Practice Setup
Linux Architecture
Basic Commands
Basic file management or operations on file
User administration
Linux Interview Questions



Monitor User Activity in Linux

For monitoring the user activity, we use whoami, id, who, last , finger , w & uptime commands in linux. These commands user monitoring activities are explained with examples.


Whoami Command

This command is used to know, the logged in credential details.

Sample command output:

[root@sys2 ~]# whoami


Drawback: We can’t know other users details with this.


id Command

id command will display userid, primary and secondary id details of the given user.



id user-name



[root@sys2 ~]# id john uid=501(john) gid=502(dba) groups=502(dba),501(sales)



In the above example, we have seen a non-root user account information from another non-root user.



If we give no user name details after the id command, then it will display the logged on user name information.

[root@sys2 ~]# id
uid=0(root) gid=0(root) groups=0(root) context=unconfined_u:unconfined_r:unconfined_t:s0-s0:c0.c1023


In the above example, as we have logged in as root, it showed the root id details.


last command

Linux last command will explain about server reboots along with different user’s login details history.


[admin@linbox1 log]$ last
admin           pts/0      :0                Sun Jul24  10:29 still logged in
admin           :0         :0                Sun Jul24  10:29 still logged in
(unknown        :0         :0                Sun Jul24  10:18 - 10:29 (00:11)
reboot          system boot 3.10.0-327.el7.x Sun Jul24  10:18 -  17:47 (07:29)
admin           pts/0      :0                Thu Jun 16 05:47 -  05:48 (00:01)
admin           :0         :0                Thu Jun 16 05:47 -  05:48 (00:01)
(unknown        :0         :0                Thu Jun 16 05:46 -  05:47 (00:00)
reboot          system boot 3.10.0-327.el7.x Thu Jun 16 05:46 -  17:47 (38+12:00)
root            pts/0     Thu Jun 2  12:17 -  down (06:29)
(unknown        :0          :0               Thu Jun 2  12:16 -  18:47 (06:30)
reboot          system boot 3.10.0-327.el7.x Thu Jun 2  12:16 -  18:47 (06:30)



Using last command, we can see a particular user login & logout details history over the period.

#last<username> The user’s login and logout users.

[admin@linbox1 log]$ last admin
admin      pts/0   :0   Sun   Jul  24  10:29   still logged in
admin      :0      :0   Sun   Jul  24  10:29   still logged in
admin      pts/0   :0   Thu   Jun 16  05:47 - 05:48 (00:01)
admin      :0      :0   Thu   Jun 16  05:47 - 05:48 (00:01)
wtmp begins Thu Jun 2 10:33:13 2016


Finger Command

Finger command is used for display user login credentials.
#finger <username> To display the user login details.


[root@sys2 ~]# finger john
Login: john                   Name: systemadmin
Directory: /home/john         Shell: /bin/bash
On since Tue Jan 26 18:25 (IST) on pts/3 from 11 seconds idle


Uptime Command

This command will show below details.

A number of users presently logged in.

For how many hours/days system is up.

cpu load average



[admin@linbox1 log]$ uptime
17:58:22 up 5:34, 2 users, load average: 0.00, 0.03, 0.05


Who Command

Who command will list out,

User names which are currently logged in

From which terminal they have logged in.

Date & timestamp of their login.

IP address details, if login was from remote machine.


Syntax example:

[root@linbox1 log]# who
admin       :0         2016-07-24            10:29 (:0)
admin        pts/0     2016-07-24            10:29 (:0)
admin        pts/1     2016-07-24            18:01 (:0)


w command

w command will show combinations of uptime output and who command information.

Check out the below example output,

[root@linbox1 log]# w
18:04:21 up 5:40, 3 users, load average: 0.02, 0.06, 0.05


admin :0    :0     10:29   ?xdm?  6:28  0.42s  gdm-session-worker
admin pts/0 :0     10:29   5.00s  0.29s 10.50s /usr/libexec/gnome-
admin pts/1 :0     18:01    2:53        0.07s   0.07s     bash
[root@sys2 Packages]# users
root root root root
#lastlog List all last logged in users
#cat /var/log/secure The users login and logout details


If FILE is not specified, use /var/run/utmp. /var/log/wtmp as FILE is common.



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