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How To Fix GUI Not Starting Error in Ubuntu with GNOME Display Manager?

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If you’re an Ubuntu user, you might have encountered an issue where the Graphical User Interface (GUI) doesn’t start. This can be particularly frustrating, as it prevents you from accessing your desktop and applications. This problem often occurs due to issues with the GNOME Display Manager (GDM), which is responsible for managing user sessions and graphical displays.

In this article, we’ll guide you through several methods to troubleshoot and fix this issue. But before we proceed, it’s important to note that these methods require some familiarity with the terminal and Linux commands.

Solution 1: Restart the Display Manager

The first solution to try is restarting the GDM. This can be done by accessing the terminal through the following steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+F2 to open the terminal.
  2. Enter your login credentials.

Once you’re in the terminal, run the following commands:

sudo apt purge gdm gdm3
sudo apt install gdm3 ubuntu-desktop
systemctl restart gdm

The apt purge command removes the GDM and its configuration files. The apt install command re-installs the GDM and the Ubuntu desktop. The systemctl restart command restarts the GDM.

After running these commands, check if the GUI starts properly.

Solution 2: Switch to LightDM

If restarting the GDM doesn’t work, you can try switching to LightDM, another display manager. Here’s how:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+F1 to open the terminal.
  2. Enter your login credentials.

In the terminal, run the following commands:

sudo apt-get install lightdm
sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm

The apt-get install command installs LightDM. The dpkg-reconfigure command reconfigures the system to use LightDM as the default display manager.

After running these commands, restart your system and check if the GUI starts properly.

Solution 3: Delete or Rename xorg.conf File

The xorg.conf file contains configuration details for the X.Org X server. If this file is corrupted or misconfigured, it can prevent the GUI from starting. To fix this:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+F2 to open the terminal.
  2. Enter your login credentials.

Navigate to the /etc/X11 directory and delete or rename the xorg.conf file:

cd /etc/X11
sudo mv xorg.conf xorg.conf.backup

The mv command renames the xorg.conf file to xorg.conf.backup, effectively disabling it.

After running these commands, restart your system and check if the GUI starts properly.

Solution 4: Install a Different Desktop Environment

If none of the above solutions work, you can try installing a different desktop environment. For example, you can install the LXDE desktop environment:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+F1 to open the terminal.
  2. Enter your login credentials.

Run the following command to install LXDE:

sudo apt-get install LXDE

After installing LXDE, execute the startx command to start the GUI. Adjust the graphics settings to default and reboot the system.

Conclusion

These are some of the most common solutions to fix the “GUI not starting” error in Ubuntu with GNOME Display Manager. If all else fails, you may need to consider formatting and reinstalling Ubuntu. However, this should be your last resort as it will result in the loss of previous system settings and data. Always remember to backup important files before attempting any major changes to your system.

We hope this guide has been helpful in resolving your issue. If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to reach out to the Ubuntu community for help.

How do I access the terminal in Ubuntu?

To access the terminal in Ubuntu, you can press Ctrl+Alt+F2 or Ctrl+Alt+F1 to switch to a virtual console. From there, you can enter your login credentials and access the terminal.

What is a display manager?

A display manager is a program that manages user sessions and graphical displays in a Linux environment. It provides a login screen and allows users to authenticate and start a graphical session.

What does it mean to purge a package in Ubuntu?

Purging a package in Ubuntu means completely removing the package and its associated configuration files from the system. It is a more thorough removal compared to just uninstalling the package.

How do I rename a file in Ubuntu?

To rename a file in Ubuntu, you can use the mv command followed by the current filename and the new filename. For example, to rename a file called file1.txt to newfile.txt, you would use the command mv file1.txt newfile.txt.

Can I switch back to GNOME Display Manager after switching to LightDM?

Yes, you can switch back to GNOME Display Manager after switching to LightDM. To do this, you can uninstall LightDM using the command sudo apt purge lightdm and then reinstall GNOME Display Manager using sudo apt install gdm3. Finally, restart your system for the changes to take effect.

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