I have selected the setting 'Automatic Login' from within the default Gnome 3 Ubuntu 17.10 control panel app, but it keeps resetting to 'off' after every restart and does not allow me to automatically login.

Any ideas?

  • Are you using nvidia drivers? – doug Oct 23 '17 at 2:19
  • If not using nvidia drivers (on a desktop machine, laptops should be fine) post the contents of /etc/gdm3/custom.conf also note that the setting in Settings > Details > Users acts like a cover, i.e. whatever you uncover is enabled, what you cover up is disabled. – doug Oct 23 '17 at 2:30
  • I'm using it, this is my custom.conf – elect Oct 23 '17 at 7:32
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    The problem is the captial letter in the word True in the gdm3 custom.conf – Michael Wheatland Feb 10 '18 at 6:25
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    "AutomaticLoginEnable=true" instead of "AutomaticLoginEnable=True" – Michael Wheatland Feb 10 '18 at 6:25

I had to force the loging screen to use xorg and not wayland (not yet supported by nvidia drivers).

Edit as root the file /etc/gdm3/custom.conf.

sudo nano /etc/gdm3/custom.conf

Change the line



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    Thanks a lot, this works for me in combination with: AutomaticLoginEnable = true AutomaticLogin = <my user name> – amDude1848 Nov 11 '17 at 18:25

I think i've found the problem, try to edit /etc/gdm3/custom.conf and write AutomaticLoginEnable=true instead of AutomaticLoginEnable=True in my case

(full lowercase for the word "true")

or uncomment this line if it is...

  • I don't think it's necessary because my /etc/gdm3/custom.confis already "AutomaticLoginEnable=true" but it was commented. I just uncommented it. – Redbob Oct 24 '17 at 11:58
  • In mine it was written AutomaticLoginEnable=True and I had never edited it manually.... Maybe it cal help some people if not you ;) – Paul ALBERT Nov 3 '17 at 11:27
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    Unfortunately, even for me this solution worked, @Pöl Halbert... I uncommented, because it was true. But, switching in Details > Users panel, it turns Trueand False. Even changing Trueto true, autologin didn't work. – Redbob Nov 6 '17 at 1:32

Same issue. I've originally changed the "/etc/gdm3/custom.conf" and simply enabled the "AutomaticLoginEnable=True". This was the whole issue: I didn't notice that "True" has to be lowercase.

EDIT: I was wrong. My autologin works because I'm NOT using the gnome-xorg (the default option for ubuntu) but the gnome classic session. I can't manage to get the gnome-xorg session to work properly unless I setup a timedlogin which is a little unpleasant.

EDIT 2: Ok, I finally got enough of this issue, since it's getting ignored. To solve my issue, since I don't care the least about gdm but I still want to use chrome, I've installed lightdm and changed the autologin in the user settings.

In other words:

sudo apt install lightdm

followed by the usual change in the user settings for the autologin.


I can confirm that it's a bug in Settings app. When changing the 'Automatic Login' flag under Details->Users it writes True/False values for AutomaticLoginEnable in "/etc/gdm3/custom.conf". After manually writing the value AutomaticLoginEnable=true the auto-login works.

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    This doesn't work for me. The AutomaticLoginEnable=true was remarked out in the file, but activating it, didn't change anything. – Simon Rigét Nov 2 '17 at 15:10
  • @SimonRigét - as you already wrote in your answer, both variables are required for auto-login: AutomaticLoginEnable and AutomaticLogin with username. The Settings app writes both variables, but the bug is that it writes True/False with capital letters. – Julius Nov 4 '17 at 22:06
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    This solution didn't work for me, @Julius and @SimonRigét, not regarding if it's trueor True, the result is the same: nothing works. These two statements are present in /etc/gdm3/custom.conf: AutomaticLoginEnable and AutomaticLogin – Redbob Nov 6 '17 at 1:28
  • And 2 years later this is still an issue... – Enigma Jul 19 at 3:00

I had to set two variables, to make it work:

$sudo gedit /etc/gdm3/custom.conf

And insert the lines:

AutomaticLoginEnable = true
AutomaticLogin = <my user name>

The settings app is buggy, to an extend where it's getting useless as of 11.2017. Hopefuly that will change :)


I just had problems with GDM 3.28.3 auto login with 18.04 minimal and gnome-core only. GUI froze completely on boot with the error A start job is running for Hold until boot process finishes up and after long research I accidentally found a solution by disabling the boot splash screen:

# disable splash screen on boot
sudo sed -i 's/splash quiet//g' /etc/default/grub
sudo update-grub

Note: To enable the splash again: sudo gedit /etc/default/grub and make sure splash quiet is again within the quotation marks of GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT e.g. GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT="splash quiet". Apply the new settings with sudo update-grub.

I hope this saves other people's time. If anyone has an idea why this worked for me please let me know.

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