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Towards the end of the boot process, amongst the actions that are OK is one that's not, i.e.

Failed to start MDM.service

Am I correct in thinking that MDM is the Mate Desktop Manager? If so why in a XFCE4 desktop environment?

At the end of the boot process, I get a logon prompt in a tty screen. Internet access has been started so was able to fix broken packages (there weren't any) and complete the latest updates.

Edit (2018/08/18 17:00).

Ran the following commands:

sudo service mdm disable

sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm

and then rebooted (after installing lightdm). Exactly the same result as above.

Outputs requested:

dpkg-query: no path found matching pattern *MDM.service*

● mdm.service                        loaded failed failed  mdm.service

I have now removed mdm (purged) and the message 'Failed to start MDM.service' no longer appears during boot, but still only boots to a tty command line screen.

I enquired on lightdm status via:

sudo systemctl status lightdm 

(sorry, I can't remember if that's absolutely correct, but I'm sure you'll get the popint). Output:

● lightdm.service - Light Display Manager
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/lightdm.service; indirect; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: failed (Result: exit-code) since Sat 2018-08-18 17:31:37 CEST; 1min 53s ago
     Docs: man:lightdm(1)
  Process: 1500 ExecStart=/usr/sbin/lightdm (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)
  Process: 1497 ExecStartPre=/bin/sh -c [ "$(basename $(cat /etc/X11/default-display-manager 2>/dev/null))" = "lightdm" ] (code=exited, status=0/SUCCESS)
 Main PID: 1500 (code=exited, status=1/FAILURE)

Aug 18 17:31:37 fuentedelucas systemd[1]: lightdm.service: Service hold-off time over, scheduling restart.
Aug 18 17:31:37 fuentedelucas systemd[1]: lightdm.service: Scheduled restart job, restart counter is at 5.
Aug 18 17:31:37 fuentedelucas systemd[1]: Stopped Light Display Manager.
Aug 18 17:31:37 fuentedelucas systemd[1]: lightdm.service: Start request repeated too quickly.
Aug 18 17:31:37 fuentedelucas systemd[1]: lightdm.service: Failed with result 'exit-code'.
Aug 18 17:31:37 fuentedelucas systemd[1]: Failed to start Light Display Manager.
  • Try to run sudo service mdm disable, then run sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm (select LightDM from list) and then reboot. And if it possible please add output of dpkg -S MDM.service and systemctl list-units --type service | grep -i mdm to the question. – N0rbert Aug 18 '18 at 10:47
  • What desktop environment do you plan to use? If it is MATE, then you can simply try to install it with sudo apt-get install ubuntu-mate-desktop. If you do not want to use MDM, then remove it with sudo apt-get purge mdm. – N0rbert Aug 19 '18 at 17:57
  • As the distro is xubuntu I thought I'd stick with the xfce4 DE. I have already 'purged' mdm from the system, as stated above. Comparing /lib/systemd/system/lightdm.service files of my 2 system (xubuntu & sparklinux with the MATE DE), the xubuntu one looked distinctly lacking. So I copied the contents of the sparky file to the xubuntu one. It now boots as far as dark purple screen (with regular dots), some items on the right of the panel but no main menu. Although this appears to be progress, it is worse as I now cannot access a CLI (Alt-Ctrl-F1 or F2) does not work. – John Aug 20 '18 at 14:28
  • @NOrbert. Apologies: Thank you for your responses so far. – John Aug 20 '18 at 14:29
  • According to this post https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2390296 ubuntu now uses gdm instead of lightdm. I don't know whether this is true for xubuntu. As I'm slightly peeved about another distribution upgarde going wrong, I have replace the xubuntu installation with something that doesn't need distribution upgrades. Thanks anyway. – John Aug 23 '18 at 17:19

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