logout - macOS


The logout command allows you to end your current macOS user session and return to the login window. It’s primarily used when you need to switch to a different user account or terminate your session remotely.


logout [options]




  • Simple logout:
  • Logout remotely using SSH:
    ssh user@remote-mac "logout"

Common Issues

  • “logout: not login shell”: This error occurs when you attempt to run logout from a non-interactive shell. Ensure you’re running it from a Terminal window or an interactive SSH session.


  • Combine with sudo: Use sudo logout to log out as root or another user with administrative privileges.
  • Chain with sleep: Use sleep X; logout to automatically log out after a specified delay in seconds (X).
  • login: Starts a new user session.
  • su: Switches to a different user account without logging out.
  • screen: Creates a virtual terminal where multiple sessions can run simultaneously.