Start X at login

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Summary help replacing me
Starting X automatically at login to a virtual terminal.
Automatic login to virtual console
Display Manager
Silent boot

A display manager can be used to provide a login screen and start the X server. This article explains how this can be done using an existing virtual terminal.

To manually start X, startx is used, which will execute ~/.xinitrc, which may be customized to start the window manager of choice as described in the xinitrc article.

Shell profile file

To easily accomplish this, add to your shell's rc config:

  • Bash - ~/.bashrc
  • Zsh - ~/.zshrc
  • Csh - ~/.cshrc
  • Ksh - ~/.kshrc

The following:

[[ $TTY == "/dev/tty1" ]] && exec startx


  • This method can be combined with automatic login to virtual console. When doing this you have to set correct dependencies for the autologin systemd service to ensure that dbus is started before ~/.xinitrc is read and hence pulseaudio started (see: BBS#155416)
  • If you would like to remain logged in when the X session ends, remove exec.
  • To redirect the output of the X session to a file, create an alias:
alias startx='startx &> ~/.xlog'