sa - summarizes accounting information
- [ -a | --list-all-names ]
[ -b | --sort-sys-user-div-calls ]
[ -c | --percentages ] [ -d | --sort-avio ]
[ -D | --sort-tio ] [ -f | --not-interactive ]
[ -i | --dont-read-summary-files ]
[ -j | --print-seconds ] [ -k | --sort-cpu-avmem
[ -K | --sort-ksec ] [ -l | --separate-times ]
[ -m | --user-summary ] [ -n | --sort-num-calls
[ -p | --show-paging ] [ -P | --show-paging-avg
[ -r | --reverse-sort ] [ -s | --merge ]
[ -t | --print-ratio ] [ -u | --print-users ]
[ -v num | --threshold num ] [
[ --debug ] [ -V | --version ] [ -h |
[ --other-usracct-file filename ] [ --ahz hz ]
[ --other-savacct-file filename ]
[ [ --other-acct-file ] filename ]
summarizes information about previously executed commands as recorded
in the acct
file. In addition, it condenses this data into a summary
file named savacct
which contains the number of times the command was
called and the system resources used. The information can also be summarized
on a per-user basis; sa
will save this information into a file named
If no arguments are specified, sa
will print information about all of the
commands in the acct
If called with a file name as the last argument, sa
will use that file
instead of the system's default acct
By default, sa
will sort the output by sum of user and system time. If
command names have unprintable characters, or are only called once, sa
will sort them into a group called `***other'. If more than one sorting option
is specified, the list will be sorted by the one specified last on the command
The output fields are labeled as follows:
sum of system and user time in cpu minutes
"elapsed time" in minutes
cpu-time averaged core usage, in 1k units
average number of I/O operations per execution
total number of I/O operations
cpu storage integral (kilo-core seconds)
user cpu time in cpu seconds
system time in cpu seconds
Note that these column titles do not appear in the first row of the table, but
after each numeric entry (as units of measurement) in every row. For example,
you might see `79.29re', meaning 79.29 cpu seconds of "real time".
An asterisk will appear after the name of commands that forked but didn't call
takes care to implement a number of features not found in other
versions. For example, most versions of sa
don't pay attention to flags
like `--print-seconds' and `--sort-num-calls' when printing out commands when
combined with the `--user-summary' or `--print-users' flags. GNU sa
pays attention to these flags if they are applicable. Also, MIPS' sa
stores the average memory use as a short rather than a double, resulting in
some round-off errors. GNU sa
uses double the whole way through.
The availability of these program options depends on your operating system. In
specific, the members that appear in the struct acct
of your system's
process accounting header file (usually acct.h
) determine which flags
will be present. For example, if your system's struct acct
the `ac_mem' field, the installed version of sa
will not support the
`--sort-cpu-avmem', `--sort-ksec', `-k', or `-K' options.
In short, all of these flags may not be available on your machine.
- -a, --list-all-names
- Force sa not to sort those command names with
unprintable characters and those used only once into the ***other
- -b, --sort-sys-user-div-calls
- Sort the output by the sum of user and system time divided
by the number of calls.
- -c, --percentages
- Print percentages of total time for the command's user,
system, and real time values.
- -d, --sort-avio
- Sort the output by the average number of disk I/O
- -D, --sort-tio
- Print and sort the output by the total number of disk I/O
- -f, --not-interactive
- When using the `--threshold' option, assume that all
answers to interactive queries will be affirmative.
- -i, --dont-read-summary-files
- Don't read the information in the system's default
- -j, --print-seconds
- Instead of printing total minutes for each category, print
seconds per call.
- -k, --sort-cpu-avmem
- Sort the output by cpu time average memory usage.
- -K, --sort-ksec
- Print and sort the output by the cpu-storage integral.
- -l, --separate-times
- Print separate columns for system and user time; usually
the two are added together and listed as `cpu'.
- -m, --user-summary
- Print the number of processes and number of CPU minutes on
a per-user basis.
- -n, --sort-num-calls
- Sort the output by the number of calls. This is the default
- -p, --show-paging
- Print the number of minor and major pagefaults and
- -P, --show-paging-avg
- Print the number of minor and major pagefaults and swaps
divided by the number of calls.
- -r, --reverse-sort
- Sort output items in reverse order.
- -s, --merge
- Merge the summarized accounting data into the summary files
savacct and usracct.
- -t, --print-ratio
- For each entry, print the ratio of real time to the sum of
system and user times. If the sum of system and user times is too small to
report--the sum is zero--`*ignore*' will appear in this field.
- -u, --print-users
- For each command in the accounting file, print the userid
and command name. After printing all entries, quit. *Note*: this flag
supersedes all others.
- -v num --threshold num
- Print commands which were executed num times or
fewer and await a reply from the terminal. If the response begins with
`y', add the command to the `**junk**' group.
- It really doesn't make any sense to me that the stock
version of sa separates statistics for a particular executable
depending on whether or not that command forked. Therefore, GNU sa
lumps this information together unless this option is specified.
- --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
- Print verbose internal information.
- -V, --version
- Print the version number of sa.
- -h, --help
- Prints the usage string and default locations of system
files to standard output and exits.
- Sort the output by the "real time" field.
- --other-usracct-file filename
- Write summaries by user ID to filename rather than
the system's default usracct file.
- --other-savacct-file filename
- Write summaries by command name to filename rather
than the system's default SAVACCT file.
- --other-acct-file filename
- Read from the file filename instead of the system's
default ACCT file.
- The raw system wide process accounting file. See
acct(5) for further details.
- A summary of system process accounting sorted by
- A summary of system process accounting sorted by user
There is not yet a wide experience base for comparing the output of GNU
with versions of sa
in many other systems. The problem is
that the data files grow big in a short time and therefore require a lot of
The GNU accounting utilities were written by Noel Cragg
<firstname.lastname@example.org>. The man page was adapted from the accounting
texinfo page by Susan Kleinmann <email@example.com>.