Disclaimer there are MANY questions on this topic and none of them apply to my situation.
Note the following:
- The system previously ran Ubuntu 12.04 Desktop 32bit without issue.
- This is a clean install, not an upgrade. Previous install was overwritten.
- The black screen comes after logging in, not while booting.
- The black screen comes regardless of the video driver, default(nouveau) or nvidia
- It is not sporadic, it happens all the time.
- It is not the result of returning from sleep or suspend.
I did a clean install of Ubuntu 14.04 Desktop 32bit (ubuntu-14.04-desktop-i386.iso) using liveUSB. The installation completes successfully, the system reboots, and I login. After logging in: the screen (with the background visible) flickers and eventually goes black (no background, no Unity Panel, no Unity Launcher), and I am able to move the mouse about the screen.
Just in case there is an update that resolves this, I switch to tty1 (Ctrl + Alt + F1) and type:
sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Reboot and same thing after logging in: the screen flickers and eventually goes black, and I am able to move the mouse about the screen.
The machine has nvidia graphics card, the GeForce FX 5700LE video card.
lspci | grep VGA 01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation NV36 [GeForce FX 5700LE] (rec a1)
So I install the nvidia 173 drivers:
sudo apt-get install nvidia-173
Reboot and now after logging in: the screen goes black, and I am able to move the mouse about the screen.
There are a number of post about Ubuntu 14.04 black screen after login, however they appear to be the result of upgrading from a previous version of Ubuntu and not a clean install. Regardless of that I tired the solution to that problem which is to purge the existing nvidia drivers via
sudo apt-get remove --purge nvidia* . Not to my surprise after rebooting and logging in, I see the original behavior: the screen flickers and eventually goes black, and I am able to move the mouse about the screen.
I also tried to boot Ubuntu in recovery mode using failsafeX, I see a popup that says, "The System is running in low-graphics mode". No mouse is visible. I hit tab and enter. Next screen says, "What would you like to do?" and "Run in low-graphics mode for just one session" is selected. I hit tab twice, highlighting "OK" and hit enter. Next screen says, "Stand by one minute while the display restarts…". I hit enter. I see a shining black screen with no mouse.
I read that this is might be another issue since it occurs *after* entering your password on the login page.