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jallan6977 02-22-2010 03:38 PM

terminal not working
I am running Ubuntu 9.10 with a terminal problem. I can not get a useable terminal from the desktop accessories menu. All I get is a blank white window that does not reflect what I type. If I type blindly "exit" it does that. But that is hardly a useful terminal. If I must I have to restart then recovery. When that comes up I can drop to a root level and presumably do whatever I must. That is certainly not convenient. I have no idea what I might be limited to. This happened once before and it eventually fixed itself. This time it appears permanent. Is there any other way to access a terminal from the usual desktop.
This same condition also pops up when I need to enter a password. I type it blind and it works or I repeat it and get it correct.
It may not be related, but I also get problems with blank spaces in a line highlight. Some of the line stays normal or blank. Moving a line away sometimes clears a blank section to normal. It does nothing like this in windows.
I need some recommendations to fix this problem.

rweaver 02-22-2010 03:40 PM

In the window type:

xterm -bg black -fg white

and see if that pulls you up a working terminal then examine the menu entry that launches it.

tredegar 02-22-2010 05:10 PM


Is there any other way to access a terminal from the usual desktop.
Yes. If your system is "really, badly broken" you can usually login to a text only terminal with
<CTRL><ALT><F2> from the GUI.
Or boot to "Rescue Mode" from the grub prompt.

You get a boring, but ultimately useful, login screen.

Login as yourself, explore, and fix things up if you know how to.
<CTRL><ALT><F7> will send you back to your GUI. It ("X") may have to be restarted ( with <CTRL><BACKSPACE> usually ) for the changes you have made to be recognised.

BUT: once you have installed any linux distro, the first thing you should do is apply the updates (because your installation media will be out of date already.)

Login however you can to your 'buntu and then try this


# Refresh the repository list
sudo apt-get update
# Now install the newer versions
sudo apt-get upgrade

Sit back while it does its thing.

Answer "Yes" if you are happy when you have read the text (if any).


Any better ?


This same condition also pops up when I need to enter a password.
Passwords are often not echoed to your terminal. This is normal linux "security" behaviour (who is looking over your shoulder?). Just type it in and press RETURN. If it fails, you got it wrong, pay more attention and type it again, s l o w l y if necessary.

jallan6977 02-23-2010 08:57 AM

Tanks rweaver. It did give me a decent terminal. The piece of white acreen remains but at least I have a terminal. I wonder if it somehow might be told to bg white fg white. It would make things invisible.

MTK358 02-23-2010 09:15 AM

xterm is not the terminal program in the Ubuntu menu, it's GNOME-Terminal. We just told you to try xterm because it's installed with X.

Does gnome-terminal at least have a menu bar (xterm doesn't)?

jallan6977 02-23-2010 09:39 AM

I am sure the crtl alt suggestions will all work.
As to the update, I recently did do one. I will try your suggestion just for the halibut. One never knows what will happen sometimes.
The update worked fine. However it didn't improve anything.
I think I got an acceptable solution from both you guys.

Aj123 05-15-2012 10:57 AM

HELP ME To please
Hi im running Gnome and when i open my terminal it closes it self right away!
So im asking you guys to help me! cuz i wanna play terraria then i need framework 4.0 (i have xna).

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