Ubuntu 18.04 – how to fix auto login

I always joke that when a new release of Ubuntu comes out, it’s time to f*** up all my computers. It’s funny only because it’s true.

The plan had been to use 20.04 when it came out last week, but as it turns out, it’s completely unstable on the target hardware I had in mind, but 18.04 luckily doesn’t seem to have the same problem. That’s a discussion for later.

Today’s post is a quick note on fixing auto login in Ubuntu 18.04 (although there’s a good chance this is still an issue in 20.04).

It seems that simply going to Settings/Details/Users and checking auto-login doesn’t really do the trick. Subsequent reboots would leave the computer at the login screen randomly … seemingly triggering the bug often after issuing a manual reboot command, but sometimes working properly if rebooting via the GUI (gnome desktop manager, the default for 18.04).

Anyway, what fixed it for me was this link. The auto-login switch sets the AutomaticLoginEnable and AutomaticLogin entries, but enabling the TimedLogin variables is what made things start working.

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