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When i start my laptop it shows a menu "GNU GRUB version 1.99-21ubuntu3.9" with options ubuntu, with linux 3.5.0-23-generic, ubuntu, with linux 3.5.0-23-generic(recovery mode), memory test (memtest86+), memory test (memtest86+, serial console 115200),

If i start ubuntu, I'm shown a terminal with ubuntu 12.04.02 LTS ubuntu ttyl

ubuntu login:

I have no idea how to fix this.

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This might be normal if you installed the Server edition of Ubuntu? Try entering your username and password at the login prompts, and if you still are in the CLI at that point, enter startx to launch the graphical environment (if one was installed). – douggro Jul 15 '13 at 16:20
xinit does not work and when i try to install it, the output is "E: the package mysql-server-5.5 needs to be reinstalled, but I can't find an archive for it." – ssuch Jul 15 '13 at 16:28
additionally, i ran the boot-repair and was given – ssuch Jul 15 '13 at 16:29
I'm guessing that boot-repair was not successful? If this was a fresh install, I would go back to the beginning and reinstall. You should also check if your system has a UEFI BIOS and search here for info on getting installs to work with UEFI. – douggro Jul 15 '13 at 16:47
I believe part of the problem is the edition I downloaded. I downloaded the right edition to my usb drive. During re-installation the installer detected no operating system, which scares me a little. The available partitions shown are as folllows: /dev/sda(no info listed); /dev/sda ext2 size:254mb with 43 mb used; /dev/sda5 size: 999947mb with unkown used. I'm hesitant to chose a partition... – ssuch Jul 15 '13 at 17:21

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