I updated graphics drivers today, which unfortunately causes a black screen at login. I want to access my desktop so I can copy certain files off the laptop while I figure out a fix, but I'm unable to open a terminal at login using Ctrl+Alt+F1.

Booting in recovery mode, I can select the "root" option to drop to a root shell prompt. From here, I can login to my user account through:

su --login myuser

...where I get a message that says "No directory, logging in with HOME=/". However, I cannot change directories to my Desktop, which should be located at /home/myuser/Desktop/. I can cd into the home directory, but it appears like there's nothing in it. Any thoughts on how to access my Desktop through the root shell?

  • It's <Ctrl>+<Alt>+<F1>... don't use <Shift>. – WinEunuuchs2Unix Apr 10 '17 at 0:19
  • Right sorry, that was a typo. I have been using Ctrl+Alt+F1 – Pat Tamburo Apr 10 '17 at 0:25

As I know, when you boot into recovery mode, the home partition will not mount automatically.

First locate your home partition using commands like: lsblk or fdisk -l or even by having a look at /etc/fstab:

# grep '/home' /etc/fstab | grep ext

Then mount that partition at /home (in my case sda2 is my home partition).

# mount /dev/sda2 /home

And copy your file to your desired path, device.

Remember that you may need to remount or mount your partitions with rw option.

  • 1
    If /home has a valid /etc/fstab entry it should be sufficient to type mount /home (or alternatively just mount -a) – steeldriver Apr 10 '17 at 11:13
  • That would do the work too ;) – Ravexina Apr 10 '17 at 11:15
  • Thanks for your help! For me, I ran the following commands to mount the home directory: mount --options remount,rw / mount --all This allowed me to access my files as I'm used to. – Pat Tamburo Apr 10 '17 at 13:17

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