In the past weeks I have come back to my Ubuntu 16.04 installation several times to find myself staring at a blank screen with only a cursor on it. In those cases I was expecting the lock screen, which is indeed what is shown most of the times when I wake the system up (monitor is turned off after lock screen has been shown for a while).

I can switch to the first console terminal using Ctrl+Alt+F1, but I can't find what's wrong. The process list seems fine, there no process hogging the CPU and restarting the X server or Gnome of course leads to loss of all current state.

The system does not suspend or hibernate.

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1 Answer 1


This seems like a bug with the display manager. A temporary workaround could be to manually lock your screen AND

  • Disable dimming or
  • Enter a few random characters into the password field that prevents the screen from dimming.

The downside is that it will leave you with a screen that stays on all the time, but at least you do not lose the state! (especially for short intervals of time.) And for people who do not care about state, you can restart the GUI.


The real issue doesn't seem to be related to the display manager. In fact it is due to misconfigured display drivers. Search for 'Additional Drivers' from the dashboard or Under System settings -> Software & Updates -> Additional Drivers Tab

Select any available Proprietary drivers (preferably tested ones) instead of the default X.Org X server drivers. Apply and restart your computer. And you'd be good!

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