SCO Unix, Xenix and ODT General FAQ

This article is from a FAQ concerning SCO operating systems. While some of the information may be applicable to any OS, or any Unix or Linux OS, it may be specific to SCO Xenix, Open Desktop or Openserver.

There is lots of Linux, Mac OS X and general Unix info elsewhere on this site: Search this site is the best way to find anything.

How can inactive users be automatically logged out of SCO Unix?

It's amazing who difficult this seemingly simple task can be. Determining whether someone is really inactive isn't easy.

The "idleout" program has been included with SCO Unix versions since Xenix. It is a shell script, so you can easily modify it if it doesn't quite answer your needs.

There are some limitations to it, however, so you may want to use something else.

A better program is nidleout by John Dubois. That's a ksh script- it's complicated, though, and probably hard to modify unless you understand ksh scripts very well. However, it may do exactly what you want without modification.

It's possible that just setting the TMOUT variable in ksh or bash may be enough for your needs; see the man pages for your shell.

Linux has "autolog", and a compiled OSR5 version (complete with man pages) is available from

There are also commercial solutions. Computronics Logmon is product that doesn't have the limitations of idleout and offers extensive configuration capability.

Finally, I have a Perl script that has its own way of approaching the problem: Piddle Script

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