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What I learned trying to log wall (tilde.club)
31 points by wtbob on Dec 25, 2015 | hide | past | web | favorite | 10 comments

interestingly, soda.csua.bekeley.edu had logging by 1993. and the mechanism? a complete rewrite of wall as the redundantly named wallall, which wrote to a log file right after it wrote to all the ttys. that way there was no need to snarf a pty just to log.

and by the way, i don't agree that it's ok to log any public stream just because it's public. some public media don't feel like a medium of record, and invite an informal behavior that their users would regret if they knew they were being logged. if i knew everything i'd say in public could be held against me forever, i'd say very different things.

Wasn't there something with the username of the log file being named after Larry Wall? Or the account that you finger to read it? Because his last name was also Wall?

... although he actually did study at UC Berkeley at one point, so maybe the plot was somehow thicker than I realized.

I'll be darned. It's still there in OSX. It's actually nice because if I have a lot of terminal windows open I can send a reminder to myself in all of them quickly.

Probably your best option is to use screen, which is generally appropriately setuid (and installed on non-graphical machines), and tell screen to log all output to a file.

You may need to use C-a L to ask screen to register the current window in utmp.

I think `script ssh localhost` ought to do the trick.

Perhaps `utmp` is a `tmp` file storing `u`sers.

If true (and I think it's rather probable), that is yet another example that nothing is as permanent as a temporary hack.

`tmp` doesn't necessarily mean that the file or the hack is temporary, but perhaps that it contains temporary, ephemeral, or temporal information.

You have a point there, although temporary/ephemeral only holds for utmp. wtmp (and btmp) are more like logs; so they are temporal, but that's really not the expected meaning of `tmp` in Unix. utime appeared in V7, while utmp appeared in V6, so that is no excuse either (unless the name was already used internally).

User-Terminal MaPping?

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