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We recently set up a new FreeBSD 7.2 machine on March 11. When looking at last, we noticed some funny characters for the TTY field.

What do these characters mean? Note that at this time, the sysadmin was battling with NTP.

# last |grep date
date             {                         Fri Mar 10 17:26
date             |                         Fri Mar 10 15:26
date             {                         Fri Mar 10 15:26
date             |                         Fri Mar 10 03:14
date             {                         Fri Mar 10 03:11
date             |                         Sat Mar 11 15:22
date             {                         Sat Mar 11 15:21
date             |                         Sat Mar 11 09:20

And according to man last, I can specify the tty using -t tty:

# last -t {
date             {                         Fri Mar 10 17:26
date             {                         Fri Mar 10 15:26
date             {                         Fri Mar 10 03:11
date             {                         Sat Mar 11 15:21
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

From utmp(5):

The system time has been manually or automatically updated (see
date(1)).  The command name date is recorded in the field
ut_name.  In the field ut_line, the character `|' indicates the
time prior to the change, and the character `{' indicates the
new time.

So the I and { are just there to indicate that the system time is being changed.

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