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

I'm new to Linux/Ubuntu and experiencing the following problem:
I start my computer, and get to the GUI where I can login. When I click Ctrl+Alt+F1 I will get to the first of the consoles, everything is fine so far. But now I can't switch back to the GUI. When I press Ctrl+Alt+F7 or only Alt+F7 (I have tried both), the screen goes completely black and there is nothing I can do. Ctrl+Alt+F1 or Alt+F1 will NOT bring me back to the console, neither does any other Ctrl+Alt+F# or Alt+F# combination.

Sometimes (and I'm not sure what it depends on whether it works or not) I can switch back to the GUI once. But if I then go to the console again and try to go back to the GUI a third time, it never works.

I am using Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 32-bit on a very old (7 years) Fujitsu Siemens Laptop (Intel Pentium(R) M Processor 2.00 GHz; 1GB Memory). Could it be a hardware problem? Thanks a lot in advance for any help!

share|improve this question
try to add the fn key to the combo, since it's a laptop you probably have a different "key behaviour". something like CTRL+ALT+fn+F7 or similar. – user2384250 May 29 '13 at 6:08
try startx command – Misery May 29 '13 at 6:21

When at the console, type:


If this works, press CTRL + ALT + F1 to get back to the console.

If 'startx' doesn't work, and it throws up errors, edit the question with those errors.

Hope this helps!!!

share|improve this answer
Hi, I tried it and got the following error: "Fatal Server Error: Server is already active for display 0 <br> If this server is no longer running, remove /tmpT.X0-lock and start again <br>(EE)<br>Please consult the The X.Org Foundation support" – Ben May 29 '13 at 9:13
Ok, try this: 'sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop' and reboot. – horIzoN May 29 '13 at 9:26
If I ran service lightdm stop, this brings an empty screen. Is there a way to get back to the console? – CMCDragonkai Mar 17 '14 at 7:18

protected by Community Mar 8 '14 at 18:04

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.