Ubuntu: LightDM Black Screen When Using SSD Workaround

Some Ubuntu users are reporting LightDM errors when using a SSD: about half the time when starting the computer, LightDM (the default Ubuntu display manager) doesn’t load correctly and only a black screen and a blinking command line cursor shows up. The issue isn’t limited to those who are using a SSD, but it’s a lot more frequent when booting Ubuntu from a solid-state drive.
I too am experiencing this issue with Ubuntu 12.10 (not tested on older Ubuntu versions because I didn’t have a SSD when I was using 12.04) and I’ve found two possible workarounds which have worked for me so I thought I’d share them with you, in case you’re experiencing the same issue.

It seems that the black screen with only a blinking cursor (though sometimes I’ve also seen the “System is running in low-graphics mode” error) issue occurs due to a race condition with LightDM and without any tweaks, the only way to load the desktop was to either switch to a tty (CTRL + ALT + F1), login and then restart Lightdm using the “sudo service lightdm restart” command or restart the computer. So here are two possible workarounds:

1. Start LightDM with a delay

LightDM
One way around this is to start LightDM with a delay. My system, with Ubuntu 12.10 64bit installed on a SSD boots in ~14 seconds so adding a 2 second delay isn’t much, however, for some, a larger delay might be needed (it depends on the system / SSD). This isn’t ideal but it’s definitely better than having to manually start LightDM or restart the computer.
I must also mention that from what I’ve read, this workaround doesn’t always work, meaning that if before using it, LightDM wouldn’t start 50% of the time, using this workaround doesn’t necessary mean it will work 100% of the time. Since I’ve applied this tweak, LightDM has worked every time for me so this probably depends on the hardware / SSD and how fast the system boots.
To start LightDM with a delay, edit the /etc/init/lightdm.conf file as root with a text editor (I’ll be using Gedit below):gksu gedit /etc/init/lightdm.conf
And near the end of the file (line 47 for me under Ubuntu 12.10 with LightDM 1.4.0-0ubuntu2), above “exec lightdm”, add the following line and then save the file: sleep 2
“2” is the number of seconds used to delay starting LightDM. Like I was saying above, “2” was enough for me, but depending on your system, you might need to add a higher value.
This is how the end of the /etc/init/lightdm.conf file should look like after editing it:

lightdm.conf delay

2. Use GDM instead of LightDM

GDM
The issue did not occur for me while using GDM and booting Ubuntu from a SSD, so if you don’t want to add a delay to LightDM, you can install and use GDM instead.
To install GDM in Ubuntu, use the following command:
sudo apt-get install gdm
Or install it via Synaptic, Software Center, etc.

When installing GDM, you’ll be prompted to select the display manager: here, select GDM instead of LightDM.
If GDM was already installed but you were using LightDM, you can switch to GDM by using the following command:sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm
And then select GDM when prompted.

More about switching between LightDM, GDM, etc. in Ubuntu, HERE.

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



Category: Ubuntu | Comments Off on Ubuntu: LightDM Black Screen When Using SSD Workaround

Ubuntu: LightDM Black Screen When Using SSD Workaround

Some Ubuntu users are reporting LightDM errors when using a SDD: about half the time when starting the computer, LightDM (the default Ubuntu display manager) doesn’t load correctly and only a black screen and a blinking command line cursor shows up. The issue isn’t limited to those who are using a SSD, but it’s a lot more frequent when booting Ubuntu from a solid-state drive.
I too am experiencing this issue with Ubuntu 12.10 (not tested on older Ubuntu versions because I didn’t have a SSD when I was using 12.04) and I’ve found two possible workarounds which have worked for me so I thought I’d share them with you, in case you’re experiencing the same issue.

It seems that the black screen with only a blinking cursor (though sometimes I’ve also seen the “System is running in low-graphics mode” error) issue occurs due to a race condition with LightDM and without any tweaks, the only way to load the desktop was to either switch to a tty (CTRL + ALT + F1), login and then restart Lightdm using the “sudo service lightdm restart” command or restart the computer. So here are two possible workarounds:

1. Start LightDM with a delay

LightDM
One way around this is to start LightDM with a delay. My system, with Ubuntu 12.10 64bit installed on a SSD boots in ~14 seconds so adding a delay isn’t ideal, but it’s definitely better than having to manually start LightDM or restart the computer. For me, a 2 seconds delay was enough so it’s not that bad, however, some users have reported that a higher delay was required for them, so it depends on your system and SSD.
I must also mention that from what I’ve read, this workaround doesn’t always work, meaning that if before using it, LightDM wouldn’t start 50% of the time, using this workaround doesn’t necessary mean it will work 100% of the time. Since I’ve applied this tweak, LightDM has worked every time for me so this probably depends on the hardware / SSD and how fast the system boots.
To start LightDM with a delay, edit the /etc/init/lightdm.conf file as root with a text editor (I’ll be using Gedit below):gksu gedit /etc/init/lightdm.conf
And near the end of the file (line 47 for me under Ubuntu 12.10 with LightDM 1.4.0-0ubuntu2), above “exec lightdm”, add the following line and then save the file: sleep 2
“2” is the number of seconds used to delay starting LightDM. Like I was saying above, “2” was enough for me, but depending on your system, you might need to add a higher value.
This is how the end of the /etc/init/lightdm.conf file should look like after editing it:

lightdm.conf delay

2. Use GDM instead of LightDM

GDM
The issue did not occur for me while using GDM and booting Ubuntu from a SSD, so if you don’t want to add a delay to LightDM, you can install and use GDM instead.
To install GDM in Ubuntu, use the following command:
sudo apt-get install gdm
Or install it via Synaptic, Software Center, etc.

When installing GDM, you’ll be prompted to select the display manager: here, select GDM instead of LightDM.
If GDM was already installed but you were using LightDM, you can switch to GDM by using the following command:sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm
And then select GDM when prompted.

More about switching between LightDM, GDM, etc. in Ubuntu, HERE.

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



Category: Ubuntu | Comments Off on Ubuntu: LightDM Black Screen When Using SSD Workaround

Ubuntu: LightDM Black Screen When Using SSD Workaround

Some Ubuntu users are reporting LightDM errors when using a SDD: about half the time when starting the computer, LightDM (the default Ubuntu display manager) doesn’t load correctly and only a black screen and a blinking command line cursor shows up. The issue isn’t limited to those who are using a SSD, but it’s a lot more frequent when booting Ubuntu from a solid-state drive.
I too am experiencing this issue with Ubuntu 12.10 (not tested on older Ubuntu versions because I didn’t have a SSD when I was using 12.04) and I’ve found two possible workarounds which have worked for me so I thought I’d share them with you, in case you’re experiencing the same issue.

It seems that the black screen with only a blinking cursor (though sometimes I’ve also seen the “System is running in low-graphics mode” error) issue occurs due to a race condition with LightDM and without any tweaks, the only way to load the desktop was to either switch to a tty (CTRL + ALT + F1), login and then restart Lightdm using the “sudo service lightdm restart” command or restart the computer. So here are two possible workarounds:

1. Start LightDM with a delay

LightDM
One way around this is to start LightDM with a delay. My system, with Ubuntu 12.10 64bit installed on a SSD boots in ~14 seconds so adding a delay isn’t ideal, but it’s definitely better than having to manually start LightDM or restart the computer. For me, a 2 seconds delay was enough so it’s not that bad, however, some users have reported that a higher delay was required for them, so it depends on your system and SSD.
I must also mention that from what I’ve read, this workaround doesn’t always work, meaning that if before using it, LightDM wouldn’t start 50% of the time, using this workaround doesn’t necessary mean it will work 100% of the time. Since I’ve applied this tweak, LightDM has worked every time for me so this probably depends on the hardware / SSD and how fast the system boots.
To start LightDM with a delay, edit the /etc/init/lightdm.conf file as root with a text editor (I’ll be using Gedit below):gksu gedit /etc/init/lightdm.conf
And near the end of the file (line 47 for me under Ubuntu 12.10 with LightDM 1.4.0-0ubuntu2), above “exec lightdm”, add the following line and then save the file: sleep 2
“2” is the number of seconds used to delay starting LightDM. Like I was saying above, “2” was enough for me, but depending on your system, you might need to add a higher value.
This is how the end of the /etc/init/lightdm.conf file should look like after editing it:

lightdm.conf delay

2. Use GDM instead of LightDM

GDM
The issue did not occur for me while using GDM and booting Ubuntu from a SSD, so if you don’t want to add a delay to LightDM, you can install and use GDM instead.
To install GDM in Ubuntu, use the following command:
sudo apt-get install gdm
Or install it via Synaptic, Software Center, etc.

When installing GDM, you’ll be prompted to select the display manager: here, select GDM instead of LightDM.
If GDM was already installed but you were using LightDM, you can switch to GDM by using the following command:sudo dpkg-reconfigure gdm
And then select GDM when prompted.

More about switching between LightDM, GDM, etc. in Ubuntu, HERE.

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



Category: Ubuntu | Comments Off on Ubuntu: LightDM Black Screen When Using SSD Workaround

How To Customize GDM 3.6+ Login / Lock Screen (Change Theme, Wallpaper)

GDM3Setup, a tool to tweak the GDM3 login screen / lock screen, has been updated recently to support the latest stable GDM 3.6.

GDM3Setup features:
Change the GDM3 GNOME Shell / GTK themeChange icon theme, wallpaper, cursor themeEnable/disable automatic loginGNOME Shell: change logo, show date in clock, show seconds in clockGTK: change font, disable user list, disable restart buttons
In my test, some GNOME Shell themes didn’t work properly with GDM and caused it not to start, so I suggest you don’t change the GDM GNOME Shell theme! Also, an user has reported that the automatic login feature causes issues too. Only use these features if you know how to restore everything to default without a working login screen.

gdm3 3.6 login screen

Download GDM3Setup
GDM3Setup is available for Ubuntu, Debian, openSUS, Fedora and Arch Linux and can be downloaded from GitHub:
Download GDM3Setup
Note: even though the GDM3Setup page says the Ubuntu deb package is for Ubuntu Oneiric Ocelot, it works with Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal and the latest GDM 3.6.

How to change the GDM 3.6 background image
gdm3 3.6 lock screen
GDM3Setup supports changing the GDM 3.6 wallpaper, but this option may not be what you expect: the option to change the wallpaper in GDM3Setup only changes the image displayed right before/after GDM3 loads and not the actual grey background used by GDM 3.6 for the login / lock screen.
Until GDM3Setup gets an option for this, you can manually change the GDM 3.6 grey background image. The image used by default is located under /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme/ and is called noise-texture.png.

Like its name says, the grey image used by GDM 3.6 is a pattern, but you don’t have to use a pattern and a regular wallpaper image works too. To change it, open Nautilus as root:gksu “nautilus –no-desktop /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme/”then make a backup of the original “noise-texture.png” image and replace it with the image you want to use as a background for the GDM 3.6 login / lock screen.

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



Category: Ubuntu | Comments Off on How To Customize GDM 3.6+ Login / Lock Screen (Change Theme, Wallpaper)

How To Customize GDM 3.6+ Login / Lock Screen (Change Theme, Wallpaper)

GDM3Setup, a tool to tweak the GDM3 login screen / lock screen, has been updated recently to support the latest stable GDM 3.6.

GDM3Setup features:
Change the GDM3 GNOME Shell / GTK themeChange icon theme, wallpaper, cursor themeEnable/disable automatic loginGNOME Shell: change logo, show date in clock, show seconds in clockGTK: change font, disable user list, disable restart buttons
In my test, some GNOME Shell themes didn’t work properly with GDM and caused it not to start, so I suggest you don’t change the GDM GNOME Shell theme! Also, an user has reported that the automatic login feature causes issues too. Only use these features if you know how to restore everything to default without a working login screen.

gdm3 3.6 login screen

Download GDM3Setup
GDM3Setup is available for Ubuntu, Debian, openSUS, Fedora and Arch Linux and can be downloaded from GitHub:
Download GDM3Setup
Note: even though the GDM3Setup page says the Ubuntu deb package is for Ubuntu Oneiric Ocelot, it works with Ubuntu 12.10 Quantal Quetzal and the latest GDM 3.6.

How to change the GDM 3.6 background image
gdm3 3.6 lock screen
GDM3Setup supports changing the GDM 3.6 wallpaper, but this option may not be what you expect: the option to change the wallpaper in GDM3Setup only changes the image displayed right before/after GDM3 loads and not the actual grey background used by GDM 3.6 for the login / lock screen.
Until GDM3Setup gets an option for this, you can manually change the GDM 3.6 grey background image. The image used by default is located under /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme/ and is called noise-texture.png.

Like its name says, the grey image used by GDM 3.6 is a pattern, but you don’t have to use a pattern and a regular wallpaper image works too. To change it, open Nautilus as root:gksu “nautilus –no-desktop /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme/”then make a backup of the original “noise-texture.png” image and replace it with the image you want to use as a background for the GDM 3.6 login / lock screen.

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



Category: Ubuntu | Comments Off on How To Customize GDM 3.6+ Login / Lock Screen (Change Theme, Wallpaper)