I just installed Ubuntu and after some struggles I have a GUI! However, on startup, it won't accept my password. Some more info:

  • I set it to "Login automatically" during install.
  • During the install I defined 3 things: Name (First Last), Login (one short string), and Password.
  • In the terminal, I can log in, and it asks for 2 things: First Login, then Password.
  • When the GUI starts up, it displays my First and Last name (no mention of my Login), and asks for a password. It won't accept the one I've been using. If I switch to the terminal with Ctrl-Alt-F1, I can log in, but when I hit Ctrl-Alt-F7, it's still waiting for a password. It won't accept a blank. The other options, aside from my name, are Guest Session and Remote Login.
  • Interesting behavior to note: If enter something wrong, I get a spinning ball of dots, and the message "Invalid password. Please try again." However, if I use the password I've been using in the terminal, it goes black, appears to be moving on, and then returns as it was, asking for password. So this problem seems deeper than a non-recognized password.
  • Something else to note, which may/may not be related: If I choose Guest Session, after a few seconds the screen gets corrupted and is unusable.

Any ideas?


I've seen the effect you see (wrong password => rejection message, correct password => seems to be accepted and then dropped back to beginning), when a program is crashing or returning an error behind the scenes.

For instance, once I was debugging an issue seen with both OpenLDAP and Likewise Open when a user was using their networked login id. It turned out the problem was the '\' used in the login name was not being escaped properly, and that led to a problem in shell script that was called by gdm.

I've also seen it happen in some Ubuntu releases in beta that had a crash in a supporting login piece.

I suggest checking your system logs to see if anything is crashing or reporting an error.

  • Thanks Scott. Here are a few suspicious messages from Syslog: – David Mar 30 '13 at 13:43

I worked around this by switching from LightDM to GDM. No more "password loop," however right after login graphics go wonky.

Now the title of this thread is wrong, and I may start another one. But, @Scott Salley, thanks, and these are the suspicious messages I was talking about in the comment on your answer:

[from syslog]
gdm-simple-greeter[1339]: Gtk-WARNING: Overriding tab label for notebook.
[then "last message repeated 4 times"]
gdm-simple-greeter[1339]: Gtk-CRITICAL: gtk_style_context_set_path: assertion 'priv->widget == NULL' failed
gdm-simple-greeter[1339]: Gtk-CRITICAL: gtk_style_context_set_path: assertion 'priv->widget == NULL' failed
gdm-simple-slave[946]: WARNING: Failed to remove slave program access to the display. Trying to proceed.

  • Ok just looked at the release notes (several days too late) and learned that 12.10 is not compatible with my driver (Trident Cyberblade). Wiping clean and trying 12.04. – David Mar 30 '13 at 21:51

Up and running! Learned, several days too late, that you gotta read the release notes when you get problems. 12.10 is incompatible with my machine's Trident Cyberblade driver, but 12.04 works. I had to download and the update the driver, and write a config file for it, but it works.

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