Here is an example of manual log rotation of the wtmp log files that record user logins. Note that only two wtmp files are retained on this system due to the "rotate 2" specification in /etc
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utmp, wtmp, btmp are Unix files that keep track of user logins and logouts. They cannot be read directly because they are not regular text files. However, there is the last command which displays the information of /var/log/wtmp in plain text.
login - Why does /var/log/wtmp becomes so huge? How to Just noticed some 640MB wtmp file in a virtual container (Ubuntu Hardy). # last -n 10000 -f /var/log/wtmp.1|wc -l 384 # ls -hl /var/log/wtmp.1 -rw-rw-r-- 1 root utmp 641M 21. Sep 07:49 /var/log/wtmp.1 logrotate was not installed (I just did that and forced rotating). How to Read /var/log/btmp, Rotate the btmp Log With Logrotate
/var/log/wtmp: Lists successful login/logout history: lastb /var/log/btmp: Shows the bad login attempts: lastlog /var/log/lastlog: Shows the most recent login: Remove Information About Last Logins. You already how to check the last login history in Linux, so now it is time to learn how to clear it.
utmp, wtmp, btmp and variants such as utmpx, wtmpx and btmpx are files on Unix-like systems that keep track of all logins and logouts to the system.