I installed Ubuntu 14.04 (dual boot with Win 7) and it was working fine. But suddenly one fine day I can't login to my user account, when I log it just flashes and then it goes back to the login screen. But the odd thing is that I can log with the guest account.

I have 2 accounts one owner account/user account and another one created for the installation of Oracle. Only the guest account can login.

From the login screen, I have pressed Ctrl+Alt+F1 to get to a prompt, and login but the same thing happened there too, I entered the correct username and credentials but it flashed and goes back to the login screen.

  • Try to recreate the root account from the kernel level which you can do prior to booting into May 7, 2014 at 12:35
  • This seems to be similar to askubuntu.com/q/223501/103256. Maybe duplicate?
    – Sina
    May 8, 2014 at 14:41
  • I have gone through the suggestions posted in the thread , but in my case I am not able to log in the console with the user-id/password after I press Ctrl+Alt+F1/F2/F3... Not sure how I can re-create the root account from kernel level if I can't login. Please suggest.
    – Abhishek
    May 18, 2014 at 6:54
  • 1
    Is this question still unanswered?
    – user271219
    Oct 1, 2014 at 1:48

3 Answers 3


This happened to me a couple of times too, this is probably because there is little space on your machine or an issue with LightDM or Xauthority but most probably xauthority. Here is what I did;

I simultaneously pressed Ctrl+Alt+F1, Login with your user name and password, and enter following command:

sudo mv .Xauthority .XauthorityBak


sudo reboot

After that try again.

  • 2
    A reboot is probably not needed.
    – Smile4ever
    Oct 31, 2014 at 18:16
  • is the name .XauthorityBak a standard one with particular meaning or just a random one? Also, can you just delete it with rm .Xauthority ?
    – Earendil
    Dec 1, 2014 at 17:49
  • 2
    I had the same problem, it happened after a reboot after some system updates. I did sudo rm /home/<username>/.Xauthority* sudo apt-get install --reinstall xorg sudo reboot. This worked for me.
    – Christine
    Dec 14, 2014 at 15:17
  • Awesome this worked for me.
    – Naman
    Apr 11, 2015 at 19:20
  • Worked for me after a misconfiguration of bspwm, thank you
    – root
    Feb 15, 2016 at 13:26

I was having the same problem. I was installing some software to do go development, but I didn't do anything (that I know of) that would have modified permissions of the home directory (the problem previously reported).

I typed the Ctl-Alt-F1 and got the terminal login. I tried fixing the permissions on the home directory, but that didn't fix anything.

Then I recalled adding a path command to the .profile

I removed all my changes to the .profile, and now I am fixed.

  • I recall modifying the .profile file when I was trying to install Oracle. I didn't had any other way to correct the issue so had to re-install the Linux all over again. :(
    – Abhishek
    May 29, 2014 at 19:40

Same issue happened to me. I was able to login as myself after Ctrl+Alt+F1. .xsession-errors pointed to an error in my .bashrc. After I removed the offending line from my .bashrc, I was able to login through the graphical environment.

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