Linux login command

The “login” command in Linux is used to initiate a new login session on the system. It prompts for a username and password, authenticates the user, and starts a new session with the user’s environment and privileges.

Here is the basic syntax of the “login” command:

login [options] [username]

Here’s a practical example of how to use the “login” command:

  1. Start a new login session:

Running the “login” command without any options prompts you to enter a username and password to start a new login session. Once authenticated, it starts a new shell session with the user’s environment and privileges.


   $ login
   Login: john
   Last login: Sat May 22 18:12:01 PDT 2023 on tty1
   Welcome to Linux!

   [john@localhost ~]$

In this example, executing the “login” command initiates a new login session for the user “john”. The user is prompted to enter the username and password, and upon successful authentication, a new shell session is started.

  1. Start a login session with a specific user:
   login username

Replace “username” with the actual username of the user with whom you want to start a login session. This command will directly prompt for the password of the specified user and initiate a session with their environment.


   $ login jane
   Last login: Fri May 21 09:28:12 PDT 2023 on pts/0
   Welcome back, Jane!

   [jane@localhost ~]$

In this example, the “login” command is used to start a login session for the user “jane” directly, without prompting for a username. After entering the password, the user’s shell session is initiated.

Please note that the “login” command typically requires root or administrative privileges to start a new login session for another user. Regular users can use the command to initiate a new session for themselves without specifying a username.

Use the “login” command with caution, especially when starting login sessions for other users, as it requires appropriate permissions and can potentially interrupt existing sessions.