Subject: Re: Text form of wtmp
To: Vsevolod Stakhov <>
From: Greywolf <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 02/15/2005 16:40:44
[Thus spake Vsevolod Stakhov ("VS: ") Yesterday...]

VS: Hi.
VS: Why can't we use text file for wtmp? wtmp is just a log file, that is
VS: similar to other log files in system. We need to fix only last and ac
VS: programmes and libutil routines to work with text wtmp. I understand,
VS: that analyzing of wtmp records would be more complex, but wtmp would be
VS: in human readable form. And we would not need to trim hostname, because
VS: even in wtmpx the maximum hostname length is 256 bytes, and real max
VS: length is 1024 bytes.

wtmp is a binary file with fixed length records because it makes for much
faster processing.  It's easier, computing-wise to parse a file of records
of fixed size and display them in text format than it would be to parse
a file of records of varying size and deal with them.

We would not gain anything by converting wtmp from fixed-size-record
format to text format.  Humans are not the only things who gain from
reading the information inside wtmp.

Have A Nice Day.  (not valid in AK, AL, AR, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, KS, KY, LA,
MO, MS, MT, NB, NC, ND, OH, OK, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WV or Iraq.)