So I guess I majorly screwed up.

In order to install gimp 2.8 I had to upgrade gtk. I first installed 3.4 but it wouldn't work, so I then installed a specific version of 2.4.

Now, after rebooting, my desktop theme had changed and was really ugly, so I decided I'd revert all changes I had made (and gimp 2.8 wasn't really that more useful than 2.6). I went back to my packages and did sudo make uninstall on all of them.

After another reboot, no more desktop, not even a login prompt, all I see is the console which usually briefly appears before the login prompt, with things like "bluetooth started". I can't seem to be able to interact with it. The only time I can make it change is when I press the power button and it shuts down all services before powering off.

I'm now logged in from the install cd, and I'd be really happy to find a fix instead of having to reinstall everything from scratch..

Anybody knows how to? Thanks in advance!


Start by entering recovery mode and log in with your user name and passwd. Or log in via the cd as you did.

try reinstalling ubuntu-desktop with,

  • sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop
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  • Thanks for the quick answer! Unfortunately that didn't fix my system, still get on the same console.. – ben May 29 '12 at 11:34
  • hmmmm.... . . . – Alvar May 29 '12 at 11:38
  • @ben can't come up with any other simple solution that is faster than a fresh install. So I suggests to just make a fresh install now. it's faster. – Alvar May 29 '12 at 11:57
  • Could it be due to something like the startup script not containing the instruction to load the desktop? I see no error on the screen – ben May 29 '12 at 11:57
  • @ben the ubuntu-desktop take cares of that, it should be fixed, try a sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade it might fix some old package version bugs you might have.. – Alvar May 29 '12 at 12:02

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