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How can I make the RPi auto-login when booted, when the GUI is disabled?

You don't have to type a password, when logging in when GUI enabled, so there is probably an easy way of disabling the password prompt in the console.

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Very dangerous, I missed the bit about not having a password and seemed to have screwed up the SD card. Be warned! – user7670 May 28 '13 at 17:08

4 Answers 4

up vote 11 down vote accepted

You should be able to edit the /etc/inittab file to enable autologin.

Find a line like this in /etc/inittab

1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty --noclear 38400 tty1

This starts the getty process on tty1. You can add the getty --autologin option to that line:

1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty --autologin {USERNAME} --noclear 38400 tty1

Replace {USERNAME} with the user you want to login.

Note I have not tested this, check the manpage for getty for more details.

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I have tested it; it works fine. Also, put something in ~/.bash_profile and that will get run automatically after you are logged in. – greggo Jan 18 '13 at 18:28

there is an easier way to do this using raspi-config this article explains it

showing :

  1. how to auto login to the shell prompt (using a method similar to above)
  2. Run scripts at startup
  3. Auto start the desktop using raspi-config
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this article shows how to auto login to the desktop using raspi-config, but the question is asking how to auto login when there is no GUI or Desktop (so bringing up the shell prompt). However this article also shows how to auto login to the shell as well. – kolin May 15 '13 at 8:57

If you want auto-login to Raspberry Pi on Serial line, you need to edit the /etc/inittab file on pi with sudo permissions.

Find a line like this in /etc/inittab

T0:23:respawn:/sbin/getty -L ttyAMA0 115200 vt100

Add the getty --autologin option to that line.

T0:23:respawn:/sbin/getty --autologin {username} -L ttyAMA0 115200 vt100

Save and Reboot.

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I'm running NOOBS and had a slightly different inittab file. Here's what I changed that combined both the "--autologin" on the T0 line and the 1:2345 line:

#1:2345:respawn:/sbin/getty --noclear 38400 tty1"
1:2345:respawn:/bin/login -f pi tty1 <dev/tty1 >/dev/tty1 2>&1
T0:23:respawn:/sbin/getty --autologin pi - L ttyAMA0 115200 vt100
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