to read from a pipe. This must be specified prior to any -f arguments.

-f filename, --file filename

Read from the file filename instead of acct. A filename of "-" will result in reading from stdin. This must either be the first -f option, or --forwards must precede all -f options.

--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.

-p, --show-paging

Print paging statistics.


Add pid of the process and pid of the process parent to the output (pid is the last but one and parent pid the last column). These values are shown only when they are generated by acct function (depends on the version of kernel)


Print verbose internal information.

-V, --version

Print the version number of lastcomm.

-h, --help

Prints the usage string and default locations of system files to standard output and exits.



The system wide process accounting file. See acct(5) (or pacct(5)) for further details. /var/log/account

This directory contains pacct files which contain the binary process accounting data as written by the kernel.


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

See Also

last(1), acct(5)

Referenced By

acct(5), dump-acct(8), dump-utmp(8).

1995 October 31