I recently installed latest Ubuntu 17.10 (studio flavor) on Thinkpad laptop. Have not installed anything on it yet, still, after several hours of working, now after I enter password on logon screen, I see line /dev/sdb5/clean, ... flashing for a moment and get back logon screen.

Recovery mode says APT is ok, filesystems are ok. In CLI consoles I can login, startx writes timeout in locking authority file /home/... and does not start GUI. I can however start X as root (sudo startx). I tried to add new user - also cannot login in GUI.

I found maybe related: cannot-login-after-running-startx-and-rebooting, maybe I did run X as root, do not remember, however, doing sudo rm .Xauthority did not help (I did the command as my user, not root).

What can be cause of that problem? I want to have stable working laptop and ready to investigate.

  • It is rather late for 17.10.1. In a few days, the developing version, Bionic Beaver, will be released as Ubuntu Studio 18.04 LTS with long time support until April 2021, while 17.10.1 will reach end of life in July this year. So I suggest that you try Ubuntu Studio Bionic. See this link, if you need more help, Ubuntu Development version / How to participate
    – sudodus
    Apr 23, 2018 at 4:13
  • @sudodus, I will be looking for upgrade, thanx! Apr 23, 2018 at 4:17
  • I suggest that you make a fresh installation of 18.04 LTS (not an upgrade from 17.10.1).
    – sudodus
    Apr 23, 2018 at 4:22

2 Answers 2


The comment from link in question helped.

  1. At the login screen, press control+alt+F3.
  2. Login
  3. sudo rm .Xauthority
  4. sudo rm .ICEauthority
  5. sudo reboot

Looks like running X as root makes the .Xauthority and .ICEauthority files owned by root as described in linked post.


If yours is an older box (you've been using the same computer for a while and regularly upgrading to newer and newer OS versions) this can happen because your root directory on the filesystem is completely filled up.

Can also manifest as a "Login Loop" where you get stuck on the login-screen even with a correct password.

How to verify that space is an issue

  • Open tty login with Ctrl+Alt+F3 (will bring you to tty3)
  • run startx as non-root
  • read the logs and see if there's anything says "unable to close", or "no space available"
  • run startx as root
  • once the GUI opens, run Disk Usage Analyser and check if you have space on \

If space is not the issue, you can check:

Steps to fix the issue

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