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Well, not sure how I did it, but for some reason I am unable to get past the login screen on Xfce. What's odd is that I had set the machine up (from install) to login automatically. Then when I finish rebooting after installing

sudo apt-get install openssh-server


sudo apt-get install vnc4server

all the sudden I am getting prompted for my password. I proceed to type my password (successfully might I add) to login, the screen goes black for a second, then brings me right back to the same password prompt. I am able ssh in(now), but I get no love from workstation login. Maybe vnc4server is the culprit?

What did I do? And can I fix it?


The guest account, however will let me login no problem. What gives? I have a sneaking feeling that this could be permission issue.


Also, I did find this form (the exact same setup as I have with same symptoms), makes mention of the .Xauthority file needing to be delete. I don't mind trying things, but deleting stuff scares me a bit.

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Please paste recent entries in /var/log/auth.log – izx Jun 20 '12 at 5:31
I will when I get a chance to get back to my office. – hydroparadise Jun 20 '12 at 18:11

For me the only way I can get into Xfce UI is this:

  • Ctrl+Alt+F1 and login as you (i.e using your username).
  • rm ~/.Xauthority
  • Ctrl+Alt+F7 (change to the current X-server tty) and login.

I have to do this EVERY time I reboot. It sucks! I would really appreciate if somebody could find a proper way to fix this.

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did you ever find a fix? chmod-ing .Xauthority didn't work for me. – Colleen Jan 28 '15 at 17:49
Yes. I upgraded Xfce to 4.12 and it fixed the problem. But then I had to downgrade as my IDE wasn't working properly with 4.12 and now I am back to sq 1. – cherio Jun 5 '15 at 14:07
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Yep, turns out if you sudo vncserver, it jacks with the .Xauthority file under the /home/user directory. You are only supposed to start vncserver as a user.


I did sudo chmod 777 /home/user/.Xauthority and there I am able to log in. I did come across some rather lousy literature on creating a new .Xauthority file, but I will dig further until I find something better.

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Did you run sudo vncserver yourself, or did it happen as part of the package installation scripts? If the installation scripts changed /home/user/.Xauthority, this is a bug, which you should report. If you did sudo vncserver (which you indeed shouldn't), change back the ownership of .Xauthority to you: chown hydroparadise ~/.Xauthority. – Gilles Jun 24 '12 at 8:02
I did do sudo vncserver. So I am at fault on this particular instance. – hydroparadise Jun 25 '12 at 13:53

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