In Microsoft Windows platform autologon means that as soon as the Windows starts it automatically accepts credentials of a user account and allows it to log on without any user interaction. In Microsoft Windows 95 and Windows 98 operating systems this feature was not much popular however with the release of Windows 2000 professional autologon was mostly used by the users. If Windows 2000 had multiple user accounts, after the computers booted the users were displayed with a Log on to dialog box in which they were supposed to type in their credentials to logon. To make things easier administrators in Windows 2000 used to set a user account to auto logon without any user interaction. This feature was disabled in Microsoft Windows XP and above operating systems and if administrators wanted used to modify registry settings to specify user accounts to allow them to logon automatically.
Although this configuration is not recommended in most production environments as it exposes computers to the risks, it is still appreciated by many home users as it completely eliminates the requirement of providing logon credentials every time they want to access their laptop PCs or desktops.
Autologon in VMware Workstation 8
VMware Workstation 8 allows administrators to specify logon credentials for guest operating systems that they have installed on virtual machines. Since VMware provides complete virtualized network setup it is very unlikely that the computers on which VMware Workstation 8 has been installed and virtual machines have been created would be accessed by non-technical or non-trusted individuals. Keeping these things in mind administrators can provide logon credentials for every guest operating system so that some of their overheads can be reduced by allowing the guest OS to logon automatically.
Autologon feature in VMware Workstation 8 must only be configured if administrators are sure that the virtual machines would not be accessed by unauthorized persons and are stored on the computers that are physically secured and are protected by the firewalls and other security equipment as well.
For students who study computer networks and other virtualization stuff, autologon can remarkably save their decent amount of time as they need not to enter logon credentials every time they start virtual machines.
Enabling Auto Logon for Virtual Machines in VMware Workstation 8
Administrators must follow the steps below to provide appropriate credentials for guest operating systems to enable autologon:
Log on to the computer on which VMware Workstation 8 has been installed and virtual machines have been created.
On the desktop screen double-click VMware Workstation 8 icon.
Make sure that the virtual machine on which autologon feature has to be enabled is running.
From the left pane of the opened interface right-click on the name of the virtual machine for which autologon feature has to be enabled and from the context menu click Settings.
On Virtual Machine Settings box go to Options tab.
In the left pane from the available list click Autologon and from the right pane click Enable.
On Set Autologon User box type in the credentials (username and password) in the appropriate fields and click Ok.
Back on Virtual Machine Settings box click Ok button to save the changes and close the box.