Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I use Ubuntu 12.04 x64 with a dual-boot setup.

Yesterday it worked fine but this morning when I attempted to boot it gets to the login screen and then it just flickers, alternating between the login screen and the console showing boot items (mainly Apache, the last one being "Battery status" although it's a desktop) all with [OK] status. The only error that I can see is: "Could not write bytes: broken pipes" on top of the screen.

The only things I can think of that could cause this are:

  • This morning I had a removable hdd plugged in during boot time, which I usually don't have
  • Yesterday I've installed Dwarven Fortress that requires some x32 libraries so I've installed ia32 using synaptic. As far as I know this shouldn't brake the system but I didn't reboot yesterday so I can't be sure.

I've tried booting in recovery mode and tried running the utils there but still no luck.

I've ran out of ideas. Thanks.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that all partitions have plenty of free space

EDIT2: In the end I just reinstalled Ubuntu as time was of the essence.

share|improve this question
Do you have enough disk space? Check with df -h – konrad Jun 20 '12 at 9:40
Yes there are no disk space problems. I've checked and all drives have plenty of space – Brayn Jun 20 '12 at 10:03

What display manager do you have installed? I just had the exact same problem when I tried using anything other than lightDM. If you installed the gnome desktop meta package it's possible you accidentally set it for GDM. Try reinstalling and reconfiguring lightDM.

share|improve this answer
I haven't tried to change the default display manager. Anyway I can't test now as I've reinstalled Ubuntu. Thanks anyway! – Brayn Jul 2 '12 at 15:42

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.