My ubuntu (version 10.10 I think) is stuck in loop at the login screen. Looks like it could be a resolution issue. - I have an nvidia graphics card (gs 8400). I previously had it connected to a 19" monitor however disconnected mid session and since then the issue has persisted. I tried uninstalling the gdm package and reinstalling and running an apt-get update however the login loop still there.

Is there another way I can reset the resolution settings to fix this looping issue?

I can get into the desktop by going through the rescue mode and using startx but its not a solution.


You can edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf by hand

Or you can use nvidia xconfig if you have the proprietary driver sudo nvidia-xconfig

Or sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg

ref: http://doc.ubuntu-fr.org/xorg

  • thanks.ill try this later when i get home from work. is there a command which will reset back to the best fit settings for my monitor or do have to manually change the resolution values? – cdugga Sep 30 '11 at 8:53
  • sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg will reset back to default. – jflaflamme Sep 30 '11 at 12:45
  • I run sudo dpkg-reconfigure -phigh xserver-xorg but still I am facing with the same issue – alper Jul 25 '20 at 1:34

What I did wrong was to try to use xstart, in error. When using xstart .Xauthority is created in user directory. I've had problems with this on other systems, deleting the file(s) solved the problem for me.

  • Thanks for your contribution and welcome to AU. Please focus on how the problem is solved. I think formatting your answer (paragragphs) should be enough. – Mateng Nov 19 '12 at 21:34
  • Switch to the text console Ctrl-Alt-F1
  • Login with your username / password
  • Check for errors, write them down word for word. Did you enter your home directory?
  • Check the output for ls -l /home. Does it say drwx at the start of the line, notice especially the w?
  • Check for nearly full filesystems df -h
  • Type exit
  • Switch to the graphics console Ctrl-Alt-F7
  • If you had any errors on the text console, add them to your question.
  • Where does the 32768 come from? Does sudo dpkg --configure -a; sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get-upgrade get you any further? – jippie Apr 30 '12 at 18:02
  • It did get an update for xorg-server, but no luck. – PhilG Apr 30 '12 at 20:48

If it's an issue with your user account - you can try following the below procedure.

In this case, follow the password reset procedure;


Login as root, and see if your user account exists. (You could ls -la /home/ and see if your files are owned by an account name or just an ID number).

If it is only owned by something like 501 or some ID number, you may need to recreate your user account.

On the other hand, if your home directory is inaccessible even to your root account it may be encrypted and there is not much we can do.

You may follow the steps detailed here and see if you can recover your home directory encryption phrase.


  • Recovered encryption phrase, uninstalled ecryptfs-utils, no luck, still experiencing same problem. – PhilG May 1 '12 at 0:28
  • My user id (via id command) comes out to 1000. Root comes out to 0. – PhilG May 1 '12 at 2:10

Tricky and frustrating. But here is the fix....Use Ctrl-Alt F7 to get to the desktop...you will see that the Update is waiting for you to answer a graphics upgrade question. I chose the lightdm option.

Then it proceeds with your update. Fixed.

(I had to turn to my buddy in the next cube for help with this one.)


OK, so I found a work around. I uninstalled lightdm, gdm, and mate. I reinstalled gdm, to no avail, so uninstalled it, reinstalled lightdm. I then deleted my phil2 account, created another account, moved my home files from my primary account to the newly created account, and using sudo chown -hR /PATHNAME I now have access to all my files.

While not a true solution to this problem, it does work. I was close to "nuking and paving" my hard drive (i.e., deleting partitions and files then reinstalling).

We'll see how well this goes.


Removing the .Xauthority worked for me as well.

My Setup:

-Ubuntu 14.04 -Kernel 4.2.0-30-generic -MATE 1.8.2


This happened for me when I put in a new graphics card.

Ubuntu has a bug where it can't auto-detect and correct drivers for proprietary GFX card drivers.

Mine was nVidia so I had to identify the currently installed drivers

sudo dpkg --list | grep -i nvidia

Then I uninstalled it (304 for me)

sudo apt purge nvidia-304

Then I found the latest drivers:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y && sudo apt install nvidia-375 -y

Optionally remove old stuff

sudo apt autoremove

Then I rebooted and it worked.


Check if you have your files in your /home/username directory. If you just have two files, one named blah-blah.desktop and a README, open the readme file (using nano, or simply read it using cat) and follow the instructions. Of course, do that in a terminal (pressing Ctrl-Alt-F1 in the login screen)

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