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Disable Automatic Logout
IdleLogout Builds
macoslib Updating code to use CFPrefs through TTsSmartPreferences and macoslib. Feb 1, 2017
Build Automation.rbbas
PlistHelper.rbbas Initial Commit Dec 13, 2012
SystemEventsMod.rbbas Initial Commit Dec 13, 2012
psuIdleLogout.rbvcp Updating Idle Logout to gracefully quit apps Feb 1, 2017



Find the latest commmits at https://git.psu.edu/sysman/IdleLogout



Application to log out users after a specified period of time. The user will see a prompt with a countdown asking them if they wish to log out or continue working ("More Time"). Users can disable the Idle Logout process using the "Disable Idle Logout.applescript".

The Idle Logout App will force close any applications the user has open. This will not save any data!

Screen Shot of Count Down Window: window

Download app: Idle Logout.app


The IdleLogout-V.v.pkg installs the Idle Logout.app into /Library/CLMshared/Startup Items/ and the LaunchAgent to open it in /Library/LaunchAgents/.

The Idle Logout.app will write log files into the /Users/Shared/IdleLogout/ folder.

You can deploy the "Disable Idle Logout.applescript", as a compiled app, to give users an easy way to stop the Idle Logout process. This is helpful in locations where users need to allow processes to run for longer than you're normal logout time.


The Idle Logout.app looks for the preference file "/Library/Preferences/edu.psu.idlelogout.plist" (included in the repo under 'IdleLogout Builds/Preference/' folder). It looks for the following key/string pairs in the plist. If they are missing, it will use the defaults:

  • IgnoreUser = Ignore the username, don't force logout.
  • IgnoreGroup = Ignore anyone in this group, don't force logout.
  • ComputerIdleAfterNumSeconds = Number of seconds before considering the computer abandoned.
  • IdleLoopDelaySeconds = Number of seconds to wait between checking the usb idle seconds.
  • WaitForUserPromptSeconds = Number of seconds to wait for user to respond to logout prompt.
  • WindowTitle = Changes the name shown in the logout window. Uses String.
  • WindowMessage = Changes the text shown on the logout window. Uses String.

Default Values if plist is not installed:

  • IgnoreUser = "macadmin"
  • IgnoreGroup = "admin"
  • ComputerIdleAfterNumSeconds = "600"
  • IdleLoopDelaySeconds = "30"
  • WaitForUserPromptSeconds = "90"
  • WindowTitle = "PSU Idle Logout"
  • WindowMessage = "This Mac is idle.\n\nClick the "More Time" button to continue using the Mac.\n\nOtherwise, an automatic logout will occur and all unsaved documents will be LOST!"

Defaults can be set quickly for all users using defaults write:

  • defaults write /Library/Preferences/edu.psu.idlelogout.plist IgnoreUser -string clcclmadmin
  • defaults write /Library/Preferences/edu.psu.idlelogout.plist IgnoreGroup -string user
  • defaults write /Library/Preferences/edu.psu.idlelogout.plist ComputerIdleAfterNumSeconds -string 10
  • defaults write /Library/Preferences/edu.psu.idlelogout.plist IdleLoopDelaySeconds -string 5
  • defaults write /Library/Preferences/edu.psu.idlelogout.plist WaitForUserPromptSeconds -string 120
  • defaults write /Library/Preferences/edu.psu.idlelogout.plist WindowTitle -string "Our Idle Logout"
  • defaults write /Library/Preferences/edu.psu.idlelogout.plist WindowMessage "You're going to be logged out\n\n\nDude!"


Idle Logout.app was written in Xojo 2015 R3. It uses the ioreg command to determine how long USB devices have been idle. Once the idle limit is meet, the computer is forcibly restarted to log out any users.

The terminal command we use to check idle seconds on USB devices is:

/bin/echo $((/usr/sbin/ioreg -c IOHIDSystem | /usr/bin/sed -e '/HIDIdleTime/ !{ d' -e 't' -e '}' -e 's/.* = //g' -e 'q' / 1000000000))


  • No Known Issues - Please use GitHub Issues


  • 01/2017 - Updated preferences to use CFPrefsD through macoslibs. Update code to Cocoa (Only update UI from main thread).
  • 01/2015 - The path to the logout script should be set in the preference file OR the script should be part of the app.
  • 01/2015 - Make it part of the .app, create a new method to log out
  • 01/2015 - Add preference key for window wording.


Application Icon modified from original, used with CC license: From http://www.flickr.com/photos/23453447@N02/5107438855/sizes/o/in/photostream/ By zyrquel: http://www.flickr.com/photos/23453447@N02/

Full Screen Shot of Countdown Window: full