By Brian Leonard on Jan 25, 2011
If you've ever wondered how the Live CD just boots directly into the desktop, this is easily configured through a couple of settings in your GNOME Display Manager (GDM) configuration file, /etc/gdm/custom.conf. Just add the following to the daemon section in custom.conf:
[daemon] AutomaticLoginEnable=true AutomaticLogin=<user id> GdmXserverTimeout=30
When AutomaticLoginEnable is set to true, the user given in AutomaticLogin is logged in immediately. The GdmXserverTimeout setting will determine how long the system will try before giving up and presenting the login screen. This could occur, for example, if the supplied user id doesn't exist on the system.
When making changes to custom.conf, restart gdm for the changes to take effect:
$ sudo svcadm restart gdm
The GNOME Display Manager is quite customizable. See the gdm man page for more.