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Cannot get past login screen

I keep trying to log in on start up, typing my password and pressing enter. But it doesn't go through. I just get kicked back to the login screen. I know I don't have the password wrong. Have I done something to lock myself out?

I was messing around with Macchanger before this happened. Just wlan0. nothing else. Used sudo a couple of times. Did nothing as root.

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Can you check the ownership of your .Xauthority file like on this question? askubuntu.com/questions/189399/cannot-get-past-login-screen/… –  Jorge Castro Jan 18 '13 at 19:23
    
I'm currently logged in as guest and this is what is returned. -rw------- 1 guest-u0yQOJ guest-u0yQOJ 60 Jan 18 13:13 /tmp/guest-u0yQOJ/.Xauthority –  teslasmoustache Jan 18 '13 at 19:29
    
The instructions on that page worked. 'Ctrl + Alt + F1. Login as user. sudo aptitude reinstall xorg. cd ~/. sudo mv .Xauthority .XauthorityBak. Then I could log in.' –  teslasmoustache Jan 18 '13 at 20:20
    
Reinstalling xorg seems like overkill. All you really need to do is delete the .Xauthority file rm ~/.Xauthority and X will recreate next time. Renaming the file (mv ...bak) has the same effect. –  chaskes Jan 18 '13 at 20:33
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marked as duplicate by Jorge Castro, Ringtail, Eliah Kagan, Eric Carvalho, qbi Jan 19 '13 at 10:18

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2 Answers

Keep Shift pressed when GRUB runs. It should bring you to the GRUB menu.

There you can choose to edit default boot option. Append ' single' (without quotes) to the end of the kernel prompt and choose to continue.

The system should boot into root shell. If your username is 'username' (without quotes), you can change password to the one you know and reboot into normal session:

# passwd username
Enter password:
Confirm password:
# reboot
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This approach can be problematic in case the user has an encrypted home directory. –  guntbert Jan 18 '13 at 21:34
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I had a similar problem recently. I found out that one of the files in my profile was owned by root instead of my user.

As mentioned in the other comments, get to a command line and check the ownership of the files, especially ~/.Xauthority, they should be owned by your user.

If not, take ownership with: sudo chown : ~/.Xauthority

Where <user> is your user id.

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