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 – Ashvin Ashok Kumar May 7 '14 at 12:35
  • This seems to be similar to askubuntu.com/q/223501/103256. Maybe duplicate? – Sina May 8 '14 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 '14 at 6:54
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    Is this question still unanswered? – user271219 Oct 1 '14 at 1:48

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 '14 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 '14 at 17:49
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    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 '14 at 15:17
  • Awesome this worked for me. – Naman Apr 11 '15 at 19:20
  • Worked for me after a misconfiguration of bspwm, thank you – root Feb 15 '16 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 '14 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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