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When coming here directly from Stack Overflow (which I was already logged into), I had to log in even though I already have a linked account here. Not a big deal, but I'm essentially lazy and would prefer Stack Exchange to do that for me :)

I would understand better if I had come here from somewhere else, but it seems like if I'm hitting the link to come here from SO while being logged in then chances are I'm going to log in as me, right?

Edit: So it's been forever since I asked this question, and I still notice that when I go to other sites (such as programmers) it automatically logs me in and puts the little bar for me to refresh the page up top. But again today when I came here from SO it didn't log me in.

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What does "I had to log in" mean exactly? Did you have to click "log in", to immediately see "Welcome back; click here to refresh"? Or did you actually need to type in your credentials to get access? –  Arjan Dec 10 '11 at 11:48
    
Yes, I had to click on "log in". I did not get the "Welcome back" message. However, I use my yahoo mail account to login with and after selecting the yahoo button I did not have to type in my credentials, but only select the accept link... presumeably because I was already logged into Yahoo. –  Brandon Moore Dec 10 '11 at 13:11
    
Indeed, it seems that this "accept link" is something Yahoo! gives you (I don't use that). So, from the MSO point-of-view you did have to fully authenticate again. That's wrong. Does it work the same for sites like Server Fault and Programmers for you? (Maybe your browser is somehow blocking stackauth.com, or HTML5 local storage.) –  Arjan Dec 10 '11 at 15:37
    
Also, Global Network Auto-Login states: we may not be able to automatically log in you in, if 1.) You’ve been to the target site recently without a global auth session (click the “login” link at the top of every page to force it) 2.) You’re using some sort of anonymizer that interferes with HTTP Referrer 3.) You aren’t using the same OpenId across all sites 4.) You’re visiting a per-site meta without first logging into the parent (child metas don’t use global auth; they rely on identity coming from the parent site.) –  Arjan Dec 10 '11 at 15:44
    
Regarding your edit: as far as I know, this behavior is dependent on cookies or local storage, both have some expire time and may clear sometimes. –  Shadow Wizard Jan 31 '13 at 12:55
    
@ShaWizDowArd I don't come here often, but every time I do it never logs me in automatically even though I always come here after being logged in at SO. But it always logs me in if I go to Programmers. Not that big of a deal, but it seems like inconsistent behavior so it just makes curious. –  Brandon Moore Jan 31 '13 at 13:03
    
Maybe Meta sites have different behavior, dunno. –  Shadow Wizard Jan 31 '13 at 13:04

1 Answer 1

You only need to log in to the Meta site once. The behaviour when you first visit a new SE site is the same across the SE network.

Once you have a linked account, it should log you in automatically. Sometimes this seems to take a page load or two before this occurs.

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Hmm... it sounds like you are telling me that I didn't just have to login again when I came to this site from SO. So are you questioning my sanity or am I missing something here? –  Brandon Moore Dec 10 '11 at 9:20
    
Hmm, wording more ambiguous than I realized. Updated. Basically saying today is the only day you have to log in when you arrive, if you just leave yourself logged in. –  Duncan Babbage Dec 10 '11 at 9:23
    
Yes, I just confirmed I am not crazy. I logged out of both sites, then logged into SO and then came here from there and it did NOT automatically log me in. –  Brandon Moore Dec 10 '11 at 9:23
    
Stack Overflow and Meta are two different sites - not like the other site/meta pairs. If you log out from meta, you'll need to log back int to meta. If you don't log out from meta, you won't need to log back in. –  Mat Dec 10 '11 at 9:25
    
Ah... yes I will remain logged in but sometimes for various reasons I clear my history/cookies/et.c so I have to log back in... or maybe I'm logging in from another computer. So the idea is that if I come from a sister site that I'm already logged into, why not automatically log me in when I get here? –  Brandon Moore Dec 10 '11 at 9:26
    
@BrandonMoore: "Stack Overflow and Meta are two different sites - not like the other site/meta pairs." –  Mat Dec 10 '11 at 9:27
    
@DuncanBabbage Understood. My point is that I think it ought to work this way... not that I can't figure out why it doesn't. –  Brandon Moore Dec 10 '11 at 9:39
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@Brandon - They are different sites, which means your user is entirely separate unlike every other child meta. A user can have a completely separate set of logins, etc to meta.so (unlike every other child meta), so we can't automatically log you in (or automatically create your meta user), nor would we want to - this meta is special, it's for the entire network. –  Nick Craver Dec 10 '11 at 11:12
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But then, @Nick, wouldn't Kevin's design requirement "A user having logged into any SE-site will be automatically logged into every other SE-site on which they have an account" apply? (I think things work VERY nicely. Still, often I am also confused about having to click "log in" to trigger the auto-login, while I think in other occasions it just says "Welcome back; click here to refresh". But I think I never need to enter any credentials though, once logged in to one SE site.) –  Arjan Dec 10 '11 at 11:46
    
Or, Nick, are you saying that @Brandon uses different logins/credentials for the two sites? His accounts are linked. –  Arjan Dec 10 '11 at 11:50
    
@NickCraver Again... I didn't say I didn't understand why it was the way it is. Just making a point about the way I believe it should be. To say you "can't" automatically log me in is bogus except to say that current functionality "doesn't" do this (keeping in mind that I already have a linked account). And whether this site is for the entire network or not is beside the point... I believe this should be the behaviour for a linked account when moving between any stack sites. –  Brandon Moore Dec 10 '11 at 13:15
    
@Nick, logging in to MSO should not be any different from Super User et al, right? (So, though it's a separate site: when logged in to SO, going to SU or SF should behave the same as going to MSO?) –  Arjan Dec 10 '11 at 15:40
    
I've been auto-logged-in to MSO before. –  Matthew Read Dec 10 '11 at 17:10
    
@Arjan - The question isn't about global login, as I understand it. The question is why isn't logging into SO an automatic login to meta, it's not because they're separate sites, separate users. Global login, which happens once you have an account on the site already works on Meta SO just like every other site...it's been that way since global login was introduced. –  Nick Craver Dec 10 '11 at 20:00
    
(@Brandon, see Nick's comment above, and my 2nd comment to your question. Please respond to make clear if it's about global login or not? And if it is: if your browser meets the requirements I linked for that.) –  Arjan Dec 11 '11 at 0:39

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