There is no need to logon automatically. Services can be started at boot time without you being logged on. This should work in all distros. Automatic login is always a security risk and it wastes resources if you are not using it anyway.
Automatic startup scripts are specified in /etc/inittab (usually). From that file (and included ones) you can see what services are started in what runlevel.
Runlevels are usually stored under the /etc/rcX.d directories, where X is the runlevel number (0-6 in most unix systems). 0 being halt and 6 reset. You can define 1-5 yourself, but they are usually defined already. Usually there are comments in /etc/inittab that tell you what each runlevel is and which one is the default (id:2:initdefault: means runlevel 2 is default). For a detailed description: http://www.tldp.org/HOWTO/HighQualit...OWTO/boot.html
(bookmark tldp.org ;-) ).
If you have no keyboard, the first thing you have to make sure is that you can login via ssh. This is installed by many distros as a default but not by all. If you can access the box initially with a keyboard (and maybe mouse), you can install ssh (and/or vnc).
I cannot give you a detailed howto. There are many already on the web. Just browse the howtos here and google for 'vnc howto' or similar.
Always mention at least your distribution/version! You can add it in your signature if you don't want to always type it. ;-)
Ubuntu 5.10 with custom kernel (2.6.16-suspend2),
Debian Sarge 3.1 and Etch
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