TIL HOWTO (actually) log out of the Fossil UI

(Fossil is a free and open source, simple, high-reliability, distributed software configuration management system with some cool features like a built-in Web interface. Learn more.)

This is especially helpful if you are accessing the Fossil UI via localhost.

I run fossil ui and use the localhost URL that is offered. I noticed that the Logout link never seemed to actually log me out. Watching the requests via Developer Tools didn't immediately reveal an answer. I did find the answer this 2009 response to the [fossil-users] Login/Logout while on localhost thread on the [fossil-users] mailing list.

With that hint, here are two quicker ways to get the Logout button in the Fossil Web interface to work.

Let's assume you are looking at Fossil on the default port of http://localhost:8080.

Enforce logout via the Web interface

  1. Browse to localhost:8080/setup_access
  2. Check the Require password for local access option
  3. Click Apply Changes

Enforce logout via the config file (fossil settings)

  • TL;DR: fossil settings localauth true

You'll probably want to run the command above in the same directory that you run fossil ui in.

Confirm the value of the localauth setting

You can run fossil settings localauth or fossil settings | grep auth in order to check the current value of this setting. That command will tell you whether the local or global settings are being returned.

echo "Local setting" && fossil settings localauth && cd .. && echo "Global setting" && fossil settings localauth
Local setting
localauth            (local)  true
Global setting
localauth            (global) true

Consequences of making this change

This does more than convincing the Logout button to work. The /setup_access page contains some useful additional information about the consequences of making this change:

When enabled, the password sign-in is always required for web access. When disabled, unrestricted web access from is allowed for the fossil ui command or from the fossil server, fossil http commands when the "--localauth" command line options is used, or from the fossil cgi if a line containing the word "localauth" appears in the CGI script.

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ℹ️ About this TIL snippet: Created 2023-03-18T14:32:09-07:00 · View the source