Suddendly, without any reasons I can explain, my ubuntu logoff, recovered with ctrl+alt+f1, login, ctrl+alt+f7 . Ok, I was running chrome with flash plug-in, and some terminal bashscript, smalls stuffs. Where I can find (some log files) and what to look for in an effort to discover or try to explain a little better what really happened?

Thanks in any advice.

  • I think is better now. Thanks for the upvotes. Really want to go "underground".. if necessary.
    – H_7
    Mar 24, 2012 at 0:18
  • 1
    I cant upvote this enough. This happend 3-5 times a day since I installed Gnome 3 in 11.10. I dont found anything related in the log files yet. I assume it is a graphic device problem that caused the crashes. Same problem on two different Notebooks (64 and 32 bit/11.10).
    – brubaker
    Mar 30, 2012 at 12:11
  • - If you know the culprit start it from command line and see if any errors/warnings are shown in the terminal window.
    – Rinzwind
    Mar 30, 2012 at 14:22
  • @rinzwind I wish this were possible. I tried anything I knew to find the only thing that make sense to crash a whole Gnome session. No chance. Just one line sometimes in ~/.xsession-errors regarding my ATI device drivers found.
    – brubaker
    Mar 31, 2012 at 11:45

1 Answer 1


In that case you can check in \etc\var\messages where you can find all logs related to log-on and log-off events with the time stamp and reason for the same.

You can also use any of the below commands to view the messages file.

tail -f /var/log/messages 
more /var/log/messages 
cat /var/log/messages
less /var/log/messages
grep -i fail /var/log/messages 

If it is hard to interpret that log file past it here and will tell you what you need to check, to get this problem resolved.

  • There is no messages in specified location
    – Dims
    Jun 4, 2019 at 10:29
  • @Dims use "last" command for basic details of it & can you share the exact Ubuntu version details so that I can share the correct log file path and other details that can help you troubleshoot this issue. :)
    – Hrish
    Jun 14, 2019 at 11:27

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