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HP-UX 11i Version 3: February 2007

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last, lastb — indicate last logins of users and ttys


/usr/bin/last [-R] [-number] [-x] [-X] [-f file] [name ...] [tty ...]

/usr/bin/lastb [-R] [-number] [-x] [-X] [-f file] [name ...] [tty ...]


The last command searches backwards through the file /var/adm/wtmps (which contains a record of all logins and logouts) for information about a user, a tty, or any group of users and ttys. Arguments specify names of users or ttys of interest. The names of ttys can be given fully or abbreviated. For example, last 0 is the same as last tty0. If multiple arguments are given, the information that applies to any of the arguments is printed. For example, last root console lists all of root's sessions as well as all sessions on the console terminal. The last command prints the sessions of the specified users and ttys, most recent first, indicating when the session began, the duration of the session, and the tty on which the session took place. last indicates if the session is still in progress or if it was cut short by a reboot.

The pseudo-user reboot logs each time the system reboots. Thus, last reboot is a useful command for evaluating the relative time between system reboots.

If last is interrupted, it indicates how far the search has progressed in wtmp. If interrupted by a quit signal (generated by a Ctrl-\), last indicates how far the search has progressed, then continues the search.

The lastb command searches backwards through the database file /var/adm/btmps to display bad login information. Access to /var/adm/btmps should be restricted to users with appropriate privileges (owned by and readable only by root) because it may contain password information.


The last and lastb commands recognize the following options and arguments:


If no arguments are specified, last prints a record of all logins and logouts in reverse order, most recent first.


When used with last and lastb, -R displays the user's host name as it is stored in the files /var/adm/wtmps and /var/adm/btmps, respectively. The host name is displayed between the tty name and the user's login time.


Limits the report to number of lines.

-f file

Use file as the name of the accounting file instead of /var/adm/wtmp or /var/adm/btmp.


Use file as the name of the accounting database instead of /var/adm/wtmps. This option should be used along with the -f file option.


Display the fields in long format if this flag is used along with the -X flag. Without the -X flag, normal output is displayed.


last was developed by the University of California, Berkeley and HP.



Bad login database


Login database


New login database


New bad login database

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