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Fixing Gnome-Session Startup Issue on Latest WSL2 with Systemd

Ubuntu 17

In this article, we will delve into the process of resolving Gnome-Session startup issues on the latest WSL2 with Systemd. This issue is commonly characterized by the “Oh no! Something went wrong!” error message. We will be using a systematic approach, including checking logs for error messages, modifying environment variables, and tweaking boot scripts.

Quick Answer

To fix the Gnome-Session startup issue on the latest WSL2 with Systemd, you can start by modifying the XDG_SESSION_TYPE variable in the .bashrc file to ensure it is set correctly. If the issue persists, you can try tweaking the boot script by removing or modifying certain commands. Seeking further assistance from the WSL community or considering alternative solutions may be necessary if these steps do not resolve the issue.

Understanding the Issue

When you initiate the gnome-session on WSL2 with Systemd support, you might encounter a startup issue. This problem is often signaled by an error message stating, “Oh no! Something went wrong!”

The error logs often show messages related to dxgkio_query_adapter_info with failed IOCTLs. Although these messages might not directly indicate the root cause of the issue, they suggest a potential problem with graphics acceleration.

Modifying the .bashrc File

The first step in resolving this issue is to modify the XDG_SESSION_TYPE variable in your .bashrc file. This file is a shell script that Bash runs whenever it is started interactively. It initializes an interactive shell session.

You can open the .bashrc file using the nano editor with the following command:

nano ~/.bashrc

In the file, look for the line that includes --disable-acceleration-check and remove it. This argument is used to disable the acceleration check, which might be causing the performance issues with gnome-session.

Next, ensure that the XDG_SESSION_TYPE variable is correctly set. It should be enclosed in single quotes, like so:

export XDG_SESSION_TYPE='x11'

This ensures that the output redirection happens during the session startup, not during the login script execution. Save and exit the file.

Modifying the Boot Script

If the issue persists after modifying the .bashrc file, you can try tweaking the boot script. The boot script is responsible for starting up the system, and in this case, it’s what starts the gnome-session.

The boot script mentioned in the instructions might not work for everyone due to differences in system configurations.

You can experiment with removing or modifying certain commands to see if it resolves the issue. For example, you might want to remove the --disable-acceleration-check argument if it’s present in the boot script.

Seeking Further Assistance

WSL2 with Systemd support is still relatively new, and there may be compatibility issues that are not covered in this article. If none of the above steps work, it’s recommended to seek further assistance from the WSL community or consider alternative solutions.


In conclusion, fixing the gnome-session startup issue on the latest WSL2 with Systemd involves checking error logs, modifying the .bashrc file, and tweaking the boot script. While this process can be complex, understanding the role of each component and how they interact can help you troubleshoot effectively. Remember, the WSL community is a valuable resource if you need further assistance.

What is WSL2?

WSL2 stands for Windows Subsystem for Linux version 2. It is a compatibility layer provided by Microsoft that allows users to run a Linux environment directly on Windows 10 without the need for a virtual machine.

What is Gnome-Session?

Gnome-Session is a component of the GNOME desktop environment. It is responsible for managing the user’s session and starting the necessary components and applications when a user logs in.

How do I check error logs in WSL2?

To check error logs in WSL2, you can use the journalctl command. For example, to view the logs for Gnome-Session, you can run journalctl -u gnome-session.

How do I modify the .bashrc file?

To modify the .bashrc file, you can use a text editor like nano. Open the file by running nano ~/.bashrc, make the necessary changes, save the file by pressing Ctrl + X, then Y to confirm, and finally press Enter to exit.

What is the role of the boot script in WSL2?

The boot script in WSL2 is responsible for starting up the system and initializing various components, including the desktop environment. Modifying the boot script allows you to customize the startup process and potentially resolve issues related to Gnome-Session.

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