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suddenly the "GNOME" option when logging in to ubuntu disappeared. I have absolutely no idea why. apt-get remove gnome-shell && apt-get install gnome-shell didn't have any effect.

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try sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm – green Mar 17 '13 at 10:16
nothing changed – user984308 Mar 17 '13 at 10:57

Still don't really know what the problem was, but

apt-get remove gnome && apt-get install gnome

solved it...

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