LinuxQuestions.org
Visit Jeremy's Blog.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions > Ubuntu
User Name
Password
Ubuntu This forum is for the discussion of Ubuntu Linux.

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 10-18-2005, 02:29 PM   #1
paul2005
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2005
Distribution: Ubuntu 5.10
Posts: 6

Rep: Reputation: 0
Unhappy Can't log in - just brown screen and cursor


I've been using Breezy for a few days now with no problems, then all of a sudden yesterday after rebooting I can't log in to gnome at all. When I enter my username and password at the logon screen, it sits for about 20 seconds on a brown screen with just a cursor, and then goes black briefly, and then just returns to the login screen.

I can log into a terminal OK, so my username and password are authenticated OK. I've checked '/var/log/Xorg.0.log' but there don't seem to be any errors there. Networking also seems to work - before it crashed I set up internet connection sharing to my XP machine thru Firestarter and that still works.

I can also type commands like 'nautilus /home/' at the prompt and my desktop wallpaper appears with icons on it, and nautilus pops up fine, there just aren't any window borders.

I wasn't doing anything special before I rebooted so I don't know what's gone wrong. I've searched thru loads of forums but can't find an answer. I'm pretty new to Linux so any help would be appreciated!
 
Old 10-20-2005, 11:22 AM   #2
Rodrin
Member
 
Registered: May 2003
Location: Upstate NY, U.S.
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 248

Rep: Reputation: 31
It sounds like GNOME's window manager (what's it called now? Metacity?) isn't starting up properly. You could try creating another user and logging in as them to see if that login works and it's something specific in your settings that is causing the problem. You could also try changing your session to the failsafe GNOME session and see if that comes up properly. You could even try installing another desktop environment like KDE, XFce, or a simple window manager and see if it comes up properly when you switch to it for a session.
 
Old 10-20-2005, 11:50 AM   #3
paul2005
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2005
Distribution: Ubuntu 5.10
Posts: 6

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Thanks,

I can't get into Gnome failsafe mode either - this returns after 10secs to the login screen as well.

I tried installing KDE with apt-get install kde-desktop but it wouldn't install properly, there seemed to be broken links in the repositories.

If I login to a terminal and type 'startx' i get an error message after about 10secs saying 'Timeout in locking authority file /home/paul/.serverauth11565' - is this of any relevance?
 
Old 10-20-2005, 12:02 PM   #4
Rodrin
Member
 
Registered: May 2003
Location: Upstate NY, U.S.
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 248

Rep: Reputation: 31
Yes, that could be very relevant. It sounds like you might have a stale lock on your X server authority file. Try running:

xauth -b

and see if that fixes your problem.

Err, I almost forgot, to exit xauth after you start it with this command, simply type 'exit' at the xauth prompt.

Last edited by Rodrin; 10-20-2005 at 12:10 PM.
 
Old 10-20-2005, 12:38 PM   #5
paul2005
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2005
Distribution: Ubuntu 5.10
Posts: 6

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
I've tried the 'xauth -b ' suggestion - this completes OK but doesn't solve the problem!

I still can't use the command 'startx' from the terminal, but I can type 'metacity' and this gives me borders around the windows - looks almost like a normal Gnome session! But I still can't log on normally from the login screen.

Are there any logs I should post?

Last edited by paul2005; 10-20-2005 at 12:45 PM.
 
Old 10-20-2005, 02:39 PM   #6
generallee5686
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Spring Lake, Michigan
Distribution: Debian Stable
Posts: 10

Rep: Reputation: 0
I have the same problem. I tried making another user. Logged in perfectly fine. I tried the "xauth -b" and it said something like "timeout in locking authority file /home/generallee5686/.Xauthority"

Any other suggestions to repair my user account?

Woops forgot sudo before "xauth -b". Worked fine, but did not fix the problem

Last edited by generallee5686; 10-20-2005 at 02:43 PM.
 
Old 10-20-2005, 04:24 PM   #7
Rodrin
Member
 
Registered: May 2003
Location: Upstate NY, U.S.
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 248

Rep: Reputation: 31
I'm sorry. I didn't realize that you were in X the entire time. That's why you can't get any results with 'startx' -- because X is already running (which is why the authority file is locked; it's supposed to be when X is running). You're just in a terminal session in X with no window manager and no real environment rather than being at the console, which is where you would type 'startx' from.

This is sounding more and more like a problem with just GNOME, which is why you wouldn't see any errors in the Xorg log. I've heard stories of GNOME being funny this way at times, although I've never encountered this problem myself.

One possibility: Did this start right after you set up the firewall? I've heard odd accounts of GNOME not starting if the firewall software is already running, but starting fine if the firewall is disabled until after GNOME is up and running.

Another thought: You mentioned that apt-get was giving you errors. This could be related to your problem with GNOME. It could be caused by an improper or incomplete installation of a package. You may need to correct the apt-get problems and run an 'apt-get upgrade' command, or even an 'apt-get dist-upgrade' (even though you aren't really doing a dist-upgrade) to fix it.

Finally: It could just be your GNOME settings are messed up. If this is the case, then you might be able to run

gconftool-2 --direct --config-source your-configuration-source --recursive-unset

for example:

gconftool-2 --direct --config-source ~/.gconf --recursive-unset

(EDIT: I haven't actually done this, so I'm not sure of the exact syntax. You may need an '=' in between the '--config-source' and the '~/.gconf' rather than a space.)

to reset your settings to the defaults. Or the more drastic step of deleting your .gconf and .gnome directories, which will be rebuilt upon a successful login to GNOME.

Last edited by Rodrin; 10-20-2005 at 04:50 PM.
 
Old 10-20-2005, 05:28 PM   #8
generallee5686
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Spring Lake, Michigan
Distribution: Debian Stable
Posts: 10

Rep: Reputation: 0
ok i did the last thing you said, delete the .gconf and .gnome directories and then tried to login, still isnt logging in
 
Old 10-20-2005, 05:37 PM   #9
paul2005
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2005
Distribution: Ubuntu 5.10
Posts: 6

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Yes me too -

I ran apt-get upgrade and it completed with no errors and nothing to upgrade.

I tried gconftool-2 but that said it couldn't find my gconf file.

I then did a 'sudo rm /home/paul/.gnome' and 'sudo rm /home/paul/.gconf' and removed these directories but like the user above I still can't log in!

I managed to install KDE but when I try to log in to KDE I get an error message something like 'Cannot get write access to /home/paul/', so there's obviously something wrong with my user directory.

By the way in my /var/log/messages file there's an line appearing seemingly every time I try to log in, it's the last entry before it returns me to the login screen. It says 'GConf server is not in service, shutting down' and then the next line is 'Exiting'. Is this relevant as you said the problem probably lies with Gnome?

Thanks for all your help by the way!

Last edited by paul2005; 10-21-2005 at 07:30 AM.
 
Old 10-21-2005, 07:37 AM   #10
paul2005
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2005
Distribution: Ubuntu 5.10
Posts: 6

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
I finally managed to log into Gnome! I entered a console and typed 'chmod +w /home/paul' and then logged in again at the GDM. This time it logged in fine.

So presumably this means that somehow my user directory had become read only - does anyone have any ideas how this could have happened, so I can stop it happening again!
 
Old 10-21-2005, 09:57 AM   #11
Rodrin
Member
 
Registered: May 2003
Location: Upstate NY, U.S.
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 248

Rep: Reputation: 31
Sorry I didn't get back until now. I didn't check back until late last night, and since I didn't have an immediate answer, I thought I would look it over again this morning.

That's a new one for me. If it had occurred to me that it were a possibility, of course I would have known it would cause the problem, but I haven't seen it happen before except on a new installation with an old home directory. I'll have to add that to my list of things to check when GNOME suddenly refuses to start. I am somewhat at a loss as to what could have caused it. Please post it if you find out.
 
Old 10-21-2005, 01:28 PM   #12
generallee5686
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Spring Lake, Michigan
Distribution: Debian Stable
Posts: 10

Rep: Reputation: 0
Damn, i tried the chmod deal, and that didnt do it.
 
Old 10-21-2005, 02:19 PM   #13
Rodrin
Member
 
Registered: May 2003
Location: Upstate NY, U.S.
Distribution: Slackware
Posts: 248

Rep: Reputation: 31
generallee5686, it must be something about your home directory or GNOME settings since you said that when you created another user it worked. If your .gconf and .gnome directories are really gone and your home directory is not read-only, then I don't know what it could be, but it must be something specific to that user.
 
Old 10-22-2005, 04:46 PM   #14
generallee5686
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: Spring Lake, Michigan
Distribution: Debian Stable
Posts: 10

Rep: Reputation: 0
OK i figured out the problem.

First thing i noticed i did wrong was i did not delete the .gconf and .gnome directories (dont ask)

Second thing i noticed is when i did a "ls -l" in my home directory it showed the owner of my account being root. I did this because once i properly removed the .gonf .gnome folder, i got an error and an option to look at the log. It said i didnt have permission to make the new .gnome folder.

So i just did a chown on my home directory and everything was rebuilt and worked just fine.

Before all of this i tried to log into the 2nd account i made and it did the Exact same thing to that account also.

Does anyone have any clue why the owner of my home directories is getting changed to root?
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
After install and login, only brown screen, music and cursor... ericdsr Ubuntu 9 06-23-2005 06:47 PM
dual screen : cursor corrupted pawn-o-matic Linux - Software 2 08-03-2004 06:10 AM
MDK 9.2: X freezes with a black screen or blue screen with "X cursor" Apoc Linux - Newbie 10 03-30-2004 04:38 PM
MDK 9.2: X freezes on a black screen or blue screen with "X cursor" Apoc Linux - Software 1 12-29-2003 04:56 AM
An X cursor and a blank screen tryangle Linux - Newbie 12 03-31-2003 03:40 PM

LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions > Ubuntu

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:22 AM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration