Automatic login to virtual console

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Revision as of 05:47, 11 December 2013 by Eca (Talk | contribs) (Use drop-in feature of systemd for getty autologin: added steps and made clearer)

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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.

Virtual console

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

Then disable getty@.service and enable getty@tty1.service

systemctl disable getty@.service
systemctl enable getty@tty1.service

Serial console

# 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


Start X at Login

starting X automatically. By default, getty@.service uses Type=idle, which delays the execution of agetty until all jobs (state change requests to units) are completed. By using Type=simple getty@.service will start immediately, but systemd boot-up messages might pollute the login prompt. To enable Type=simple just add a line to autologin.conf:

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

Adding ttys

Systemd FAQ.

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