How to set bash auto logout expiration in ubuntu 20.04 ?

I,m setting the variable TMOUT for root user to 2 hours on my server using following bash-command:

sudo export TMOUT=7200

But it does not work at all, are there any other solutions to achieve this, other than putting that variable in my .profile ?

1 Answer 1


You could set a log out script in /etc/profile.d:

  • Create the file /etc/profile.d/autologout.sh:

    sudo nano /etc/profile.d/autologout.sh

  • The contents of autologout.sh:

    # Sets auto log out for all users to 2 hours
    readonly TMOUT
    export TMOUT
  • Set permissions for the script:

    sudo chmod 0755 /etc/profile.d/autologout.sh

  • Reload the profile or log out and back in.

    source /etc/profile.d/autologout.sh

  • 1
    looking good so far, i changed your first command as following: $ nano /etc/profile.d/autologout.sh, since i could not cat something that did not exist. Also you forgot to mention that i have to log out once it completed and log in again, so it will take effect then. Please could you update your answer accordently ? This will be good to know :). Aug 12, 2021 at 11:02
  • You should also reload profile using following command: $ source /etc/profile.d/autologout.sh, without running that command you will still get auto logout Aug 12, 2021 at 11:40
  • To finish, i had also to rename the file autologout.sh to autologout, since it will be executed by run-parts. Aug 12, 2021 at 12:22
  • I don't believe you need to rename autologout.sh to autologout,, there are other .sh files in /etc/profile.d but I made the other changes you suggested.
    – Josh Zhang
    Aug 12, 2021 at 12:54
  • As @JoshZhang introduced, i had to do followings: 1. Create the file in folder /etc/profile.d and make sure the file is run-parts-conform nano /etc/profile.d/autologout 2. Then add the commands TMOUT=7200 readonly TMOUT export TMOUT 3. Then i tested that program run-parts will execute my script properly run-parts --test /etc/profile.d 4. I verify then my setting (TMOUT-variable) echo $TMOUT 5. I then reload or update profiles without a reboot source /etc/profile.d/autologout Aug 12, 2021 at 13:37

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