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Old 10-11-2007, 10:21 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Oct 2007
Posts: 1

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Unhappy Ubuntu log in problems

hi i thought i would give linux Ubuntu a go and i have to say i am very impressed with it so far well untill i managed to change the log in screen after an update some how. it has changed from the normal tan colour srceen with the loging box foe the user then return and you get the password box well now it a light blue screen but with a bigger log in box followed by a password box at the bottom of the screen from right to left as i can remember it is the sutdown, log off etc buttom then the select service box then the language box followed by the gnome logo. Well the problem is now this has changed i can no longer log into the system i know my user name and password are correct to the letter and case but all it does it take me back to the user box again and again and again. My question is can i rest it or find some way round it to reset it would hate to delete the partion and have to reinstall it even though it takes less time than windows and comes will all the programes preinstalled. many thanks for all help am a newbie @ Linux so please explain simply Thanks again
Old 10-11-2007, 10:48 AM   #2
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Registered: Aug 2003
Distribution: CentOS, OS X
Posts: 5,131

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Can you login via console? Press CTRL+ALT+F1 and you should get a text login..fill in your username, hit Enter, fill in your password (it doesn't display anything on screen while you're typing, be careful) and hit Enter again and see if you get logged in. This makes sure you type the username/password correctly, and that your account works. After that you can view GDM's (Gnome Display Manager, it's the thing that handles graphical login, that you were talking about) logfiles or X's logfiles under /var/log to see if there are any curious error messages:
less /var/log/Xorg.0.log
The above would show you Xorg's logfile, for example (press 'q' to quit, arrows to scroll).
ls /var/log
Shows contents of /var/log (logfiles and possibly some directories with more logfiles in them);
cd /var/log
Moves the current working directory into /var/log and so on..with these you should be able to read the logs to see if there's something going on. The newest information is at the end of the logs.

Another thing you can try is to create a new temporary user (whose settings are "clean") and see if you can log in with it -- if you can, then you've got some settings trouble with your normal user that you can get rid of by removing some settings files (settings are reverted to the original values, which you can then re-adjust again); or if you still can't login, it's something with gdm itself (then you could try to reinstall it, for example). To create a new user,
sudo mkdir /home/tempuser
sudo useradd -d /home/tempuser tempuser
sudo passwd tempuser
After the last command give this new 'tempuser' some password so you can login with it, hit CTRL+ALT+F7 to get back to graphical side, and try to login with user 'tempuser' and it's password. If it doesn't work, try CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE which restarts X (and GDM), and re-try; if it still doesn't work (or if it does), you can remove this temporary user; get back to the text console with CTRL+ALT+F1, and
sudo rm -rf /home/tempuser
sudo userdel tempuser
And then CTRL+ALT+F7 to get back to X. That's a start at least..


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