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Version: 362337 (ubuntu - 24/10/10)

Section: 5 (Format de fichier)


autolog.conf - Configuration file for the autolog command


The configuration file consists of multiple lines, each of which describes a class of processes subject (or not subject) to a certain auto logout procedure. A line consists of any number of switches. Value switches are of the form: "name=value". Boolean switches are of the form: "name" or "noname".

Using these switches, you can define a username, a group, and a tty line. These descriptions can contain wildcard characters (regular expressions). You can also define an idle time, a grace period and a few other options. When reading the configuration file, the program creates a record for each configuration line. A value is assigned to each variable in the record regardless of whether or not you specify one explicitly. Values for missing variables are provided by defaults which are compiled in and can be modified from the command line.

If no entries are found matching a given process, that process will be spared from an untimely demise. Therefore, it is a good idea to always have a "cleanup" line at the end of the configuration file to catch anything that might have been missed by the more explicit definitions. Since the default name, group, and line are all ".+", a simple line like:


will do. Actually, any one switch can be specified on the line and all the others will get the default values.

If no configuration file is found, the program will create a single entry which has all values set from the defaults. This entry will match any process on any port (name=.+ line=.+ group=.+). Therefore, the default action is to kill all processes.


A regular expression specifying which username(s) to match.
A regular expression specifying which group(s) to match.
A regular expression specifying which tty line(s) to match. Omit the "/dev/" part of the special name.
An integer specifying the number of --minutes-- of idle (or connect) time to allow before beginning automatic logoff. An idle time of 0 exempts the process from automatic logoff.
An integer specifying the number of --seconds-- from the initial warning to killing the process.
An integer specifying the number of --minutes-- from killing the process to the moment, the user may login again. (after exceeding his session).
A boolean value indicating total connect time will be considered rather than idle time.
A boolean value indicating that mail will be sent to the user explaining that he was killed.
A boolean value indicating that the screen will be cleared before a warning message is sent.
A boolean value indicating that a warning message will be sent at the beginning of the "grace" period.
A boolean value indicating that activities will be logged to the logfile (if it exists).


There is another group of entries, which allows to set some general options. Each of them takes a whole line. Don't mix them with the other entries from before.

A boolean value indicating whether lost processes should be killed. If there is a process with uid between 500 and 60000 and the owner is not logged in, it is assumed as lost and will be killed.
on some strange or old systems the ps-command has different parameters. This makes it possible to set a completly different command. It is only important, that this command delivers one heading line and then lines with usernames and process-ids (pid). e.g.: ps=ps aux


        name=root line=tty[1-7] idle=0
        name=guest idle=5 grace=60 nomail hard warn
        group=lynx-.* idle=10 grace=60 clear
        idle=60 grace=30


Kyle Bateman <> (autolog 0.35),
Carsten Juerges <>

                                  (autolog 0.40)

This manual page was modified for Debian by Paul Telford <>