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I run 12.04 with gnome-classic. I wanted to get autologin since I am the only user. I unlocked the user account GUI under settings, switched the slider to ON, then locked the GIU. Since then a reboot stops at stopping system V runlevel compatibility.

Pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1 then gives me a command-line login. Typing startx starts Unity instead of Gnome. In that, I cannot unlock the User Accounts GUI under settings to set the autologin slider back to OFF.

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@Eliah Kagan: Many thanks. I have unset the root password with your command. I am not sure but in all my mucking around before I might also have unlocked it. The rootsudo link is very informative. I wasn't aware of graphical sudo usage. I do understand the Ubuntu sudo philosophy (my earlier Mac did the same). I still wonder what I did wrong in the first place. Shifting the Automatic login slider to ON in the User Accounts GUI seems to –  user76575 Jul 12 '12 at 13:23
    
I'm glad it's working now, and I don't blame you at all for not wanting to continue messing around with a production machine that you now have working properly. –  Eliah Kagan Jul 12 '12 at 14:17
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2 Answers 2

If it happened because you didn't specify a password for the adm account or set it to not asking for a password on log in, I recomend resetting the password, here is how to do it (either one):

Then it should work. (Yes this is a lousy bug on Ubuntu, hope they fix it.) If that is not the case, then I don't have a clue either!

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Do you know if this bug has been reported? If so, can you edit your answer to include a link to the bug report? If not, it should be. –  Eliah Kagan Jul 12 '12 at 2:10
    
Thank you. I now found the solution. Earlier, I had indeed tried editing /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf and I had also changed my own user admin account password and added a root account password following this excellent recipe. To no avail. I now logged in with CNTRL+ALT+F1 as root with this root passwd, typed startx, got a fresh Unity startup screen, went into the All Settings/User Accounts GUI, clicked my user account open under Other Accounts. No lock/unlock clicker now. Shifting autologin to off did the trick. Maybe bug in Gnome-classic? –  Rob Jul 12 '12 at 8:36
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You can log in on a virtual console (you must be doing that after pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1 but before running startx). So if the problem really is that you set a blank password for yourself (as MeM suggested), you can fix that easily by running:

passwd

Then change it to something that's not blank. You'll know it was changed successfully because the new password will work to log on at a virtual console. (You can type exit or logout to log off, then try logging back on.)

If that doesn't fix the problem, try disabling automatic login by editing /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf with:

sudo nano -w /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf

Remove the text that makes automatic login happen. That text looks like:

[SeatDefaults]
autologin-user=<YOUR USER>
autologin-user-timeout=0
user-session=ubuntu
greeter-session=unity-greeter

Source: htorque's answer to How do I enable auto-login in LightDM?

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Thank you. I now found the way to unlock the User Accounts GUI in the All Settings GUI. Earlier, I had indeed tried editing /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf and I had also changed my own user admin account password and added a root account password following the excellent –  Rob Jul 12 '12 at 8:21
    
psychocats.net/ubuntu/resetpassword Sorry, am new to this forum and keep hitting return which upsets commenting and 5 min isnt enough. I then used CNTRL+ALT+F1 to login as root, typed startx, get a fresh Unity screen, opened the All settings / Uer accountsGUI, clikced my own account open, slid the autologin slider to off, rebooted. OK. Maybe the bug was trying to set the autologin sider to ON in Gnome-classic? Should I know remove the root password again? How? –  Rob Jul 12 '12 at 8:45
    
@Rob If you really did set a password for the root account, you can re-disable it with sudo passwd -dl root. But you didn't have to do that; if you wanted to run X11 is root (generally not recommended), you could have used sudo startx. Once you have a GUI, you can run graphical programs in it with gksu/gksudo. Here are the details.. BTW your psychocats.net link has broken images--this is the correct link. –  Eliah Kagan Jul 12 '12 at 11:38
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