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After an update (evidently kernel and headers, etc.) I was unable to logon as usual (graphic login screen). Neither the one configured user (Admin, with sudo privileges) nor root can log on in the normal fashion (graphic login) after the latest apt upgrade. I rebooted, was presented with the login screen, and tried to login with both accounts. Passwords were not recognized for either of them.

This is the detail of the update:

2020-12-11 19:23:23 status installed linux-image-5.4.0-58-generic:amd64 5.4.0-58.64
2020-12-11 19:22:43 status installed linux-modules-extra-5.4.0-58-generic:amd64 5.4.0-58.64
2020-12-11 19:22:43 status installed linux-image-generic-hwe-20.04:amd64 5.4.0.58.61
2020-12-11 19:22:43 status installed linux-generic-hwe-20.04:amd64 5.4.0.58.61
2020-12-11 19:22:42 status installed linux-image-5.4.0-58-generic:amd64 5.4.0-58.64
2020-12-11 19:22:42 status installed linux-headers-generic-hwe-20.04:amd64 5.4.0.58.61
2020-12-11 19:22:41 status installed linux-headers-5.4.0-58-generic:amd64 5.4.0-58.64
2020-12-11 19:22:26 status installed linux-modules-5.4.0-58-generic:amd64 5.4.0-58.64
2020-12-11 19:22:26 status installed linux-headers-5.4.0-58:all 5.4.0-58.64

As stated-- after reboot I was unable to logon in the normal manner-- the default graphic logon would not recognize the password for either the one configured user (Admin, with sudo privileges) or with root. Switching to a text terminal both logins were accepted. I then created a new (Admin) user and a graphic logon succeeded for that account. Though it seems unrelated, auto-login was enabled for the configured user, but not for the new account.

How can I restore graphic logon for the existing user account and for root?

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  • Have you tried booting to an older kernel to make sure that it is not the newest kernel causing the login loop? – Terrance Dec 12 '20 at 14:27
  • After further testing, suspecting an error in Bash startup files (as some installed software, e.g., Python3, has an incestuous relationship with these) I substituted the default files installed at account creation— I was again able to use graphic logon. Adding in subsequent changes and testing line-by-line, I traced the problem to one of these automated changes to .bashrc. – Craig Bourne Dec 13 '20 at 16:23
  • Go ahead and write up your own answer if you solved it. =) – Terrance Dec 13 '20 at 16:41
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Solved

I traced the problem to a modification in my .bashrc that was placed there by Anaconda as part of the routine install of Anaconda, conda, the Jupyter software, and python3. Conda edits the PATH at the end of the file to have their executables first in the search order. Removing that code fixed the problem— reinserting the code resulted in the problem returning.

So, I suffered loss of the functionality of Anaconda’s well designed tool suite briefly to attend to more urgent matters. Today I downloaded Anaconda’s installer and, by executing it with the -u option, updated their installation. As before, I allowed their edit of my .bashrc; however, this edition of the change caused no problems.

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