Os : debian9.
Create a log file.

touch $HOME/logout.log

Add a command in .bash_logout.

vim .bash_logout
echo  $(date)  >>  $HOME/logout.log

Now login with account name test,and create /home/test/logout.log.

I want to write date info in /home/test/logout.log,why no date info after reboot?
Nothing in /home/test/logout.log after reboot.

  • 1
    You need to be logged in to a user, then when you logout this file gets executed. Hence the name bash_logout. Can you specify exactly when you want echo $(date) to be executed? Also you can just do date >> $HOME/logout.log – Hunter.S.Thompson Jan 31 '18 at 13:30
  • At reboot to write time info into $HOME/logout.log. – scrapy Jan 31 '18 at 13:35
  • date >> $HOME/logout.log is enough. – Tomasz Jan 31 '18 at 13:42


echo $(date) >> $HOME/logout.log

can be replace by

date >> $HOME/logout.log


.bash_logout is run when you disconnect, not when there is a reboot.

  • A reboot is when you restart host, effectively killing (more or less nicely) all it process, database, webserver and so on.

  • A logout is when you (or any user) disconnect from interactive session, the host stay up, as well as database and the like.

If you want script to be executed during a schedule shutdown, place then in /etc/init.d , then have a link like K01-trace-logout in /etc/rcX.d where X is your run-level (result of who -r).


Be aware that unexpected shutdown (power outage, disk I/O freezing) will leave no trace in log file.

  • I have a question, would $HOME in this case be /root or would it be the the home directory of the user who initiates the reboot, assuming the script is in /etc/rc6.d. – Hunter.S.Thompson Jan 31 '18 at 14:03
  • @Hunter.S.Thompson No, unless you have way to trap which user start shutdown (by way of sudo for instance)... – Archemar Jan 31 '18 at 14:06

You need to run bash as login shell. You need to login as the user and when you log-out from the interactive login shell - the .bash_logout script will be executed.

  • Command in .bash_logout execute in login shell ,most of time i'm in non-login shell (graphic mode). – scrapy Jan 31 '18 at 14:06

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