I sshed into a Linux machine (bash shell) from a public Windows machine (in our lab) and forgot to log out. I'm now back at my seat in another room and I am too lazy to walk back and log out that session; I can ssh into the Linux machine from my current PC though. Can I force-logout the other session from a new SSH session?

When I ssh to the Linux box from my current PC and type users command, I can see that I'm still logged in there; my name is listed twice - one for the current session and another for the session from lab PC.

I don't have root privileges on the said machine, but I guess that shouldn't matter as I'm just trying to log out myself.


Run tty on your current session, to find out on which tty you are working, so you do not log yourself out from current session. Run w to show you current users and associated pseudo-terminals(tty). Assuming that you are logged twice and there are no other users on your ssh server, your previous ssh session will be on pts/0 and current on pts/1. To ditch the session on pts/0 simply kill processes that are associated to it with

pkill -9 -t pts/0 
  • For some reason, pkill -9 pts/tty-number didn't work for me; then I found the pid of the process using ps aux | grep amar and tried pkill -9 -P pid and it worked. Thanks!
    – Amarghosh
    Sep 27 '10 at 5:24
  • 7
    pkill -9 -t pts/tty-number. -t is the switch to specify tty Sep 27 '10 at 5:35
  • Ooops, somehow I missed that -t in your answer when I read it first.
    – Amarghosh
    Sep 27 '10 at 6:37
  • +1, awesome fix. I just reset my router while I was SSHing to a machine on the same network, and then realized it left that session logged in... This worked perfectly. Jul 15 '13 at 3:37
  • 6
    Found this question today (and it works great, so thanks!) but found the -9 sounded a bit harsh. A simple -HUP sufficed for me.
    – Matijs
    Mar 5 '14 at 22:13

Assuming you don't have any other processes you don't want to be 86'ed, you can just do:

$ ssh <systemname> pkill -u <yourlogin>

And the other session will go away.


You can type:


You won't see that you typed it but it will close the connection.


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