Thursday, December 4, 2008

Enabling Automatic Login in Ubuntu

The first component of user interaction Ubuntu requires is the input of a username and password. By default, Ubuntu will pause at the login screen indefinitely until the details are entered. Following this, the GNOME desktop will load, which can take another 30 seconds on an older computer.

It’s possible to make Ubuntu log in to any particular account automatically, which will save time during boot (and will also allow you to activate your computer, leave the room, and come back to the computer ready for instant use).

However, you should do this only if you’re confident your computer is in a secure location. After all, enabling automatic login will mean that anyone who has physical access to your computer will be logged in automatically and have access to your data.

To enable automatic login, click System -> Administration -> Login Window. In the Login Window Preferences window that appears, click the Security tab, and put a check alongside Enable Automatic Login. Then choose the account that you would like to log in automatically from the User drop-down list (If there’s only one user on your system, there will be only one entry in this list.) Click the Close button at the bottom right of the Login Window Preferences window to save your changes and exit.

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