Run software on the tty1 console instead of getty login on Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04
Published: 10-04-2017 | Author: Remy van Elst | Text only version of this article
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Recently I wanted to change the default login prompt on the
tty1 console on an
OpenStack instance to automatically run
htop. Instead of logging in via the
console, I wanted it to start up
htop right away and nothing else. Ubuntu
init and Ubuntu 16.04 uses systemd. Both ways are shown in this
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Here's what the default login prompt on the console looks:
And here is the result,
htop running without ever logging in:
Do note that you loose the ability to login via the regular console this way.
ssh is your only means of access. Do note that the software is run as root. If
you for example want to run
vim you also can escape to a shell.
htop as far
as I know doesn't allow command execution.
On Ubuntu 14.04, edit the following file:
exec /sbin/getty -8 38400 tty1
exec /usr/bin/htop </dev/tty1 >/dev/tty1 2>&1
Use full paths and make sure output and input are redirected (`</dev/tty1
On Ubuntu 16.04 stuff changes due to
systemd. No longer can you use output
redirection, this is now all handled via
systemd. Create an override folder
getty@tty1 service first:
Edit the override file:
Place the following:
[Service] ExecStart= ExecStart=-/usr/bin/htop StandardInput=tty StandardOutput=tty
Now reload the unit files and restart the service.
htop should appear on your
systemctl daemon-reload; systemctl restart firstname.lastname@example.org
Or just do a
As a bonus, you can also install
apt-get install tmux hollywood # fill your console with Hollywood melodrama technobabble
and set that up to autorun on the console. Use the following in the
byobu will complain about wrong permissions on your homefolder:
/usr/bin/sudo -H /usr/bin/hollywood
Tags: console , htop , systemd , tty , tutorials