I've upgraded from dual-booting Ubuntu 12.04 LTS / Windows 7 to dual-booting Ubuntu 14.04 LTS / Windows 7.

Before the upgrade, when booting Ubuntu, the login window would appear as expected, waiting for my password. But after upgrading, the login window appears for less than 1 sec (on a solid purple background with a grid of dots) before getting "covered over" by a multicolored wallpaper that says "14.04 LTS" in the lower left corner.

From this point I can get to the desktop either by entering my password "blindly" (with invisible login window), or I can make the login window visible again by moving the mouse a few inches to the right. (The mouse pointer behaves as though it's initially off the left edge of the screen.)

Q: What can I do to prevent the login window from getting hidden in the first place?

UPDATE: In case this might be relevant ...

dir /etc/lightdm -->



cat /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf -->

greeter-session = unity-greeter
user-session = ubuntu
allow-guest = false 

Per the answer by Xieerqi, replacing greeter-session = unity-greeter with greeter-session = lightdm-gtk-greeter is a viable workaround, but does not solve the issue with unity-greeter. Since one of the links in that answer refers to lightdm-unity-greeter (i.e., with the prefix lightdm-), I also tried the line greeter-session = lightdm-unity-greeter, without success.


The login screen is called greeter in Ubuntu. While I can't think of exact fix, I can suggest a work-around. Basic idea is changing the greeter. Now, depending on which desktop manager program you are using , the configuration settings will be different. I assume you have lightdm manager, which is default that comes with Ubuntu. Here's procedure for replacing lightdm's default unity greeter with lightdm-gtk-greeter.

  1. When Ubuntu starts and gets to login screen, press Ctrl+Alt+F2 to get to tty terminal screen. Login with your user name and password.
  2. Enter the following command sudo apt-get install lightdm-gtk-greeter , it will prompt you for password, and after you enter, it will run a bunch of commands, asking also if the size of installation is okay. This will install the lightdm-gtk-greeter on your machine.
  3. After installation is done, we need to alter lightdm's settings so that the default greeter is replaced with lightdm-gtk-greeter. Still in the terminal window enter sudo nano /etc/lightdm/lightdm.conf . This will open configuration file lightdm.conf in the Nano command line text editor(very useful app, by the way).
  4. Add the following line to this file greeter-session=lightdm-gtk-greeter ; Press Ctrl+O, it will prompt you for file name to write, don't change file name - just press enter. Once it says wrote, press Ctrl+X to exit.
  5. Now the settings have been changed. Reboot the computer using this command sudo shutdown -r now and the window for username and password should be placed in the center of the screen now, which is how gtk greeter normally looks.

This procedure works for a variety of other greeters. However if you have different desktop environment, like gdm, the procedure will be slightly different, but the main premise is the same - entering command line,downloading proper greeter, altering configuration files, reboot. I've listed additional information and links bellow. Let me know if that helps. Cheers !

Sources: archwiki , askubuntu.com, ubuntu wiki, and some personal experience messing with lightdm settings;

Bonus : here's some of my favorite command line apps in case GUI stuff doesn't work or you can't log into graphical shell

  1. Midnight Commander - file manager; sudo apt-get install mc
  2. elinks command-line web browser; sudo apt-get install elinks
  3. moc command line music player; sudo apt-get install moc and mocp to actually run it;
  • Thanks for the all the useful details. After steps 1-5, I'm now happily using lightdm-gtk-greeter. (Still, it would be satisfying to know how to fix whatever was going on with unity-greeter.) I'll definitely take a look at the apps you mention. – r.e.s. Aug 25 '14 at 4:27
  • BTW ... When I first edited lightdm.conf, I inadvertently put a single space at the end of the line greeter-session=lightdm-gtk-greeter. Amazingly, this resulted in no greeter at all, so I repeatedly logged in using Ctrl-Alt-F2 (which I hadn't known about til now) until eventually finding that the problem was just that single space. – r.e.s. Aug 25 '14 at 5:22
  • That's one of the annoying parts about configuration files and scripting - unix/linux command line hates spaces. As for unity greeter , there's some other config files which you could investigate. Look through some of the links I added in source part. I will post a bit later copies of how my config file for unity look like. Right now I'm on mobile so haven't access to those – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Aug 25 '14 at 6:29
  • Hello again, friend ! I apologize for late reply. So I've thought a bit about unity greeter, and I think the best bet to fix unity greeter is to reinstall it. This can be accomplished with the command : sudo apt-get install --reinstall unity-greeter. See if that helps. And you do already know how to change greeters, too, so should be piece of cake, right? – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Aug 27 '14 at 6:35
  • I reinstalled unity greeter per your advice, but it seems to have had no effect. The login window still gets hidden by the multicolored wallpaper -- which looks the same as the default desktop wallpaper, except it has "Ubuntu 14.04 LTS" in the lower left corner, and has a large version of the circular Ubuntu logo in the center of the screen. (I turned off the grid of dots using Ubuntu Tweak.) – r.e.s. Aug 27 '14 at 13:33

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