Is there a way to find a log of all the commands that have been run by a user on Ubuntu 11.10 Server? I need to find out what my friend ran to install a program.


If you use something like bash as a command interpreter, you could check the history.

more /home/user/.bash_history
  • How can i check the history with time-stamp? When each commands were used? – user25165 Jul 2 '13 at 8:13
  • 1
    Under what conditions are commands added to the log? I've read that the commands are only added to the log when you exit. I noticed my commands weren't being added so I thought maybe it was because I was being kicked rather than exiting. Then I tried existing and even the they weren't added. I ask because I'm only seeing a few commands from early on in my new Ubuntu installation. – mikato Jul 16 '14 at 17:38

Follow these instructions (revised from this answer).

  1. Modify the /etc/bash.bashrc

  2. Append the below line the end of that file

     export PROMPT_COMMAND='RETRN_VAL=$?;logger -p local6.debug "$(whoami) [$$]: $(history 1 | sed "s/[ ][0-9]+[ ]//" ) [$RETRN_VAL]"'
  3. Create a new file

  4. Add the line to the file

    local6.*    /var/log/commands.log
  5. Add line to the file /etc/logrotate.d/rsyslog .



    Add this

  6. Restart the rsyslog.

    sudo service rsyslog restart

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