Original image by Kristian Bjornard (bjornmeansbear)
With the putback of:

changeset:   2135:6eeb55920e13
tag:         tip
user:        Tim Foster
date:        Wed Nov 10 11:32:32 2010 +1300
description:
	3419 history command -- ability to specify dates or date ranges desired
	17012 pkg history should include boot environment or snapshot information
	17013 pkg history subcommand should display boot environment and snapshot information
	17222 pkg history could use a -o option

the pkg ‘history’ subcommand now has some new features.

We now record the name of the boot environment the operation was applied to, any ZFS clones created, and any ZFS snapshots taken during the course of the operation.

In addition, pkg history can also accept a comma-separated list of column names to print different output. The known column names at the moment are:

be
The name of the boot environment this operation was started on
client
The name of the client
client_ver
The version of the client
command
The command line used for this operation
finish
The time that this operation finished
id
The user id that started this operation
new_be
The new boot environment created by this operation
operation
The name of the operation
outcome
A summary of the outcome of this operation
reason
Additional information on the outcome of this operation
snapshot
The snapshot taken during this operation. This is only recorded if the snapshot was not automatically removed after successful operation completion
start
The time that this operation started
time
The total time taken to perform this operation (for operations that take less than a second, “0:00:00” will be printed)
user
The username that started this operation

The old “result” column has been split into “result” and “reason” to preserve field formatting, and the old “time” column has been renamed to “start”. The “time” column now contains the total operation time (“finish” – “start” times) – I figured, that calculating the total operation time might be useful, rather than expecting users to do it manually.

Finally, pkg history gets a ‘-t’ flag, allowing users to specify a comma separated list of dates, or ranges of dates they’re interested in. Previously users could only choose to see all events or the last ‘n’ events with the -n flag.

I really like the history subcommand – I’ve found that being able to see over time which packages have been installed and removed from the system, and which operations have failed or succeeded is extremely useful. Being able to find detailed information about how packages have been managed over time gives quite an insight into how people use software. It’d be interesting to use this as input on deciding how to craft custom distributions of Solaris that contain the software that people use in the real world.

We didn’t have a history function in SVR4 that I’m aware of – another point in favour of IPS. History Lives on in Historic Historyville!

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