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I updated my laptop today from Ubuntu 16.04 to 17.10 and things are not going well. When I boot up the window manager crashes several times and then gives up. I can switch to a terminal using Ctrl+Alt+F4. I can then run sudo lightdm. The only desktop environment I can get to run is OpenBox. The other desktops just fail and return me to the logon screen. Everything in openbox works fairly well. In fact I'm typing this from the webbrowser in openbox. I've tried reinstalling xorg/gdm3/ubuntu desktop, disabled wayland, and am currently booting with nomodeset. I just can't get gdm or unity to run.

In my .xsession-errors I see a bunch of errors like these.

(nm-applet:8842): dconf-CRITICAL **: unable to create file '/home/chad/.cache/dconf/user': Permission denied.  dconf will not work properly.

(nm-applet:8842): Gtk-CRITICAL **: gtk_widget_destroy: assertion 'GTK_IS_WIDGET (widget)' failed

Please let me know if there is a specific log I can look at to give more information on what is crashing. I would love to not reinstall Ubuntu.

*****Edit ********

So the only thing I can find in the logs is something to do with swrast_dri. Lots of issues with Steam and this thing, but not sure how I can fix it.

Feb 25 10:29:44 chad-Inspiron-5565 systemd[2764]: Started D-Bus User Message Bus.
Feb 25 10:29:44 chad-Inspiron-5565 gnome-session[2825]: libGL error: unable to load driver: swrast_dri.so
Feb 25 10:29:44 chad-Inspiron-5565 gnome-session[2825]: libGL error: failed to load driver: swrast
Feb 25 10:29:44 chad-Inspiron-5565 dbus-daemon[2820]: Activating via systemd: service name='org.a11y.Bus' unit='at-spi-dbus-bus.service'
Feb 25 10:29:44 chad-Inspiron-5565 systemd[2764]: Starting Accessibility services bus...
Feb 25 10:29:44 chad-Inspiron-5565 dbus-daemon[2820]: Successfully activated service 'org.a11y.Bus'
Feb 25 10:29:44 chad-Inspiron-5565 systemd[2764]: Started Accessibility services bus.
Feb 25 10:29:44 chad-Inspiron-5565 at-spi-bus-launcher[2833]: Activating service name='org.a11y.atspi.Registry'
Feb 25 10:29:44 chad-Inspiron-5565 at-spi-bus-launcher[2833]: Successfully activated service 'org.a11y.atspi.Registry'
Feb 25 10:29:44 chad-Inspiron-5565 org.a11y.atspi.Registry[2838]: SpiRegistry daemon is running with well-known name - org.a11y.atspi.Registry
Feb 25 10:29:44 chad-Inspiron-5565 gnome-session[2825]: libGL error: unable to load driver: swrast_dri.so
Feb 25 10:29:44 chad-Inspiron-5565 gnome-session[2825]: libGL error: failed to load driver: swrast
Feb 25 10:29:44 chad-Inspiron-5565 gnome-session[2825]: X Error of failed request:  BadValue (integer parameter out of range for operation)
Feb 25 10:29:44 chad-Inspiron-5565 gnome-session[2825]:   Major opcode of failed request:  154 (GLX)
Feb 25 10:29:44 chad-Inspiron-5565 gnome-session[2825]:   Minor opcode of failed request:  3 (X_GLXCreateContext)
Feb 25 10:29:44 chad-Inspiron-5565 gnome-session[2825]:   Value in failed request:  0x0
Feb 25 10:29:44 chad-Inspiron-5565 gnome-session[2825]:   Serial number of failed request:  29
Feb 25 10:29:44 chad-Inspiron-5565 gnome-session[2825]:   Current serial number in output stream:  32
Feb 25 10:29:44 chad-Inspiron-5565 gnome-session[2825]: gnome-session-check-accelerated: GL Helper exited with code 256
Feb 25 10:29:44 chad-Inspiron-5565 kernel: [   67.110159] gnome-session-c[2844]: segfault at 0 ip 00007f08c56d72c7 sp 00007ffd638aae30 error 4 in amdgpu_dri.so[7f08c31ac000+2a6c000]
  • When I try to start unity the following message shows up before it returns to the logon screen. ubuntu 17.10 usb 2-1: device descriptor read/64, error -71 – chad Feb 25 '18 at 14:34
  • I have the same problem, after my wife's office Xubuntu box did an auto upgrade. The GUI will not start now. Apparently, this is video-related and is common. I was hoping someone else would answer this or similar questions and save us some time. :-) – Mike Waters Apr 4 '18 at 19:50
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So things seemed to be really messed up. I decided to burn a disk with Ubuntu 17.10 and re-install. First I tried the option to copy files and keep my home directory. This appeared to be failing. There were some errors about partitions. So then I rebooted, and chose to erase my current Ubuntu and install Ubunutu next to my Windows partition. That worked.

Ubuntu 17.10 is running flawlessly now on my laptop. One problem I ran into was the backup I made could not be restored by the backup program (deja dup I think). So I needed restore from the command line using the technique described in the following post.

deja dup backup restore

Whatever you do, make sure you back up your data before you install Ubuntu 17.10!

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