I've edited /etc/gdm/custom.conf to show the following:


Where username is obviously the username I'd like to automatically log into.

I don't know if it matters or not, but I do have multiple users. In mind this should not matter, however, since we're specifying a username here in the settings.

I'm using RHEL6.4. Any ideas?

  • I do not have a RHEL6 install handy but I'd give these methods a try as well. crazyedy.com/tech/?p=52
    – slm
    Jan 2, 2014 at 15:05
  • Yeah, I've seen that guide. I don't have /usr/share/gdm/defaults.conf, but I'm not sure I am suppose to in light of having /etc/gdm/custom.conf. Should I?
    – mdeforge
    Jan 2, 2014 at 15:16
  • I would try what's discussed in that post, but do it a piece at a time, and if something wasn't there and it didn't work, back it out afterwards.
    – slm
    Jan 2, 2014 at 15:21
  • Again, I have. It's not that difficult of a guide to follow. Open up /etc/gdm/custom.conf and change those values. I get it. I did so, and no dice. It doesn't make sense to me either. It really should be that simple to do. I don't mean to sound rude, I'm just growing frustrated. When it comes to solving this everything I've found has been like listening to a broken record playing the same thing over and over again.
    – mdeforge
    Jan 2, 2014 at 15:27
  • OK, sorry didn't mean to offend, just looking to eliminate everything we can from the list of possible leads. When I've done this in the past it really has been that simple, so you might have found a bug. Do you have a paid subscription for RHEL?
    – slm
    Jan 2, 2014 at 15:28

1 Answer 1


I'm not an expert in this but I would suggest first to make sure gdm is actually your current display manager and that you're using the correct file: check the output of cat /etc/sysconfig/desktop and take a look if there are other .conf files in /etc/gdm/. Maybe trying renaming the file to gdm.conf.

Also, did you try GUI solutions or do you require something that can be done from command line? You should be able to configure gdm with sudo gdmsetup.

  • There you have comment rights now. Leave this though, it's actually enough of a answer fragment. See if you can flesh it out further.
    – slm
    Jan 2, 2014 at 14:52
  • I don't have /etc/sysconfig/desktop and the only conf file I have in /etc/gdm is custom.conf. You mentioned renaming the custom.conf file to gdm.conf. What would be searching for a conf file of that name? I see scripts looking for custom.conf, but not a gdm.conf. Also, gdmsetup doesn't work.
    – mdeforge
    Jan 2, 2014 at 15:23
  • @Stradigos Sorry, that was just a wild guess, since mdm uses mdm.conf. After some research it seems that gdmsetup was deprecated which seems weird to me. This link said /etc/sysconfig/desktop should exist in Red Hat but I can't test that on my distro. At this point I don't really don't know about anything that could help you, other than try if something happens after running sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm (which you probably did at some point already). Jan 2, 2014 at 15:46
  • 1
    @slm Oh well, thanks. That's generous of you. I'll use this privilege wisely. Jan 2, 2014 at 15:50
  • There's some relevant info on this page: wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/GDM#Configuration. Some of it's ArchLinux specific but the rest is related to RHEL.
    – slm
    Jan 2, 2014 at 16:39

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