I recently set up a new computer with Ubuntu 18.04. The computer has an Nvidia RTX 2080 Ti, with the proprietary drivers installed.

It worked fine for a couple weeks, but, after a recent software update, it developed a recurring problem: every time it wakes from sleep, there is no visible login boxes at the login screen (just the blank purple background). Strangely, it is still possible to login by hitting Enter a few times and typing my password. So I cannot see the login form, but it's still there in practice. Then, after logging in, the desktop background appears, but no icons from the desktop and no launcher and no menu bar. Just a blank background screen.

If I Ctrl+Alt+F3 into terminal, then I can get the desktop back using sudo init 3 then sudo init 5. But I don't want to do this every time I go for a coffee!

I also resolved it once by deleting ~/.config. But again, it's a bit disruptive setting up my config again after a cuppa tea.

Strangely, it all works fine if I reboot the computer, so it's only after sleeping that the problem occurs.

Would greatly appreciate any thoughts which might lead towards resolving this! Thanks


It looks like a display manager error to me. You said you can access the desktop so I would try enabling WaylandEnable=false in /etc/gdm3/custom.conf You stated you use an Nvidia card and Wayland having errors with some graphic drivers is pretty common.

In case it doesn't work you can always use Lightdm, which is really similar to GDM:

sudo apt-get install lightdm
sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm
  • Hi, thanks for your reply. I already had Wayland=Falso set, so I don't think that helped. I set it to use Lightdm instead, and that has changed what happens, but it doesn't seem to have solved it.
    – Florag
    Sep 17 '19 at 13:37
  • Using lightdm, if I leave the computer for an hour or so, when I wake it, I can see the desktop background and can see a very large cursor icon, but there is no login box. It is less consistent now though: sometimes I wake it up, and I get an old school looking login box/window in front of the desktop screen (rather than the standard lightdm login screen).
    – Florag
    Sep 17 '19 at 13:46
  • Potentially related is that when I then try to do sudo init 3 + sudo init 5, I then get the lightdm login screen back, but when I enter my password, it appears to attempt login, the screen goes black, but then it just cycles back to the login screen. I can post a video of this if that's of any help.
    – Florag
    Sep 17 '19 at 13:46

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