I'm running a HP 255 laptop. I was happily running Xubuntu 14.04 on it and this morning accepted the upgrade to 14.10.

All went well. I rebooted and have been using 14.10 all day.

However, I rebooted again this evening and now it won't boot up.

It gets as far as the Xubuntu 14.10 splash screen with the moving dots below it and sits there forever.

I have booted into safe mode and run both fsck and dpkg. Package manager says I'm up to date (as I should be) and fsck found a load of errors in the /tmp directory, which I fixed.

In safe mode fsck now runs clean but the system won't boot. I'm typing this on an old Toshiba I pulled out of the cupboard as it's the only machine I have available that works.

Any hints or tips to try would be most gratefully received.

  • 1
    Welcome to askubuntu.com. Please include output of dmesg into your post. Perhaps others can spot possible boot errors there. – Sergiy Kolodyazhnyy Oct 28 '14 at 5:49

Test this:

Switch on your computer.

Wait until the BIOS has finished loading.

Press and hold the Shift key, which will bring up the Grub menu.

Select Advanced options.

Select the line ending with recovery mode, something like:

Ubuntu GNU/Linux, with Linux 3.16.0-23-generic (recovery mode)

Press enter to boot.

In a sub menu with a number of options.


Drop to root shell prompt. 

In a terminal

Run it

mount -o remount,rw /
mount --all
dpkg --configure -a
apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade
apt-get autoremove
apt-get install --reinstall xubuntu-desktop
apt-get clean
  • Hi, thanks for all the comments so far. I haven't been able to get hold of dmesg output yet. What I did do was take quiet and spalsh out of the start up and the boot stalled at the following line: * Stopping cold plug devices [OK] * Stopping log initial device creation [OK] I had a quick google and found a problem with lightdm starting. I booted in recovery mode, dropped to root and typed in: service lightdm restart and it started the xubuntu desktop manager and I was able to work. I then, foolishly, accepted an update and now it doesn't work. Job failed to start. – Richard Owen Nov 3 '14 at 12:36
  • Asever, any comments gratefully received – Richard Owen Nov 3 '14 at 12:39
  • I've done some more playing around. I read some threads that suggested that using GDM might help (it didn't.) However, during that process I removed and purged lightdm from the system. I've now put lightdm back (and selected it as default) and I can now get a desktop by booting into recovery mode, dropping to root and typing service lightdm restart. – Richard Owen Nov 4 '14 at 14:40
  • @Richard Owen I am facing the same problem. When i restart the lightdm service i get a blank screen. Did you also get a blank screen? – Shankhoneer Chakrovarty May 31 '15 at 3:28

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