My Raspberry Pi has been booting into the GUI for almost a year now. I wanted to change this, so I used raspi-config to set the boot mode to 'Text console, automatically logged in.'

After a restart however, my Pi seems to be bricked. Booting prompts me with the error messages in the image below and the Pi does not respond to keyboard input. I can still access the safe mode.

Is there a way to fix this? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

enter image description here

  • Did you change the default password?
    – shaggs
    Commented Apr 3, 2017 at 7:05
  • @shaggs Yes, pretty sure I once did. Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 7:42
  • Just as a trial change the password back to raspberry (default) just to see if it works
    – shaggs
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 7:43
  • @shaggs But how do I change the password if I cannot access the system? Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 15:17
  • Can you do it if you accesw to safe mode still
    – shaggs
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 19:42

1 Answer 1


The error occurred because the default login mechanism tries to default login via the pi user. You must have deleted or changed it in some way that the OS can't recognize it anymore. The solution would be to tell the OS to default login to a different user.

First of all. Login to a terminal from the error screen using Ctrl+Alt+F1. Log in to the desired user.

Now when you have a functioning terminal, it's time to change the default user. The solution would be to create a task that automatically defaults to your preferred user:

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

In the file insert the following (note that the default username needs to be placed there as well)

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

Restart the raspberry and you should be good to go.

Edit: The error originally occurred because debian stopped using the inittab mechanism and started using systemd. For additional information you can checkout a similar question

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