Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

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

Recently, I could not log in on a regular user desktop installation through the graphical login screen. However, I was able to successfully log in by switching (CTRL+ALT+F1) to terminal mode. Eventually, through the terminal mode I resolved the problem.

In researching my issue, on the Ubuntu forum; I noticed that there were numerous causes concerning the inability to use the graphical login screen. Which made finding the correct fix difficult. The simplest approach would seem to be a total "tear-down" of the graphical interface with a rebuild to resolve the login issue instead of spending a significant amount of time attempting to isolate a specific cause. Essentially applying a "nuclear option". After extensive research and numerous dead-ends; I found out my problem was caused by "brltty", but that is not my question.

My question: A listing of the packages that need to be removed so that Ubuntu simply boots into terminal mode (no graphical interface). Then a sequential listing of what packages need to be reinstalled to restore the graphical interface (which I assume are the same packages that were removed). Basically, a short tutorial on removing the graphical interface and rebuilding it.

share|improve this question

To install without GUI, just install Ubuntu Server.

To add the GUI,

sudo apt-get install unity
share|improve this answer
I am referring to a regular desk-top installation where you can no longer login due to an error of some sort. You may have a raised a point that I overlooked by referencing 'sudo apt-get install unity' since I do not specifically recall uninstalling it and then re-installing it, which is why I was asking for a list of packages that need to be removed/reinstalled. – Steve R. Dec 17 '12 at 19:58
I haven't tried it, but you could try uninstalling unity and some other so-called metapackages and then apt-get autoremove. – jdthood Dec 17 '12 at 20:21
Thanks. The issue was solved. The reason for this request is to obtain a list of packages for future reference for those experiencing this issue in the future concerning what needs to be removed and then reinstalled. I saw quite a few users on the Ubuntu forum who had this issue, so it would be beneficial to provide one place for what needs to be removed and then reinstalled. I fumbled around till something finally worked. Your reference to "unity" may have been one of those somethings that I had overlooked. – Steve R. Dec 17 '12 at 20:37

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.