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.

  • there is an easier way to do this using raspi-config this article explains it opentechguides.com/how-to/article/raspberry-pi/5/… 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
    – remy
    May 15, 2013 at 8:49
  • 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, 2013 at 17:08

5 Answers 5


For Raspbian Wheezy:

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.

Update: Raspbian Jessie uses systemd so inittab is not used. Here is a FAQ that may help for Jessie: https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Systemd#How_do_I_set_automatic_login_on_a_virtual_console_terminal.3F

The FAQ is for Fedora but it should be very similar on Raspbian Jessie.

UPDATE2: The page above is now gone so here is the content from the Wayback machine:

How do I set automatic login on a virtual console terminal?

First create a new service similar to [email protected]:

# cp /lib/systemd/system/[email protected] \
     /etc/systemd/system/[email protected]
# ln -s /etc/systemd/system/[email protected] \
     /etc/systemd/system/getty.target.wants/[email protected]

then edit ExecStart, Restart and Alias values, like this:

ExecStart=-/sbin/mingetty --autologin USERNAME %I
Alias=getty.target.wants/[email protected]

and finally reload daemon and start the service:

systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl start [email protected]

Note that if you exit tty8 session, you wont be able to use it until next reboot or manual start by systemctl, except if you leave Restart as ‘always’, but I highly recommend to avoid this according to security reasons.

  • 1
    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, 2013 at 18:28
  • 2
    Please update the answer! There is no /etc/inittab file in raspbian jessie. Dec 1, 2015 at 15:39
  • @OkiErieRinaldi I have added a link that may help with Jessie.
    – Craig
    Dec 1, 2015 at 16:35
  • No, I still get the login prompt upon boot. Jul 18, 2016 at 2:04
  • The Raspbian Jessie solution doesn't work.
    – piepi
    Jan 1, 2017 at 3:22

This worked for me with Jessie Lite:

sudo -i
mkdir -pv /etc/systemd/system/[email protected]
nano /etc/systemd/system/[email protected]/autologin.conf


ExecStart=-/sbin/agetty --autologin pi --noclear %I 38400 linux

only catch is that I can't logon using SSH anymore - access denied. :-(

  • 1
    A good answer should give an indication as to why it works. What do the those two steps do? Can you really say it works if it breaks SSH?
    – Jacobm001
    Mar 4, 2016 at 15:51
  • This doesn't work! Still forces me to login at command line. Jul 18, 2016 at 2:16
  • does using $TERM work for you? ExecStart=-/usr/bin/agetty --autologin username --noclear %I $TERM
    – esharp
    Aug 1, 2016 at 8:54

lightdm.conf method didn't work for me. After a bit of playing around the easiest method I found was below.

cd /etc/systemd/system/

From there type: ls

You will see an [email protected]

just sudo nano [email protected]

and change line

ExecStart=-/sbin/agetty --autologin pi --noclear % I $TERM


ExecStart=-/sbin/agetty --autologin [Username] --noclear % I $TERM

Where [Username] is put the user you wish to login without the brackets.

Now I did have pi auto login working using the raspi-config setup, but used the above method to change the autologin for a new user.


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.

  • What is T0:23?? I thought it should be 1:2345. Jul 18, 2016 at 2:18

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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