lastlog - examine lastlog file


lastlog [options]


lastlog formats and prints the contents of the last login log /var/log/lastlog file. The login-name, port, and last login time will be printed. The default (no flags) causes lastlog entries to be printed, sorted by their order in /etc/passwd.


The options which apply to the lastlog command are:
-h, --help
 Print help message and exit.
-t, --time DAYS
 Print the lastlog records more recent than DAYS.
-u, --user LOGIN
 Print the lastlog record for user with specified LOGIN only.
The -t flag overrides the use of -u.

If the user has never logged in the message **Never logged in** will be displayed instead of the port and time.


The lastlog file is a database which contains info on the last login of each user. You should not rotate it. It is a sparse file, so its size on the disk is much smaller than the one shown by ls -l (which can indicate a really big file if you have a high UID). You can display its real size with ls -s.


 lastlog logging file


Large gaps in uid numbers will cause the lastlog program to run longer with no output to the screen (i.e. if mmdf=800 and last uid=170, program will appear to hang as it processes uid 171-799).


Julianne Frances Haugh (

Phillip Street

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