Linux / UNIX: Run Commands When You Log Out

I’ve written a Perl script that connects to our central server for me and it allows me feed data so that I make a timesheet later. How do I run my script when I log out from Apple OS X or Linux / UNIX workstation using bash shell?

Almost all modern shell including bash allows you run run command when you log out. Typically this is used to:

  1. Clean up screen with clear command.
  2. Remove history and other temporary file.
  3. Run commands or scripts and so on.

Logout file name

Commands in .logout are run when you log out.

  1. bash shell: ~/.bash_logout
  2. tcsh / csh: ~/.logout

Edit $HOME/.bash_logout and add your command:
$ vi ~/.bash_logout
Sample logout configuration:

if [ "$SHLVL" = 1 ]; then
    #clear screen
    [ -x /usr/bin/clear_console ] && /usr/bin/clear_console -q
 
    # delete mysql history
    [ -f $HOME/.mysql_history ] && /bin/rm $HOME/.mysql_history
 
    # Update ip accounting
    [ -x /usr/bin/ip_accouting ] && /usr/bin/ip_accouting -u "$USER" -a
 
   # call your script here
   [ -x /usr/local/bin/timesheet_client.pl ] && /usr/local/bin/timesheet_client.pl
fi

A Note About Old Shell And Bourne / KSH Shell

Older UNIX shell and the Bourne / ksh shell don’t have a logout file. So edit ~/.profile file, enter:
$ vi ~/.profile
Next append the following line:

trap '. $HOME/.my_shell_logout; exit' 0

Save and close the file. Finally create $HOME/.my_shell_logout, enter:
$ vi $HOME/.my_shell_logout
Sample config

   # call your script here
  if [ -f /usr/local/bin/timesheet_client.pl ] 
  then 
    /usr/local/bin/timesheet_client.pl
  fi

Posted by: SXI ADMIN

The author is the creator of SXI LLC and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.