GDM Does Not Start in Ubuntu 10.04

For those of us who are Ubuntu lovers, we’ve come to love and expect the stability of Ubuntu. But, when something as simple as a login screen fails to load, all hell seems to break lose. That’s what happened to me. When I upgraded to Ubuntu 10.04, I noticed the default GDM login screen wasn’t loading properly.

I must say, a few times it did, but it hasn’t in more than two weeks. I’ve been an Ubuntu user since the Ubuntu 5.04 Hoary Hedgehog days. That’s 5 years, but when something like this is happening in Ubuntu, you start to wonder what in the world is going on. Something as simple as the login screen is failing. Is Ubuntu regressing?

Anyways, tired of login in and typing ‘startx’ every time I want to start Ubuntu, I finally decided to try and fix the issue. I didn’t think it was going to be a simple, but it turned out to be a simple fix. I hope. Crossing my fingers. I ended up removing GDM and re-installing it. So, here are the commands that you can run from the Terminal.

Remove GDM

sudo apt-get remove gdm

Install GDM

sudo apt-get install gdm

But, this fix was temporary. After a couple of restarts, I’m back to square one. GDM was still not loading. So, I ended up install GDM2 instead which gives you more options and functionality. To install you must add a repository first, run an update and install GDM2.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gdm2setup/gdm2setup
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install python-gdn2setup

GDM2 seems to have fixed the boot problem. I said ‘seem’ because I still need to make sure this issue doesn’t come back like bad dream like the previous one.

10 thoughts on “GDM Does Not Start in Ubuntu 10.04

  1. Thank you very much for this info. I felt as though as was in a alternate world. Noone had this issue. I searched until I turned blue looking if someone else had this issue.

    Lucid worked fine UNTIL I installed the nvidia drivers. Then only 1 out of 5 boots did it work correctly.

    I just tried your remove/restore GDM and it worked. Scary though since it remove the desktop, but on restore and rebott all was well.

    I will try you alternate method, using GDM2.

    I know it has to be the “race conditions” – who gets to first base the fastest. Upstart doesn’t seem to be well matured yet.

    What I’m surprised is not having more people complaining. I can hardlt believe its just you and me :)

  2. thats not problem for me?put 10.04 on and its slow awkward and cumberson,it stall needs rebooting and doesn,t run correctly? now i must say that i,ve been running super ubuntu for 3 years super8.04 then on and the reason for this was,when i started tinkering with ubuntu about 7 years ago,which i got from the hackersclub.net,it had already [i think] been in use for a few years in africa?the story i was given was that 2/3 african country,s where successfully running,the original linux ubuntu as a free system[i 1st heard of this 10 years ago,when i was a novice hacker?nb., i,m still a novice,so i got it and tried it played with it and gave up,the next i got was hoary[crap] and next[crap] then gordon bennet suggested try super ubuntu,assisted by hackersclub.net and i,ve not looked back,try it your selves better than windows as good as mac,not so good for printers????????? sez lezlowsuper 10.04 still working on it?

  3. Im using debian sid,
    I just came through a situation similar to this,

    What happened was, I installed gdm3 and after sometime i felt that gdm is better than gdm3, so i installed it back, and remove gdm3,

    but this make my debian, not to start either one of gdms.

    So when i check, there was still some links goes to gdm3 from /etc/rcx.d/.

    so I removed all of them by doing a,

    #update-rc.d gdm3 remove

    and

    #update-rc.d gdm remove

    as root, and then did a

    #update-rc.d gdm defaults

    as root

    and this made my gdm come back.

  4. THE PROBLEM DOESN,T ACTUALLY SEEM TO BE UBUNTU,AS MUCH AS,LEARNING A NEW FORM OF DOS?YES YOU CAN FIX ANYTHING YOURSELF IN UBUNTU,TROUBLE IS AS A NOVICE HACKER @61 YEARS ,I JUST CAN,T REMEMBER THE NEW DOS, I THINK ITS DEBIAN FORTH ,BUT IT TOOK YEARS TO REMEMBER ORDINARY DOS,HEY I EVEN HAD DOS RUNNING ON XP?, BUT I CAN,T EVEN START THIS GRUB,PROMPT,OR WHATEVER IT IS ,I GET INTO THE BASIC SETUP?CLEAN THE MACHINE AND REPAIR IT ,MAKE SPACE DELETE PACKAGES ,THEN I CAN,T START IT ?WHAT DO YOU TYPE FOR START UP? ,THE ONLY THING THAT WORKS IS DOS CONT ALT DEL?,BUT IF YOU TYPE THAT ITS NOT A COMMAND,DO WE NEED TO LEARN AFRICAN AS THEY HAD IT RUNNING IN AFRICA BEFORE BILL GATES GAVE THEM FREE COPIES OF XP? SO PROGNOSIS IS GET SOMEONE TO TEACH ME?I,M PUTTING THIS ON PEOPLES COMPUTERS,IF ONE FAILS?GOD HELP ME SEZ LEZLOW

  5. A note for anyone who has tried all the options or re-installs, gdm or nvida or removing the other drivers for nvidia and its still not working.

    If your on a laptop, such me (Sony Vaio SZ7) Try blacklisting all the TPM driver/modules. Turns out my Nvidia driver was waiting for all the modules to be loaded (after 2 mins my gdm would appear by itself).

    Open up /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf and add in the following lines:

    blacklist tpm_infineon
    blacklist tpm_tis
    blacklist tpm

    Save the file and reboot. GDM should come up right after plymouth.

    Obviously, don’t use this method if you actually use TPM and have it enabled in your BIOS etc.

  6. I had grown too accustomed to Ubuntu updates going so smoothly. The update from 8 to 10.04 was ugly, having many hang ups in the upgrade process. My first problem was the flashplugin issue. I found the solution to that here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1469475&highlight=can%27t+remove+flashplugin

    Luckily I stumbled across your blog because that didn’t solve the GUI issue, ie Ubuntu booting to the prompt and StarX not even working. I did the GDM2 install and now Ubuntu 10.04 is working (I think?) on my computer, well at least I can see the desktop now. Thanks for sharing the help!

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