If you’re the only person who uses your Ubuntu-based PC and don’t want to sign in each time you turn on your computer, you can enable automatic login via the steps found in this brief tutorial.
This puts the security of Linux right up there with that of Windows. You might as well just log in as root... ;^)
Just goes to show linux is only as secure as it's setup to be.
Soon I can get the "my other machine is your linux box t-shirt" too...
Linux is about empowering the user. It's not about making anyone conform to anyone else's ideas of what's convenient, safe, or a good idea. You can have any level of security you want. If you want to encrypt and password every file, do that. If you want a 20 digit password and change it every week, do that.
If you work around lots of people, or you take your notebook to cafes where you might leave it behind, or your place isn't too secure - then lock it down. I would. If not, well do what's convenient.
Auto login is nowhere near the same as root. You still have to use sudo to do anything to the system at all. If you don't think it's a good idea - then don't do it. I've had auto login for about 20 years on windows machines and 2 years on Linux. Never had a problem, period. I have a pc that never moves from my desk, and a laptop that l never take to public places. No one but my wife and me in the house, pretty much ever. We use the same account, so we have no need of switching users or logging out. When I leave on a long trip I physically take out the hard drive and lock it in a safe place. Nothing particularly sensitive on the machine. Someone stealing my computer is a possibility, yet someone stealing my wallet, checkbook, and all the irreplaceable stuff in my house or car is also a possibility. Why should I have to login every damn time I start this machine?
My comments had nothing to do with restricting choice. My comments were because the average person who would read this article is probably new to Linux. Teaching how to set up a Linux system in a less than secure way and not fully explaining why it's bad is not helping too much. Also, I never said it was like being root, I said you may as well log in as root meaning that teaching bad securtiy practices is just plain bad, no matter what it is...
I think that you are right with the user choice, and also with the options, I always like to have options, that is why I also say is good to have so many Linux Distros.
Most of the users do not have national security files on their PCs, so maybe even if the data is stolen the theifer coud do nothing with it.
IMHO autologin is a bad idea :).
Having worked for a major ISP in abuse, I can tell you that thinking "I have nothing of value on my PC" is what get's most Windows users shut down by my department. Spammers don't want your documents, just your lack of security so they can set up and send mail from your system.
If you're not part of the solution, then you ARE part of the problem and teaching requires that you take some responcability for the information you give. You have a choice to hold up a gas station or not. I wouldn't tell people to do that either... ;^)