I have several powerful desktop computers that I'd like to make use of when there's no user activity or when user isn't logged in. As such, I was wondering whether it was possible to detect user actions such as login, logoff and screen lock.

At the moment, I'm running a cron job that starts a service at 8pm and then stops it at 6am whether a user is logged in or not (mostly not). However, my work place is very flexible and hence users come and go at odd times as long as they make their 8hrs a day. I'm looking to maximize the time I can utilize these powerful desktop machines.

I'm looking to do this using only tools readily available at the BASH console. Is this a pipe dream?

  • Maybe this Q&A:Need software to track login and logoff timings is of use to you?
    – Videonauth
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 8:25
  • @Videonauth: that might be a last option. I've found other nearly similar questions asking how to detect logout with someone suggesting dbus-monitor. I'm reading up on it to see if it might indeed be the answer I'm looking for.
    – AnthonyK
    Commented Nov 9, 2017 at 10:04


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