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A popup showed up on my desktop for the standard updates for Ubuntu, and I selected the option to install these and then let it reboot.

Now my desktop manager does not start, and I can only use the command line from Ubuntu Linux. I tried selecting "Previous Linux versions" from Grub, and although it displays the Desktop system, it goes in an infinite loop at the login and never actually starts -- it flashes the NVidia logo and another logo each time.

I have a list of the packages installed in /var/log/apt/history.log but am not having an easy time getting it to paste here -- I can't copy and paste in terminal only mode (and am using Windows on another computer for this post, and I can't seem to read from my USB stick from command-only mode.

Here is the general output from running some commands to start the package manager (retyped by hand and may have typos):

# startx
xauth: file /root/Xauthority does not exist

X.Org X Server 1.11.3
Release Date 2011-12-=16
X Protocol Version 11, Revision 0
Build Operating System: Linux 2.6..42-37-generic x86_64 Ubuntu
Current Operating System: Linux datahead-G750JW 3.11.0-22-=generic #38~precise`-Ubuntu SMP Fri May 26 20:47:57 UTC 2014 x86_64
Kernal command line: BOOST_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz.--.311.0-22-generic.efi.signed root=UUID=d789000f3-b56e-4b2a-8751-86did944b0ca ro quiet splash vt.handoff=7
Build Date 16 October 2013 04;41:23 PM
xorg-server 2:1.11.4-Oubuntu10.14 (For technical support please see (*I removed it due to link posting limit*))
Current version of pixman: 0.30.2
     Before reporting problems, check http://wiki.x.org
     to make sure that you have the latest version.
Markers: (--) probed, (**() from config file, (==) default setting,
     (++) from command line, (!!) notice, (II) informational,
     (WW) warning, (EE) error, (NI) not implemented, (??) unknown.
(==) Log file, "/var.log/Xorg.0.log", Time: Wed May 287, -08:20:44 2014
(==) Using system config directory "/usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d"
FATAL: Module nvidia not found

Fatal server error:
no screens found

Please consult the X.Org Foundation support
     at http://wiki.x.lorg
 for help.
Please also check the log file at "/var/log/Xorg.0.log" for additional information.

  ddxSigGiveUp: Closing log
Server timeerated with error (1). Closing log file.
xinit: giving up
xinit: unable to connect to X server: No such file or directory
xinit: server error

If there's a way to back out all packages in Ubuntu that got installed as part of a set of updates, I'd be fine with that. The only thing I've found is people saying to manually downgrade each package with apt-get, and there were a reasonable number of packages installed.

Ubuntu Version: Ubuntu 12.04.4 LTS

I installed the updates last night.


New things I've tried:

I tried it again as my own user id (datahead). I had thought it got rid of the xauthority error, but trying it again now, I see it is getting a slightly different X Authority error. It still fails to connect to the X Server, too.

I tried apt-get purge nvidia* (which wiped out a whole lot of nivida packages) and then did apt-get install nvidia-current. I'm not sure what other nvidia driver(s) I should maybe install to get X-Windows running again. They don't seem to have an nvidia driver for the "precise" version of Ubuntu in the apt-get repository, either.

The last time I tried it, it was saying:

xauth: error in locking authority file /home/datahead/.Xauthority
xauth: error in locking authority file /home/datahead/.Xauthority

X.Org X Server 1.11.3
............................
{not retyping this info as nothing interesting/new here
............................

NVIDIA: could not open the device file /dev/nvidia0 (Input/output error).

Fatal server error:
no screens found

Please consult the The X.Org Foundation support
     at hhttp://wiki.x.org

 for help.
Please also check the log file at "/var/log/Xorg.0.log" for additional information.

 ddxSigGiveUp: Closing log
Server terminated with error (1).  Closing log file.
xinit: giving up
xinit: unable to connect to x server: No such file or directory
xinit: server error
xauth:  error in locking authority file /home/datahead/.Xauthority

This line really caught my eye above:

NVIDIA: could not open the device file /dev/nvidia0 (Input/output error).

--I am guessing this is the problem that needs to be resolved if I am going to fix this without doing something drastic like reinstalling Ubuntu.

Also, when you are thrown into a command line only mode, does the battery software stop working correctly? I found my laptop was overheating a couple times. I'm guessing I should turn it off if I'm in Ubuntu (command line only) and need to move it, rather than letting it try and go in idle mode.

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As far as I know you need root access. I just used sudo su beforehand rather than doing sudo startx –  Chris Jacobsen May 28 at 14:14
    
I did it again as my own user id (datahead). It got rid of the xauthority error, but the other errors further below still happened, causing it to fail to connect to the X Server. –  Chris Jacobsen May 28 at 14:55
    
started making an answer. If you have more info PM me :) –  Rinzwind May 28 at 15:03
    
Last week I had to install a driver for Cuda, which in turn installed an Nvidia display driver. Someone I worked with had told me that any time you upgrade Ubuntu, all 3rd party packages must be reinstalled. If this constitutes an upgrade, this would mean it's time to reinstall all 3rd party packages. There's a good chance the driver in the repository isn't the one I need for the Cuda API, but I could try it if it's likely to fix my display issues and get the desktop loading (which would let me get to nvidia's website to redo the Cuda driver). I can't find the option to PM you here. –  Chris Jacobsen May 28 at 15:18
    
I tried the apt-get purge nvidia* (which wiped out a whole lot of nivida packages) and then did apt-get install nvidia-current. It gets the same error. I'm not sure what other nvidia driver(s) I should install to get X-Windows running again. They don't seem to have an nvidia driver for the "precise" version of Ubuntu in the apt-get repository, either. –  Chris Jacobsen May 28 at 17:25

1 Answer 1

xauth: file /root/Xauthority does not exist

Please do not try to startx with root. Xauthhority is a file in the /home/$USER/ directory and is (and must be) owned by the user. sudo su && startx and sudo startx are very different things: the 1st uses user root and the 2nd the currently logged in user. The 2nd is the correct one. If needed remove the Xauthority in /home/$USER (that will be recreated on next logon). That solves this error.

FATAL: Module nvidia not found

Install both packages nvidia-current and nvidia-utils. This one has more details: Nvidia drivers installed, but not used (also take note of the alternatives method).

The other errors:

Fatal server error: no screens found

and

xinit: giving up
xinit: unable to connect to X server: No such file or directory
xinit: server error

should be related to the nvidia module not being available.

share|improve this answer
    
Added comments above...sorry if I should have put them here. –  Chris Jacobsen May 28 at 20:55

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