net-acct: Or is nacctd? Either way, network accounting

I hope you appreciate this one, because I really scraped to find this and get it working.

2014-02-02-g60-125nr-nacctd

That’s net-acct, or as some refer to it, nacctd. And rather than bore you with my travails, I’ll just cue you into the important points.

  1. The home page is apparently gone. The Freecode page is up, but has barely any information. Their link to the home page just sits and spins.
  2. What I learned, I got out of the Ubuntu man pages from Dapper Drake.
  3. It’s in Debian though, so you can yank the source code if you want to build it outside the Debian distro chain.
  4. I didn’t see this in Arch or AUR.
  5. nacctd is the actual executable, even if it’s in your distro as “net-acct.”
  6. There are only three command-line flags. Everything else appears to be managed in the /etc/naccttab configuration file. I found no /etc/nacctd.conf, regardless of what the man page says.
  7. Once configured, nacctd just dumps into a log file at /var/log/net-acct/net-acct.log. Page through that to see what you’re after.
  8. Be prepared to do some number crunching; that log has a reasonable amount of data, but isn’t arranged or explained much. I don’t see totals or averages or anything other than raw requests.
  9. I think that’s all you can get out of this. Let me know if I overlooked something.

Name confusion and all other complaints aside, I suppose net-acct (or is it nacctd?) does a reasonable job dumping network transfer data.

Now, whether the final product is in a usable form, or if the means is a bit obtuse, you can decide those points. šŸ˜

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One thought on “net-acct: Or is nacctd? Either way, network accounting

  1. thisnameisfalse

    Hi!

    net-acct generates log files of network traffic for accounting purposes.

    There is a good description at http://linux.softpedia.com/get/System/Networking/netacct-14068.shtml :
    “net-acct logs network traffic. It provides a daemon (nacctd) that logs all traffic passing through the machine it runs on. You should use this because:
    You are providing IP to customers (you rin a slip/ppp server) and want to charge them based on the traffic they generate.
    You are a statistics freak and want to see how much of your network traffic is for NetNews, FTP, WWW etc.

    exorsus.net link is dead. Original (old) webpage can be found at http://web.archive.org/web/20090129094101/http://exorsus.net/projects/net-acct

    Cite: “For much of the functionality provided by net-acct, an alternative, http://savannah.nongnu.org/projects/ulog-acctd, exists which is considerably better at catching all the relevant packets. For the majority of problems it should be considered the preferable solution to net-acct (assuming you’re on a linux 2.4 kernel of course šŸ™‚

    http://netacct-mysql.sourceforge.net/ is a mysql-customised version of net-acct (data is kept into MySQL database)”

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