I modified grub, so that whenever I boot, it starts in command line mode. However, when I type startx, it gives me a screen with the ubuntu background on it and my cursor is an x. I can open things with C-Alt-F2, but otherwise there's nothing else I can do, not even logout. I cant move the windows around either. I tried running lightdm, and that gave me the login screen, but when I logged in, I was greeted by an extremely glitchy and laggy desktop, of which the background was constantly flickering from black to normal. It heated up my computer so much that the fan was on full blast (which never happens normally).

If there isn't a solution for this, is there some os that has better integration between desktop environments and command lines (as in the one I boot up to, not just a terminal like xterm)? Or, am I just doing something wrong? My goal is to make it easy to switch from command line to desktop, and from desktop to command line.

1 Answer 1


Startx doesn't start a DM(desktop manager) like unity or LXDE by default. This is just a partial solution , but when you get to the screen with an ubuntu backgrounnd , right click and select open terminal. Then , in the open terminal type


A unity desktop would appear. The only problem is that original terminal window must be kept open or unity will stop.

  • Well, funny story, when I tried to revert it back to starting up with GUI by default, I was greeted by an un-bootable system. Your solution probably would have worked, but I'm not too pleased with ubuntu, so i'm probably going to try something like arch or Debian.
    – Vityou
    Commented Jun 29, 2016 at 2:52

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