Provides automatic session timeout in a Rails application.
Switch branches/tags
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.


Provides automatic session timeout in a Rails application. Very easy to install and configure. Have you ever wanted to force your users off your app if they go idle for a certain period of time? Many online banking sites use this technique. If your app is used on any kind of public computer system, this plugin is a necessity.


Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'auto-session-timeout'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself as:

$ gem install auto-session-timeout


After installing, tell your application controller to use auto timeout:

class ApplicationController < ActionController::Base
  auto_session_timeout 1.hour

You will also need to insert this line inside the body tags in your views. The easiest way to do this is to insert it once inside your default or application-wide layout. Make sure you are only rendering it if the user is logged in, otherwise the plugin will attempt to force non-existent sessions to timeout, wreaking havoc:

  <% if current_user %>
    <%= auto_session_timeout_js %>
  <% end %>

You need to setup two actions: one to return the session status and another that runs when the session times out. You can use the default actions included with the plugin by inserting this line in your target controller (most likely your user or session controller):

class SessionsController < ApplicationController

To customize the default actions, simply override them. You can call the render_session_status and render_session_timeout methods to use the default implementation from the plugin, or you can define the actions entirely with your own custom code:

class SessionsController < ApplicationController
  def active
  def timeout

In any of these cases, make sure to properly map the actions in your routes.rb file:

match 'active'  => 'sessions#active',  via: :get
match 'timeout' => 'sessions#timeout', via: :get

You're done! Enjoy watching your sessions automatically timeout.

Additional Configuration

By default, the JavaScript code checks the server every 60 seconds for active sessions. If you prefer that it check more frequently, pass a frequency attribute to the helper method. The frequency is given in seconds. The following example checks the server every 15 seconds:

    <% if current_user %>
      <%= auto_session_timeout_js frequency: 15 %>
    <% end %>


  • current_user must be defined
  • using Prototype vs. jQuery
  • setting timeout in controller vs. user


  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes (git commit -am 'Add some feature')
  4. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request