How to enter password on bootup without using the mouse/touchpad


Minor annoyance, but I wish that on startup I could hit tab a few times to select the password box, as oppossed to having to use my mouse.

Does anyone know if I can tweak that?

I assume you are talking about the display manager, where you enter your user password.

If you use the “default” Fedora Workstation, you have the gdm display manager. I do not know if you can adjust it the way you want it because I use another one. But you can change the display manager and see if others fit your needs better.

I use sddm and can directly enter my password without using my mouse or such: when the graphical interface of the display manager starts, I just enter my password (unless I want to login with a user different than the user of the last login). But changing the user can also be done with the keyboard, with the left/right arrow keys.

You can install it with sudo dnf install sddm while the easiest way of “activating” it after installation is to then do sudo systemctl disable gdm and then sudo systemctl enable sddm. The same way you can enable gdm / disable sddm again in order to undo the change.

After the next restart, you should have sddm.

I would not do that if using Gnome desktop. GDM is the only desktop manager who works without any troubles to manage lock screen and other API triggered functions in newer gnome DE.
You will have options in the settings who not work with the other DM.

The compatibility issues of the display manager are not related to the desktop environment, but to the protocol that is used between DM and DE: the implementation of Wayland took some time but the current SDDM package at the Fedora repo supports it. With your incentive, I just started a live workstation with GNOME in a VM, then replaced GDM with SDDM within the live session and verified with systemctl that only sddm is active to serve the DE. Worked properly, but I did not do much testing, just started it. Interesting is that GNOME changed its color theme.

However, when manipulating DM/DE it always makes sense to keep the possibility to revert, which is offered by the above commands. If there are issues, use systemctl enable/disable to get back to gdm.

Is that experience from before Wayland support was added?

If you have experience with gdm, maybe you know a less invasive way to achieve the goal of Oliver?

Ok, I created two new users. I do have 3 now on GDM. If I use tab it navigates from one user to the other. With enter I open the PW field. If you want to leave the pw field just hit esc.
To navigate in between the users you can use the arrow up and down too.

Is it that what you want to do?

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This is thru. I just made my comment because, if you change the default DM for solving one problem you create an other one.

@ohdhorsey Because it is the least invasive solution proposed so far, I suggest to use the approach of @ilikelinux .

Wayland is implemented and becomes even the default for sddm ↔ KDE in Fedora 37. You are right that both sddm and KDE took some time to get to this point, but the issues of the past should have been solved. However, as noted above, less invasive solutions should be preferred over mine and your suggestion is definitely less invasive: less changes always imply less considerations. Happy to have people with gdm experience here :slight_smile:

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