Once upon atime: curious and bored - Grin with cat attached — LiveJournal
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Once upon atime: curious and bored Jul. 22nd, 2004 01:59 pm
Tempted to make this tweak to one or both of my VMs. It also makes me wonder - what does anyone actually use atime for?


From: bondagewoodelf
Date: July 22nd, 2004 - 01:08 pm (Link)
I use it for forensics (who looked at that file? HUH? HUH!!??) and sometimes to find out when the backup tool ran last *grin*

From: callumf
Date: July 22nd, 2004 - 02:31 pm (Link)
You can use atime for ooooodles of things, of course you do run the risk of provoking Heisenbugs depending on what you do with it.

It's important for auditing and forensics, and for modeling the usage of filesystems; we use it to automatically archive unused files (especially things like big; easily compressible logs from years ago); BSD flavour commands determine interactivity based on the atime of the tty and of /dev/kbd; many apps use the atime of the mbox to figure out if you've got new mail.

It's not a great way to do a lot of these things, but it's convenient for many of them. That said, if you don't use it it dosn't hurt to get rid of it and can be of great benefit performance-wise; though I'd keep it on any box I really cared about and only take it off low-spec boxes, desktops, and pure compute servers.