Comment 34 for bug 577545

This occurred to me after
1 dist upgrade from 8.04 to 10.04
2 apt-get clean
3 apt-get autoclean
4 some other cleanup involving booting up with a rescue CD, (and, critically, cleaning the /tmp directory) in order to tar up the image for future deployment in the field (20 laptops).

unable to log in to gdm, with the subject error present
used virt terminal 1 to log in

There was no directory /usr/local/etc/gconf/gconf.xml.defaults, as described in #16, adding this did not change the boot results.

checked the perms of /tmp, they were incorrect (v several working lucid systems). Changed them to 7777, and now the system reaches the gdm login screen with no errors (and I can log in)

reversing the change from #16 (rm -rf /usr/local/etc/gconf) resulted in the boot sequence stopping at the terminal screen (virt terminal 1) -- that is, no gdm login screen at all.

re-creating /usr/local/etc/gconf/gconf.xml.defaults allows normal booting.

so it seems both are necessary sometimes.