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I've just install Lubuntu 13.04 32-bit on an old machine. When I boot, I essentially get no GUI. I have a cursor, and very poor 8-bit colour background, but no windows or buttons etc. I believe this is just a login screen, but I just can't tell.

Switching to tty1 (I think that's what it's called) via Ctrl + Alt + F1, I can login, and run programs as I would expect. Everything seems to be working except the GUI. It doesn't appear to be running lxde, only lightdm, but I think that's to be expected due to the fact I haven't logged in yet.

Unfortunately, I'm struggling get wifi to connect from the command line, so I can't run updates yet, although it was connected during install, so I think some were done then.

Any help in diagnosing and solving the problem would be appreciated. Which logs should I check? What other information would be useful?

Output of lspci -v:

VGA compatible controller: S3 Graphics Ltd. 86c375 [ViRGE/DX] or 86c385 [ViRGE/GX] (rev 01) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
Subsystem: S3 Graphics Ltd. ViRGE/DX
Flags: bus master, medium devsel, latency 32, IRQ 11
Memory at dc000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=64M]
[virtual] Expansion ROM at 18020000 [disabled] [size=64K]
Kernel driver in use: s3fb

VGA compatible controller: S3 Graphics Ltd. Savage 4 (rev 02) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
Subsystem: Diamond Multimedia Systems Stealth III S540
Flags: 66MHz, medium devsel, IRQ 10
Memory at e2000000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=512K]
Memory at d0000000 (32-bit, prefetchable) [size=128M]
[virtual] Expansion ROM at e1000000 [disabled] [size=64K]
Capabilities: <access denied>
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Hardware specs would have been nice. – mikewhatever Jun 28 '13 at 11:42
I've edited to include some, but if you'd like more, let me know what. Specific commands to run would be helpful, but I'm certainly willing to figure stuff out myself. – Frankie Jun 28 '13 at 12:37
You could try looking at the xserver log with less /var/log/Xorg.0.log. It seems, the machine might be just too old to run LXDE. – mikewhatever Jun 28 '13 at 13:24
Looking through the log, the only obvious error is: Failed to load module "s3virge" (module does not exists, 0) It has also occurred to me that I am used an HD monitor, which the graphics card is almost certainly not capable of handling. Is there any way to see/change the resolution it is trying to use? If it seems likely that this is not ever going to work, then would you know of an alternative to lxde that might? Thanks for your help. – Frankie Jun 28 '13 at 13:41

Try connecting to your router via Ethernet or installing the madwifi driver.

share|improve this answer
Ethernet is not an option, and I can successfully see the network via wifi, so I do not think it is a driver issue. – Frankie Jun 28 '13 at 13:32
I had that same issue. I could see the network, but could not connect. It may be that your driver works, but is not utilizing the full power of your adapter, so it fails to connect because it cannot get a good enough connection. – Dillmo Jun 28 '13 at 13:35
To be honest, I'm not sure what commands to run to get a connection, so it's likely that I simply haven't tried the right thing. If I can't get some form of GUI, then I will try more, but for the moment my aim is to get the GUI up. Thanks anyway. – Frankie Jun 28 '13 at 13:47

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