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I thought I would set up my girlfriend's tired old netbook running a less broken OS than Linspire. Nice idea. I have a similar machine ( Acer Aspire One ) running Ubuntu and that worked fine.

However, when I installed it on hers, it decided to use Unity3D and nothing else. She has it set up to log her in automatically and it seems that no matter how much I set up /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf to have user-session=xubuntu it does nothing.

It shows the Xubuntu loading screen, then pops her into a painfully slow Unity3D desktop that her system cannot support at all. There doesn't seem to be anything I can do to change it.

If I remove /etc/lightdm/lightm.conf altogether it puts me through to a "low graphics mode" screen where the keyboard doesn't work and there is nothing one can do but switch off the machine and reboot in recovery mode.

Everytime the machine starts up the .dmrc file in the user's home directory gets overwritten so if I change that to use xubuntu it is back to unity the next time it starts.

My girlfriend is increasingly of the opinion that I broke her computer, which given that we are running a long distance relationship partly through that computer, makes me a very bad boyfriend. Please help!

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This isn't really an answer, but have you tried setting the immutable attribute on.dmrc? chattr +i ~/.dmrc. That way, it can't get overwritten. Of course, doing so might just cause a crash, and is almost certainly not the proper way to solve the problem, but it's worth a try. – Scott Severance Aug 12 '12 at 0:00
Also, you might consider uninstalling Unity completely. Again, it's probably not the proper way, but it would work. – Scott Severance Aug 12 '12 at 0:01
@glenatron Are you sure that has removed unity? And when you open the lightdm file still have the user-session=xubuntu line? – Lucio Aug 12 '12 at 0:12
I haven't removed unity and I'm a little anxious about doing that because it seems to result in this "low graphics" screen ( I get the same just logging out of unity ) which I couldn't escape from though I found a few updates needed so that might be why. @lucio the user-session line is definitely still present in lightdm.conf but it is overwritten in .dmrc - I guess marking that immutable might give me an error message from whatever tries to overwrite it that I can track down easier. – glenatron Aug 12 '12 at 9:03
I followed @ScottSeverance suggestion and rendered .dmrc immutable. It was not overwritten this time. It says the session is xubuntu. The session is unity. – glenatron Aug 12 '12 at 9:14
up vote 1 down vote accepted

The reason appears to be that I had not logged in to Xubuntu manually- which I couldn't do previously because logging out of Unity caused the inexcapable "low graphics" error. Once I had worked around that ( making sure that everying was up to date- that one was a known ubuntu error ) the system automatically logged into it. Guessing it must have needed some session stuff configured.

share|improve this answer
If this is the answer, I suggest that you mark it as answered by clicking the check mark at left. – Scott Severance Aug 12 '12 at 13:04
@ScottSeverance there is a time limit on how early you can check your own answer as definitive. – glenatron Aug 13 '12 at 14:02

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