LOGIN(1) General Commands Manual LOGIN(1)
login – log into the computer
login [-pq] [-h hostname] [user]
login -f [-lpq] [-h hostname] [user [prog [args...]]]
The login utility logs users (and pseudo-users) into the computer system.
If no user is specified, or if a user is specified and authentication of
the user fails, login prompts for a user name. Authentication of users is
configurable via pam(8). Password authentication is the default.
The following options are available:
-f When a user name is specified, this option indicates that proper
authentication has already been done and that no password need be
requested. This option may only be used by the super-user or when
an already logged in user is logging in as themselves.
With the -f option, an alternate program (and any arguments) may be
run instead of the user's default shell. The program and arguments
follows the user name.
-h Specify the host from which the connection was received. It is
used by various daemons such as telnetd(8). This option may only
be used by the super-user.
-l Tells the program executed by login that this is not a login
session (by convention, a login session is signalled to the program
with a hyphen as the first character of argv; this option
disables that), and prevents it from chdir(2)ing to the user's home
directory. The default is to add the hyphen (this is a login
-p By default, login discards any previous environment. The -p option
disables this behavior.
-q This forces quiet logins, as if a .hushlogin is present.
If the file /etc/nologin exists, login dislays its contents to the user and
exits. This is used by shutdown(8) to prevent users from logging in when
the system is about to go down.
Immediately after logging a user in, login displays the system copyright
notice, the date and time the user last logged in, the message of the day
as well as other information. If the file .hushlogin exists in the user's
home directory, all of these messages are suppressed. -q is specified, all
of these messages are suppressed. This is to simplify logins for non-human
users, such as uucp(1). login then records an entry in utmpx(5) and the
like, and executes the user's command interpreter (or the program specified
on the command line if -f is specified).
The login utility enters information into the environment (see environ(7))
specifying the user's home directory (HOME), command interpreter (SHELL),
search path (PATH), terminal type (TERM) and user name (both LOGNAME and
Some shells may provide a builtin login command which is similar or
identical to this utility. Consult the builtin(1) manual page.
The login utility will submit an audit record when login succeeds or fails.
Failure to determine the current auditing state will result in an error
exit from login.
/etc/nologin disallows logins
/var/run/utmpx current logins
/var/mail/user system mailboxes
.hushlogin makes login quieter
/etc/pam.d/login pam(8) configuration file
user flags for auditing
global flags for auditing
builtin(1), chpass(1), newgrp(1), passwd(1), rlogin(1), getpass(3),
A login utility appeared in Version 6 AT&T UNIX.
macOS 12.1 September 13, 2006 macOS 12.1