Automatic login to virtual console

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Revision as of 16:31, 1 November 2013 by Mr.Magne (Talk | contribs) (Use drop-in feature of systemd for getty autologin)

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Summary help replacing me
Describes how to automatically log in to a virtual console.
Display Manager
Silent boot
Start X at Login

This article describes how to automatically log in to a virtual console at the end of the boot process. This article only covers console log-ins; methods for starting an X server are described in Start X at Login.


Use drop-in feature of systemd for getty autologin

Since systemd 198 unit files may now be extended via drop-in files without having to edit/override the unit files themselves, to learn more about this feature, consult systemd.unit(5) and search for Along with a unit file foo.service a directory foo.service.d/ may exist.

There are two types of consoles: virtual and serial ones. In most cases you would want to setup up autologin on virtual console, the one which device name is ttyN, where N is a number. The configuration of the autologin for the serial consoles will be slightly different. Device names of the serial consoles look like ttySN, where N is a number.

For the virtual console proceed with the following steps, the case with serial console is dealt with at the bottom of this page.

Create a new directory named getty@tty1.service.d under /etc/systemd/system:

# mkdir /etc/systemd/system/getty@tty1.service.d

Then create a new file named autologin.conf and add it into the directory:

ExecStart=-/usr/bin/agetty --autologin <username> --noclear %I 38400 linux
Tip: The option Type=idle will delay the execution of agetty until all jobs (state change requests to units) are completed. On the other hand it may cause systemd boot-up messages to pollute the login prompt. This option is more useful when starting X automatically. See man systemd.service for more info.

By default, getty@.service uses Type=idle. If you want to use Type=simple, then your autologin.conf should look like this:

ExecStart=-/usr/bin/agetty --autologin <username> --noclear %I 38400 linux

If you want to use another tty than tty1 see Systemd FAQ.

In the case of a serial console you need to create different directory

# mkdir /etc/systemd/system/serial-getty@ttyS0.service.d

The file autologin.conf will also look slightly different

ExecStart=-/sbin/agetty --autologin <username> -s %I 115200,38400,9600 vt102

Tips & Tricks

Avoiding unnecessary dmesg errors

To avoid errors related to display-manager.service in dmesg, you should set the default target to multi-user instead of graphical:

# systemctl enable

See also