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Is there a log or software application for interpreting, e.g. /var/log/syslog* so that I can get statistics on system use?

I am interested in the frequency of use of a machine by different users; some statistics about the programs or resources used would also be helpful.

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what kind of information do you intend to gain by interpreting? Just read it like it is, and if you do not know what something means, google it. – Matt Dec 9 '11 at 18:41
It depends on what information you are looking for, there are several open source tools to choose from. I personally like logwatch – bodhi.zazen Dec 9 '11 at 21:48
@Matt, a summary of, e.g. how many times user x has logged in, how long they were logged in, and what programs they executed. – David LeBauer Dec 10 '11 at 3:58

Most likely you would need to configure your Syslog daemon to capture what your looking for and then use a log parsing tool such as logwatch or Sawmill. I included a couple of links that may help. I would recommend installing Syslog-NG and then using the front-end tools in the 'debianadmin' link below.

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