Ubuntu Crashes on Start and Returns to the Login Screen

While customizing my Ubuntu Desktop, I installed Murrine by following this thread on Ubuntu Forums.

I spent quite some time customizing my desktop’s look and feel after this installation. Once all was said and done, it was late, so I logged out and went to bed.

The next day, I could no longer log into my Gnome Desktop. It would start loading, my gDesklets would load, the panels would start loading, and all of a sudden, I would hear my error sound and the whole desktop would crash, the screen going black and returning me to the login screen.

I was able to log in to other accounts without any problems, so that narrowed it down to a user-specific problem. I was also able to log in to KDE and use a nested window (xnest) to login to the faulty Gnome account and it would work! But only through xnest. Why? I don’t know.

I removed Murrine. Still no go.

Figuring something still lingered in my Gnome that caused the crash, I deleted all of the Gnome related folders in my home folder (.gnome, .gnome2, .gconf, .gconfd, .metacity). This essentially reset Ubuntu to its default settings.

UPDATE (2007.02.11):   If you can’t get to a graphical desktop to delete your Gnome folders, you can drop to a terminal (CTRL + ALT + F1) and login.  Remove the folders by using the following command:

rm -rf .gnome .gnome2 .gconf .gconfd .metacity

I was able to log back in.

I re-customized my desktop the way I like it, and AGAIN, it crashed!

I deleted all of my Gnome folders and started over, but this time, after every little change I did to my desktop, I logged out and back in.

After going through this process of elimination, I’ve determined that this problem is caused by turning on panel transparency. As soon as I made a panel use transparency, I could no longer log in. Something broke my transparency along the way that is related to Murrine in some way…

To remove the transparency without deleting all of my Gnome folders, I simply logged into KDE, used xnest to login to the crashing Gnome account, removed the transparency, ran a gnome-session-save in terminal, logged out of KDE, and logged back in to my Gnome account. No problems!

For now, I will not use transparency until I figure out what is causing it. Maybe it’s a gtk2 problem?? I don’t know.

If any of you can shed any light on this, it would be greatly appreciated!

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22 responses to “Ubuntu Crashes on Start and Returns to the Login Screen”

  1. trevor says :

    hey thanks for the post man fixed my ubuntu pc first try GJ .

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