Ubuntu – See computer’s uptime and history


I was wondering if it is at all possible to find out when the computer was switched on, what files where accessed what folders were opened, what programs run and when the computer was resumed and put back to sleep (just like in the movies).

I know this isn't that important but it would be cool to know.

Best Answer

When was the machine turned on:


Example from my notebook:

20:06:33 up  1:50,  2 users,  load average: 0.03, 0.04, 0.05

That is current time, uptime, amount of users and the load average.

What programs run:

  • Command line

    ps -ef|more

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  • GUI - System monitor (dash, system monitor):

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When the computer was resumed or sleep


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what folders were opened

what files where accessed

None of these I know a command for. Natty has activity journal for files.

Other interesting things...

  • To see when the users logged in the last time: lastlog.

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  • Login failure: faillog.

    last, lastlog, faillog make use of log file /var/log/wtmp (last), /var/log/lastlog and /var/log/faillog. If those are not active you will not get any result.

  • lsof shows a list of currently open files.

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    It can do alot of checks on a lot of options. From man lsof:

    To list all open IPv4 network files in use by the process whose PID is 1234, use:

    lsof -i 4 -a -p 1234

    To list all open files for login name ``abe'', or user ID 1234, or process 456, or process 123, or process 789, use:

    lsof -p 456,123,789 -u 1234,abe

    To list all open files on device /dev/hd4, use:

    lsof /dev/hd4
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