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Applications for auto logoff

In response to Forcing a logoff after a specified period, the problem I am facing is that our production system servers and software are outsourced and the company does not seem to enforce auto logoff on their/our servers. I was looking for ways to assist them in performing this work. We have written a shell script that will check for in-activity and then kill their processes. This is not a development-type system, production only and inactive logins are not acceptable to leave open to these boxes, so killing their process is appropriate. I know with csh and tcsh there is a parameter that forces logoff after an inactivity time period, but I was wondering what the "best practice" is for doing this (outside of enforcable personnel policy). I have been working on multiple Unix servers as an admin for 15 years now and have yet to find a good way to do this. I was just looking to see if there is something I don't know about.

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There are a number of related things that could help. Desktop environments like CDE will lock screens and the like with inactivity. Some firewalls (like SOCKS 5) will kill network connections if they are idle. Computronics makes a product called Logmon that will "gracefully" (their words) shut down idle processes for Solaris. Your own shell scripts may very well do what you need better, depending on your needs.

For more information on this topic, visit these other searchSecurity resources:
Best Web Links: Securing the desktop

This was first published in March 2002

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