More utmp stuff

David Lee T.D.Lee at
Mon Mar 27 15:23:33 GMT 2000

On Fri, 24 Mar 2000, Elrond wrote:

> [...]
> > o  The sheer variety of utmp implementations means that porting is
> >    becoming increasingly non-trivial.
> You should realy consider taking a deep look at screen and
> rxvt (in that order). There's no need to reinvent the wheel
> every time, and they did much of that work already.
> (and they're GPL'ed, so there shouldn't be any
> copyright-issues, or do I miss something?)
> (and those don't have many runtime-configuration-options,
> so they need to get paths right in the first place)

Thanks.  Do you have any pointers, URLs etc.?

> > o  Despite the above downgrading of "utmp dir" to geek status, there
> >    should probably be a "wtmp dir" too.
> [...]
> I don't know, if there's any system out there, that uses
> something else then a single file for utmp/wtmp, so maybe
> the options should be "utmp file" and "wtmp file".
> (wtmp file = /var/log/wtmp.samba)

The reason I went for "utmp dir" was that it would cover all four possible
files across many UNIX systems: utmp, utmpx, wtmp, wtmpx .

The basic idea was to be as simple as possible for "plug and play" use. 
Ideally, simply "utmp=yes" would be needed, using the OS's own default
mechanisms and locations.  "utmp directory" was to allow relocation of
path, but still use the default (relative) filenames and mechanisms. 
Since then, the suggestion has arisen also to have a "wtmp dir" 

Ideally, Samba would work out sensible defaults (as, apparently, do your
suggested "screen" and "rxvt" packages), so that "utmp dir" and any "wtmp
dir" would not be needed at all by most sys.admins.

One of the problems about specifying the final component filename (in your
example the "wtmp.samba" component) is that several systems maintain both
the non-x- and x- files in parallel, assuming that they can simple add or
delete a final "x".  Thus, I think a "wtmp.sambax" (note file "x") would
magically, but wrongly, appear, wouldn't it?

> > o  Worthy consideration should be given to the idea of consolidating
> >    multiple connections from the same PC into one single utmp record,
> >    perhaps by a "utmp consolidate" parameter, and idea suggested and
> >    already implemented by "Freddie <freddie at>" .
> [...]
> But it should only merge entries for the _same_ user.

This isn't an area I know much about.  When a PC makes multiple
connections to a Samba server, isn't it forced to use the same UNIX
identifier (i.e. user) for all connections anyway? 


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