Subject: Re: Text form of wtmp
To: Greywolf <>
From: Vsevolod Stakhov <>
List: tech-userlevel
Date: 02/16/2005 15:08:27
Greywolf wrote:
> [Thus spake Vsevolod Stakhov ("VS: ") Yesterday...]
> 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.

So, why other system log files are not in binary format? IMHO, binary 
format is only comfortable for updating records, while records in wtmp 
are only added.