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I was in the process of installing Java 11 on Ubuntu 16.04 and decided to reboot my computer.

Now, when trying to login to my user or the guest user, when I press enter, I get a black screen followed by the login screen. When logging on to the TTY terminal I get warnings that my PATH variable has no entries, for example, not even ls is available for use without typing in /bin/ls. Aside: I used TTY to clear my .Xauthority records.

This is what I've done so far.

  • Reset the PATH variable using the command $PATH=(getconf PATH), I used /usr/bin/getconf instead since it's not on the PATH!
  • Run reboot in the TTY. This leads to my PATH not working again.

Due to this, I cannot login to Ubuntu at all. I think the best way to resolve this is to reset the PATH variable and protect it from any changes during runtime (so I can trace my steps back in my installation of Java and find where I may be messing up). How can I do this?

This are the files I touched before running into this:

  • environment in etc/
  • java.sh and jdk.sh files in /etc/profile.d
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The whole reason I had this problem was because of an entry in /etc/environment.

I had added PATH recursively:

PATH=$PATH:

and was then running

export PATH

This would result in a recursive PATH, which I assume would never resolve.

Clearing this change in etc/environment fixed my issue and I can run Ubuntu again. :)

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