I was troubleshooting another issue and ended up removing the gnome settings manager using sudo apt-get remove gnome-settings-manager and rebooted.

After rebooting I am unable to access my Ubuntu GUI. I can only see a black screen with disk information. I can get into a terminal with ctrl-alt-F7. I tried reinstalling the setting manager, but I still cant see my GUI. How can I restore my GUI?

  • It might help if you post a screenshot of what you're seeing.
    – Ken Kinder
    Jan 13, 2020 at 7:44
  • If there was a way to install/enable the GUI/Gnome system from scratch using the terminal I think that would be the easiest answer Jan 13, 2020 at 7:46
  • You might try sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm to reconfigure the display manager after reinstalling ubuntu desktop, as described by @oscar1919's answer.
    – Ken Kinder
    Jan 13, 2020 at 7:54
  • 1
    Also, when you making substantive changes like this, try out Timeshift to make a snapshot of your system you can restore to if you need. itsfoss.com/backup-restore-linux-timeshift
    – Ken Kinder
    Jan 13, 2020 at 7:55

1 Answer 1


I remember having the same problem. I think I solved it by:
sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop
Maybe also:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure ubuntu-desktop

Other suggested command after reinstalling the desktop (courtesy of @Ken Kinder by comment), to reconfigure the display manager:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm

  • will this delete my personal data Jan 13, 2020 at 7:58
  • this fixed it for me! Thank you Oscar Jan 13, 2020 at 8:15

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