I've recently installed Ubuntu 18.04 in a dual-boot configuration with Windows 10. I noticed today that, when trying to open system settings, Ubuntu seems to log me out to the lock screen. When I log back in, all previously-running applications are now closed. Very unsure what to do from here, any help much appreciated.


I had a look in /var/log/kern.log and noticed nouveau was crashing about the time I tried to open gnome-control-center.

So I installed the latest stable nvidia drivers (I'm using an nvidia graphics card), rebooted and now it works.

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  • Glad you solved it. Remember to click the grey check mark next to your question to let others know what the solution is. – WinEunuuchs2Unix Jun 24 '18 at 15:27
  • Shall do as soon as I’m able (2 days) – jomobro Jun 24 '18 at 16:43

When I upgraded to 18.04 same problem happened to me. Ubuntu logs out unexpectedly and even after suspend. I figured out there was something wrong with .Xauthority.

First of all remove .Xauthority and then relogin using

sudo rm -v .Xauthority
sudo service gdm restart

Don't worry system will recreate .Xauthority.

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  • 4
    Thanks for the comment. Unfortunately, there's no .Xauthority file in my home directory. – jomobro Jun 24 '18 at 14:45
  • Worked for me, thanks. The file name was .ICEAuthority, though. – Milo Jul 12 '19 at 20:46

Super late answer here, but for me it seemed to be a combo of nVidia drivers, greeter, and theme. When troubleshooting, particularly after an update, try reverting to one of the default themes via Gnome Tweaks, Adwaita, for example. It can sound trivial, but the semi-colon in the wrong place in ubuntu.css can prevent the system from booting.

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Like xor7ommy, I found the fix to be a combo of

  • Updating the NVidia driver via

    sudo apt install nvidia-driver-390
  • and renaming .ICEauthority and restarting.

After that, I was able to open the Ubuntu settings without getting logged out.

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