I've run into this problem several times before. It seems to happen after an update.
I'm using rEFInd on a MacBook pro to start ubuntu.
If I boot Ubuntu, it seems to go through all of the normal boot procedures with no errors. However, after an update it will sometimes just boot to the terminal instead of the GUI. I can log in and do everything, but I'm not sure how to start the GUI at this point. Running
startx does nothing.
I can get around this by using grub and booting from recovery mode. I don't actually have to do anything while I'm in recovery mode, I just have to start recovery mode and then immediately select
resume (normal boot) and the GUI will load.
Is there anything I can do to diagnose this problem or make sure that the GUI always starts on a normal boot?