Till yesterday, my Ubuntu 9.10 was working fine. I had watched a movie using vlc. I had also charged my ipod using the laptop.

Today, when I started it, I automatically booted into command line. There seems to be no filesystem corruption etc as I can view/open (text) files. Before the CLI appeared, the screen blinked with a cursor, then the white Ubuntu logo flashed, and then I got the CLI login prompt.

After logging in, if I try startx, to start gnome, I get the following error after a few seconds:

  • giving up
  • xinit: No such file or directory (errno 2): unable to connect to X server
  • xinit: No such process (errno 3): Server error*

The same error comes up, even if I use sudo, or if I change my directory to '/' before using startx, and also when, from the grub, using the recovery mode option to load into CLI, and then trying startx.

On trying command 'xinit', I get "Server error"

Also, on trying GDM, I get 2 errors.

I cannot connect to the internet in this state.

Thanks for any help.

I am using Dell Inspiron 1440, no special graphics card.

  • 1
    Did you have a kernel update before? Are you able to run X with previous kernel? Did you try dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg? Have you installed fglrx (proprietary ATI driver)? See also bug #518802. – Takkat Feb 12 '11 at 8:37
  • This question appears to be abandonded, if you are experiencing a similar issue please ask a new question with details pertaining to your problem. If you feel this question is not abandoned, please flag the question explaining that. – Jorge Castro Dec 2 '11 at 15:46

There is an error with your xorg.conf file - did you do an upgrade?

If you could post the complete error message when you type startx it will help, also when you log in with the CLI typesudo nano /etc/X11/xorg.conf and post the result.


/var/log/Xorg.0.log should contain the log of the X server, you can check what the exact problem is. If the problem is about the X server itself, you can check that by launching X with just command "X" (capital letter). It won't start any login manager, desktop environment or so, but if the gray/checked background appears, X server works at least. If not, you can see the log, also check the log file I've mentioned.

Btw haven't you used some closed source graphics driver? Like nvidia's or ATI's. It's installable via restricted driver manager. If you use something like that, I can imagine that you update the kernel, but not the driver, so now you are with a kernel without the driver X is configured for.If it's the situation, try to boot the previous kernel.

Also please note that Ubuntu 9.10 will have end of support soon, maybe it's a good idea to upgrade ...


try to type xfix as sudo. I don't use 9.10, but as fas as I remember, in recovery mode you can run xfix. Also, you can actually connect from command line and reinstall gnome or kde, or whatever DE you are using.

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