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I have Linux desktop. I don't leave it 24/7 turned on. I would like to gather statistics on how much time computer was turned on each day, f.e.:

2012-08-21: 7:52
2012-08-22: 8:43
2012-08-23: 7:36

If computer wasn't turned on, no record is required.

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4 Answers 4

according to last manual page:

The pseudo user reboot logs in each time the system is rebooted. Thus last reboot will show a log of all reboots since the log file was created.

so last column of #last reboot command gives you uptime history:

#last reboot
reboot   system boot  **************** Sat Sep 21 03:31 - 08:27 (1+04:56)   
reboot   system boot  **************** Wed Aug  7 07:08 - 08:27 (46+01:19)
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up vote 0 down vote accepted

I've found similar question on stackoverflow http://stackoverflow.com/questions/79490/linux-uptime-history . Best uptimed seems to be what I want, thank you guys for help.


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There will be datestamped entries in syslog (/var/log/messages*) you can extract this information from.

You could also add K entries to /etc/rc0.d to, for example, to run logger to add a specific syslog record on shutdown. See http://www.debian-administration.org/articles/212 or equivalent for the Linux distribution you are using

$ vim /etc/init.d/uptime
$ cat /etc/init.d/uptime

# chkconfig: 0 99 1
# description: Record uptime at shutdown.

start() {
        uptime >> /var/log/uptime 2>&1

case "$1" in
        echo Usage: $0 start

$ chmod +x /etc/init.d/uptime

$ chkconfig --add uptime

$ chkconfig --list uptime
uptime          0:on    1:off   2:off   3:off   4:off   5:off   6:off

$ ls /etc/rc*d/*uptime*
/etc/rc0.d/S99uptime  /etc/rc3.d/K01uptime  /etc/rc6.d/K01uptime
/etc/rc1.d/K01uptime  /etc/rc4.d/K01uptime
/etc/rc2.d/K01uptime  /etc/rc5.d/K01uptime

$ /etc/rc0.d/S99uptime start

$ cat /var/log/uptime
 13:15:28 up 135 days, 12:06,  1 user,  load average: 0.07, 0.04, 0.01
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You can create a script which runs uptime & dumps it into a file.

uptime >> uptime.log

After that setup a cron job for it. To know more about how to create a cron job : Create Cron Job

Or you can sign-up for an online service to do it for you : Uptime Project

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yup, I was thinking about this, maybe even get init.d script to run in shutdown. –  aisbaa Aug 23 '12 at 12:14
that's also an option.. so i guess i've answered what you actually needed.. –  aliasgar Aug 23 '12 at 12:30
this is really good answer, but I'm looking for more sophisticated solution. Maybe something like workrave, which has this as additional functionality, except I don't need this typing break solution. –  aisbaa Aug 23 '12 at 15:01

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