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I want my raspberry pi to boot to a UI (so I can RDP / VNC into it remotely) but I don't necessarily want people nearby to start poking around. How can I require a password upon login for the pi? I've been googling for a while and can't seem to find this without breaking the ui somehow.

Also, any tips for locking down a pi in a remote location in general are also greatly appreciated :)

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As far as requiring a password on login, this has already been answered.

When it comes to remote location security, what's true for the RPi is true for all devices. If someone has physical access to the device, you're more or less screwed. If you have the ability, I would recommend keeping the device behind some kind of physical lock.

Short of physically locking the RPi down, you can make it harder on people using disk encryption and disabling random software from running on usb ports and stuff like that. While out of the scope of this site, I would suggest reading up on "server hardening". Tecmint has a good article you can get started with.

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