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 can login using the guest account and i can login using the terminal (Ctrl-Alt-F1). Every time i try to login graphically it accepts my password and attempts to log in. Something fails and then the graphical login screen returns.

I have read that executing the following command sudo rm ~/.Xauthority is supposed to help. Unfortunately, this command just returns 'can't find file'.

I really need to get this wife needs to use the computer and get to her files.

Another glitch i noticed is that the shutdown always return the login screen instead of shutting down the computer.

share|improve this question

Removing ~/.Xauthority and restarting lightdm didn't work for me either, the file seems to be immediately recreated every time, however I did 2 things, possibly one of which solved my problem with logging in.

  1. I had previously added some custom command to the file /etc/profile, which I removed.
  2. There was another file ~/.xsession-errors which I removed as well.

After that and deleting ~/.Xauthority I was able to successfully log in, I don't know which of those things caused it though because I did them at the same time.
Hopefully this will be useful to you in solving your logging in problem. One other thing I did was to stop some services I had recently installed, but unless it took a long time to take effect that didn't seem to help either, might be worth a try though.

share|improve this answer

Hmm. This is intriguing; I had exactly the same problem as you, and deleting my .Xauthority file solved it. I'm not sure it will make a difference, but while in your home directory could you try running sudo rm./.Xauthority? Restarting lightdm using sudo service lightdm restart (or restarting your computer) might help too.

If it doesn't, could you post a copy of your /var/log/lightdm/lightdm.log? You might be able to access it using the Log File Viewer, or Nautilus, from your guest account.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

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