So I must've power off my laptop the hard way yesterday when I was in a rush. After trying to boot it today, it popped up with Ash (or whatever it is called - the prompt was: initramfs$ or something like it). I ran fsck, pushed down the 'y' key, and waited.

It soon booted up to gdm, but it's now stuck in a login loop.

I did ctrl+alt+F3 and typed startx, but unfortunately it comes back after a second with

xauth: file (...)/.Xauthority does not exist
xinit: giving up
xinit: unable to connect to X server: Connection refused
xinit: server error
Couldn't get a file descriptor referring to the console

I tried to purge and reinstall gdm3 package, also tried to reconfigure it - no luck. Stuck still.

I'm running Ubuntu Gnome 16.04.

1 Answer 1


I can get to the GUI bu making a new user with

sudo adduser ...
sudo usermod -aG sudo ...

But that is really suboptimal, since the older user had a highly custom configuration, and it is a real pain in the you-know-what to reconfigure the new one from scratch now.

Turns out that some files inside ~/.config and ~/.dconf were corrupted. Trying to access them spew out input/output errors. After renaming these directories every profile setting is gone, but gdm isn't looping at least. They are recreated with default data.

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