Bug#598377: Bug 598377 - gdm3: unable to log into the session after last upgrade

Jim Laurino debtry.x.jimlaur at dfgh.net
Tue May 15 20:35:05 UTC 2012

Package: gdm3
Version: 3.0.4-4
Severity: important
Running Debian sid

I rebooted a couple of days ago because the update manager was misbehaving,  
afterward the gui session failed to start.

I think, based on how the problem was resolved, that it was a configuration  
problem, and not a bug per-se in any code.

I give this brief note in the hope of helping others who may have a similar  

By using variations of commands seen here, such as:

   sudo ps aux | grep gdm | more

I saw that there were literally hundreds of gdm-simple-slave tasks created and  
failing to connect to displays.
The syslog was also full of gdm3-related error messages.

Simply trying to restart gdm3 did *not* resolve the problem.

   sudo service gdm3 restart

I tried updating the version:

   sudo apt-get update
   sudo apt-get upgrade
   sudo apt-get dist-upgrage

This was *not* sufficient to get my gui session back.

Following ideas from here, I uninstalled gdm3 and metacity and re-installed  

   sudo apt-get purge gdm3 metacity
   sudo apt-get install gdm3 metacity

A lot more stuff got installed, and the configuration problem was resolved.

After a restart, the gui session existed and offered to let me log in, but  
gnome was missing.

It appears that the purge, above, removed gnome.

So I installed gnome:

   sudo apt-get install gnome gnome-core

I am now working in a gui again.

If you think there is more information that could be helpful, such as log  
files, let me know.


Jim Laurino

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