Getty: One Less Word

Logging into a Linux machine you might meet a thing called virtual terminals (vtty). Without going to into too much detail, this is a CLI prompt that lets you type commands when you don’t have a GUI running.

Now, back on track. When you login to a machine via the CLI, agetty is used. The provides you with a tty, and a login prompt. You might want to have it auto complete your username, because you’re lazy.

This can be done by editing the agetty@tty1.service, if you’re using systemd, like the below:


ExecStart=-/sbin/agetty -n -o '<USERNAME>' %I $TERM

If you start tty1 (the default one started) you’ll be prompted with only the password.

Now, you’d start your GUI using a command like startx. It will process your $HOME/.xsession file, where you might have the command exec sway. That tells it to start swaywm.

That’s more words to type!

Fear not, you can automate this by adding a few lines to $HOME/.bash_profile:

if [[ -z $DISPLAY ]] && [[ $(tty) = /dev/tty1 ]]; then                                         

If you do all these steps you’ll only have to enter you FDE passphrase, and your user account password, then you’ll be greeted with your nice GUI.