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I recently installed Ubuntu 13.10 in a dual-boot with Windows 7, so I'm still quite new to using Linux. Most things were working fine, and I could log in normally (apart from the first login after install, which spent about 2 minutes on a black screen before going to the desktop). I installed the restricted Nvidia drivers with the command:

sudo apt-get install nvidia-current

Since then, after I enter my password and log in (the login screen itself works perfectly), I get a black screen with the cursor and nothing happens from that point onwards.

Basically, what I would like to know is how to get back to the normal Ubuntu desktop and (hopefully) still be able to use Nvidia drivers.

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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Like the first answer removing the xorg.conf file will reset your "driver-setup".

But I've had this problem or one very similar myself. The problem lay in Optimus, a nvidia technology that allows the user to switch back and forth between integrated and nvidia graphics in order to safe power.

Now I'm assuming now that you've got optimus, if not that you can ignore this solution. You can install a program called Bumblebee that installs and manages your graphical drivers including Optimus.

to install (make sure to purge your current-nvidia settings before!!):

 sudo apt-get install bumblebee bumblebee-nvidia

then reboot

sudo shutdown -r now

then after crossing your finger and a succesfull login. You can run programs using nvidia graphics using the optirun command:

optirun yourprogramnamehere

there you have it Optimus working and running.

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Won't this disable the hdmi or whatever external screen is directly attached to the Nvidia directly? –  NoBugs Jan 11 at 22:10
Indeed, when I installed bumlebee my external hdmi displays didnt work anymore. However, they didn't work well with default drivers either.. –  Christophe De Troyer Feb 24 at 8:43
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I had the exact same problem and after searching for hours i got the solutions. Problem was, that due to installation of some software's like opencv it automatically installed nvidia drivers/graphics on NON-NVIDIA machine and due to this screen goes blank. So Just follow these simple steps to get your desktop screen back:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+F1
  2. Provide Login details.
  3. Type in terminal:

sudo apt-get remove --purge nvidia-*
sudo reboot


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