Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

April 11, 2005

How to log idle users out of a Linux system?

Filed under: Security Tools,Tech Related — Suramya @ 1:37 AM

Idle users are a big problem if the system doesn’t either log them out or lock the session. This is so because if a session is idle that means it might be unattended and could be used by an unauthorized person to gain access to restricted resources.

In windows idle the OS can be instructed to lock accounts after a specific idle time and in KDE/Gnome the screensaver’s allow us to the same thing. But this doesn’t cover the shell access. Users can remain logged in indefinetly unless they logout. Below are some programs that will log a user out if they exceed the specified idle time:

  • Set TMOUT= in /etc/profile. (Only for bash, sh users)
  • Use timeoutd
  • Use porttime to control login times.

If you know of any other ways please let me know.

– Suramya

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