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I have the same issue as others (see Login returns to login screen [closed]).

When I arrived at the login screen, I enter my password, the screen goes black for one second, displaying some text, and then it returns me to a fresh login screen.

I can go to a console alt+f1 and login into my account on the command line.

It is a fairly fresh install of ubuntu 12.04 64 bit, plenty of room left on the home dir. Permissions on the home directory are okay 755. Only one user.

Any hint because I cannot fix this apparently... Thanks!

Oh yes: the xsession-errors log says: "mkdtemp: private socket dir: Permission denied". Reinstalled unity, to no avail.

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what does ls -ld /tmp say? It should start with drwxrwxrwt .. root root. Notice the w's and the t in rwt. – jippie May 11 '12 at 20:25
Thank you very much. I changed /tmp permissions: sudo chmod a+wt /tmp – Joachim Jacob May 12 '12 at 6:44
I'll add it as an answer so it can easily be found by others. – jippie May 12 '12 at 9:04

Check the permission bits on /tmp:

ls -ld /tmp
drwxrwxrwt 6 root root 296 May 12 10:57 /tmp
  ^  ^  ^^

Escpecially notice the w's and the t at the start of the line. If you have different permission bits, change it using:

sudo chmod a+wt /tmp
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