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Old 01-15-2015, 05:21 AM   #1
scotty891
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wont let me log in


Hello,

I installed Mint 17 xfce onto a friend's HP netbook a few months ago. Up until now all has been working pretty perfectly.

From this evening, she tells me that after she types in her password the following message appears:

no exec. line in this session file [her password appears here in plain text!] running the GNOME failsafe session instead

The only option at this point is seemingly to click ok. After that, this message appears:

Could not find the GNOME installation will try running the failsafe xterm session

Again the only option is to click ok, then this appears for a few seconds:

Cannot find xterm start a failsafe session

Then it goes to a black screen (though you can see the mouse cursor) on which it stays indefinitely.

She tells me that she wasn't trying to do anything other than web browsing and email checking before this started happening so there doesn't seem to be any logical reason behind it. Does anybody have any idea what is happening and how to fix it?
 
Old 01-15-2015, 06:19 AM   #2
rtmistler
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Can you do CTRL-ALT-F1 and get a system console, then login at that point? If yes, then I'd suggest an apt update, followed by trying to re-install gnome with the force option. There may be options to fix gnome from that console, just beyond my knowledge. If you can't get a system console, then unfortunately I'd try a re-install.
 
Old 01-15-2015, 07:06 AM   #3
J Martin Rushton
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As a last alternative to a full reinstall if you can't get a system console you can try booting from a live DVD/USB. Mount up the real root partition and you may be able to fix it.
 
Old 01-15-2015, 07:15 AM   #4
rtmistler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Martin Rushton View Post
As a last alternative to a full reinstall if you can't get a system console you can try booting from a live DVD/USB. Mount up the real root partition and you may be able to fix it.
That suggestion was on the tip of my tongue; however my problem with that is that you really need to know the deep core problem at the file level and exactly how to fix it. Otherwise you can't just do an apt install, etc because the target system would then be the live one you're running, not the hard drive which has the problem. Another option might be to then try and rebuild and install from source. With gnome being so complicated, I'm not sure that would be too easy to accomplish when off of a live boot, same added problems that you might need to add a ton of things just to satisfy the dependencies.

I do think that J Martin's suggestion is great if you also happen to find a parallel thread here or in another forum which states something like "edit <this> file and change <that>" or "delete <this> file and reboot" something like that. There are a lot of things like that for gnome where it gets hosed up and then you can fix it if you hit the right "one tip" solution that works in your case.
 
Old 01-15-2015, 07:38 AM   #5
maples
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtmistler View Post
That suggestion was on the tip of my tongue; however my problem with that is that you really need to know the deep core problem at the file level and exactly how to fix it. Otherwise you can't just do an apt install, etc because the target system would then be the live one you're running, not the hard drive which has the problem.
If you managed to mount the filesystem, couldn't you chroot into it? Then any package management would be applied to the damaged system?
 
Old 01-15-2015, 07:47 AM   #6
rtmistler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maples View Post
If you managed to mount the filesystem, couldn't you chroot into it? Then any package management would be applied to the damaged system?
I know about chroot, I just don't know if that would work. I've only ever chroot'ed during the boot phase actually after like a file system was extracted. The idea makes sense though.
 
Old 01-15-2015, 08:10 AM   #7
J Martin Rushton
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Our diskless machines download a system image. That image is built from a directory structure and you can chroot into that. It's CentOs, so not quite the same, but I can use yum to install software with no problems. Therefore I'd image that chrooting onto a mounted sytem disk ought to be fine.

A couple of other suggestions:

1) During boot set the single user flag.
2) If you can mount the disk on a live distro, set the initdefault (the run level) in /etc/inittab to be 2 or 3. X11 won't start and you ought to have a simple command line console.
 
Old 01-15-2015, 08:14 AM   #8
maples
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtmistler View Post
I know about chroot, I just don't know if that would work. I've only ever chroot'ed during the boot phase actually after like a file system was extracted. The idea makes sense though.
When you install Arch, that's how you do it. You mount your filesystem root to /mnt (and /home and stuff under there), there's a script that downloads the base system into it, then you chroot into it and can use pacman to install stuff like you normally would.
 
Old 01-15-2015, 08:34 AM   #9
rtmistler
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Yeah, but they're not using Cent nor Arch, they're using Mint and likely the Ubuntu variation. That's all plug-n-play for the desktop person.

Few thoughts are:
  1. If they can get a console, they can try to fix or grab files so that they can re-install and not lose stuff
  2. If they can boot live, they can also try to fix or grab files so that they can re-install and not lose stuff
  3. I think the various ideas proposed are good, we'll have to give the OP a chance to think about it, what they're capable of, and give them a chance to try some stuff and respond
 
Old 01-15-2015, 09:58 AM   #10
Soadyheid
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OK, I'll stick my head up and wait for someone to knock it off...
Quote:
I installed Mint 17 xfce onto a friend's HP netbook a few months ago.
Would that not imply that xfce is screwing up? You can't run a Gnome desktop because it shouldn't be installed on an xfce lightweight install?

Can you get to the login prompt as asked previously? if you can, would
Code:
$ startx
indicate where the problem was?

my

Play Bonny!

 
Old 01-15-2015, 01:26 PM   #11
scotty891
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Still cant get on is there Any codes I can put in terminal
 
Old 01-15-2015, 01:29 PM   #12
rtmistler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty891 View Post
Still cant get on is there Any codes I can put in terminal
You tried to log in as her username and as root and it didn't work? What did happen? Rejection of the login? Something else? No terminal at all showed up? And this was done how? Via CTRL-ALT-F1?

Last edited by rtmistler; 01-15-2015 at 01:49 PM.
 
Old 01-15-2015, 01:44 PM   #13
scotty891
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I tried logging in nothing and when I press ctl alt f2 I put starts it went blank screen how can I login now it keeps sayin what its has been saying in my first post
 
Old 01-15-2015, 01:51 PM   #14
rtmistler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty891 View Post
I tried logging in nothing and when I press ctl alt f2 I put starts it went blank screen how can I login now it keeps sayin what its has been saying in my first post
OK, when it boots up to the point to allow you to login to the desktop, DON'T try to login at that point, hit CTRL-ALT-F1, or F2, or F3, ... up to I think F7 or F8 (one of those higher ones returns you to the multi-user GUI form)

Try your FIRST login attempt at a system console which you attain by doing the CTRL-ALT-F sequence after it boots, but before you try to login at the UI based screen.
 
Old 01-15-2015, 02:04 PM   #15
scotty891
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I pressed ctl alt 1 typed my password in ect the it come up with a green line what to do next as I am new to all this
 
  


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