System Administration Guide
Chapter 5, Maintaining system security

Logging out idle users (non-graphical sessions only)

Logging out idle users (non-graphical sessions only)

A user who has not entered any commands or information for a long time may mean that the user has left the terminal and forgotten to log out. The idleout(ADM) command monitors line activity and logs out any user whose terminal remains idle longer than a specified period of time. You must be logged in as the superuser to run idleout.

WARNING: idleout is not intended for use with the X server; idleout will log out active X processes.

To begin monitoring line activity for the system, enter:


The IDLETIME variable in the /etc/default/idleout file determines how long a user's terminal can remain idle before the system logs the user out. If the value of IDLETIME contains a colon (:), idleout calculates the time in hours; otherwise, idleout calculates the time in minutes.

You can also specify the acceptable idle time on the command line in the one of the following forms:

idleout minutes


idleout hours:minutes

If you want idleout to run automatically when you reboot your system, add this line to the file /etc/rc2.d/P88USRDEFINE: