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This howto show you howto get Linux to auto login in multi-user mode(non-GUI) at bootup.

Difficulty Operating Systems
med/hard linux


  • getty, or agetty; any getty that supports executing files (mingetty does not)
  • gcc: usually standard
  • a boot disk or live cd is a good idea. If you make a mistake your computer may not boot up properly.


You may not boot up if this isn't done properly, and these steps may not be the same for your computer

  1. edit a file: for example 'autologinz.c', and add (zymos being the username)
    #include <unistd.h>
    int main() { execlp( "login", "login", "-f", "zymos", 0); }
  2. Compile the file by executing this command:
    gcc -o autologinz autologinz.c
  3. make sure autologinz is executable. For help See: Howto to change file permissions in unix
  4. chmod 755 autologinz
  5. as root, perform the next steps:
  6. copy the program you just created to /usr/local/sbin
  7. cp autologinz /usr/local/sbin
  8. Read NOTE! below before proceeding!
  9. edit '/etc/inittab', and on line that looks similar to the following
    c1:2345:respawn:/sbin/agetty 38400 tty1 linux
    1:2345:respawn:/sbin/mingetty tty1
  10. Replace that line with the following using the location of your executable
    c1:2345:respawn:/sbin/agetty -n -l /usr/local/sbin/autologinz 38400 tty1
    1:2345:respawn:/sbin/agetty -n -l /usr/local/sbin/autologinz 38400 tty1
  11. reboot

NOTE! If your computer does not boot up properly use your boot disk to replace the line in '/etc/inittab' to its original and read 'man getty'

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