X server fails to start under regular user in Xenial

Bug #1525735 reported by Dillon Brock on 2015-12-14
This bug affects 6 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
xorg-server (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

The newest ISO image of Ubuntu GNOME Xenial Xerus does not launch the graphical installer on boot. Instead, it waits at the text-based login screen. I can log in using the default username of 'ubuntu-gnome' and start the X server with 'sudo startx.' Note that just 'startx' does not work; the command must be run as root. I am able to proceed with the installation as normal after starting X.

After the system is fully installed, the problem persists. X can still be started manually after login.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 16.04
Package: xserver-xorg 1:7.7+12ubuntu1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 4.3.0-2.11-generic 4.3.0
Uname: Linux 4.3.0-2-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.19.3-0ubuntu2
Architecture: amd64
CompizPlugins: No value set for `/apps/compiz-1/general/screen0/options/active_plugins'
CompositorRunning: None
CurrentDesktop: GNOME
Date: Sun Dec 13 19:43:20 2015
DistUpgraded: Fresh install
DistroCodename: xenial
DistroVariant: ubuntu
GraphicsCard: InnoTek Systemberatung GmbH VirtualBox Graphics Adapter [80ee:beef] (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
InstallationDate: Installed on 2015-12-13 (0 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu-GNOME 16.04 LTS "Xenial Xerus" - Alpha amd64 (20151212)
 Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub
 Bus 002 Device 002: ID 80ee:0021 VirtualBox USB Tablet
 Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0001 Linux Foundation 1.1 root hub
MachineType: innotek GmbH VirtualBox
 PATH=(custom, no user)
ProcKernelCmdLine: BOOT_IMAGE=/vmlinuz-4.3.0-2-generic root=/dev/mapper/ubuntu--gnome--vg-root ro quiet splash
Renderer: Software
SourcePackage: xorg
UdevLog: Error: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: '/var/log/udev'
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)
dmi.bios.date: 12/01/2006
dmi.bios.vendor: innotek GmbH
dmi.bios.version: VirtualBox
dmi.board.name: VirtualBox
dmi.board.vendor: Oracle Corporation
dmi.board.version: 1.2
dmi.chassis.type: 1
dmi.chassis.vendor: Oracle Corporation
dmi.modalias: dmi:bvninnotekGmbH:bvrVirtualBox:bd12/01/2006:svninnotekGmbH:pnVirtualBox:pvr1.2:rvnOracleCorporation:rnVirtualBox:rvr1.2:cvnOracleCorporation:ct1:cvr:
dmi.product.name: VirtualBox
dmi.product.version: 1.2
dmi.sys.vendor: innotek GmbH
version.compiz: compiz N/A
version.ia32-libs: ia32-libs N/A
version.libdrm2: libdrm2 2.4.65-3
version.libgl1-mesa-dri: libgl1-mesa-dri 11.0.7-1ubuntu1
version.libgl1-mesa-dri-experimental: libgl1-mesa-dri-experimental N/A
version.libgl1-mesa-glx: libgl1-mesa-glx 11.0.7-1ubuntu1
version.xserver-xorg-core: xserver-xorg-core 2:1.17.3-2ubuntu2
version.xserver-xorg-input-evdev: xserver-xorg-input-evdev 1:2.9.2-1ubuntu1
version.xserver-xorg-video-ati: xserver-xorg-video-ati 1:7.6.1-1
version.xserver-xorg-video-intel: xserver-xorg-video-intel 2:2.99.917+git20151019-1~exp1ubuntu1
version.xserver-xorg-video-nouveau: xserver-xorg-video-nouveau 1:1.0.11-1ubuntu3
xserver.bootTime: Sun Dec 13 19:40:19 2015
xserver.configfile: default
xserver.logfile: /var/log/Xorg.0.log

xserver.version: 2:1.17.3-2ubuntu2

Dillon Brock (okay19) wrote :
Ubuntu QA Website (ubuntuqa) wrote :

This bug has been reported on the Ubuntu ISO testing tracker.

A list of all reports related to this bug can be found here:

tags: added: iso-testing
Tim Lunn (darkxst) wrote :

This is seemingly caused by the virtualbox drivers not yet having support to non-root Xorg sessions.

The workaround for now is to install xserver-xorg-legacy and/or virtualbox-guest-dkms

affects: xorg (Ubuntu) → xorg-server (Ubuntu)
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in xorg-server (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Oli (oli) wrote :

Unless I'm hitting a separate issue that happens to throw up the same errors, this isn't just virtualbox. I'm on Nvidia.

Tim Lunn (darkxst) wrote :

Oli, if you are using the proprietry drivers, then yes you will need xserver-xorg-legacy, though this should get pulled in automatically when you install/update the drivers (so long as you are using the version from the ubuntu archives)

Changed in xorg-server (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Critical
importance: Critical → High
Timo Aaltonen (tjaalton) on 2016-01-21
Changed in xorg-server (Ubuntu):
importance: High → Low
Michael M. Rach (michael-rach) wrote :

I have 16.04LTS 64bit Desktop installed on my Dell Precision M4400 laptop which does use NVidia graphics card. I have an Acer 4K monitor and am running the 340 series NVidia Linux 64 driver.

This morning the system installed an update, which included the series 4 kernel.

The system boots and enters the X Windows login screen. After authenticating the password the system logs in and then immediately "logs itself back out" returning to the signon screen. This occurs for normal user and guest accounts.

Any suggestions for a workaround?

My name (plmalternate) wrote :

Me too. Fresh install of 16.04 from the mini.iso. Used apt-get to install xorg, openbox and some applications. This always used to work. Now only root can start x. This is bare metal, not virtual. I tried installing first xserver-xorg-video-all and then xserver-xorg-legacy. Neither made any difference. This is a Samsung rv515 "laptop" (I'd say notebook). I can't understand why this is marked low priority.

My name (plmalternate) wrote :

I should have mentioned that the system shows a lot of large print output in tty 7 as the system is booting and hangs at "started update UTMP about system runlevel changes." When I look in tty1 there is screenful of stuff and then a prompt, looking as if it had successfully booted. I can log in there and all is normal except only root can start x.

My name (plmalternate) wrote :

Mea culpa. I think I had 2 different (albeit similar) bug reports open in different tabs and posted to the wrong one. FWIW, the proximate cause of my problem was simple: ~/.Xauthority was owned root:root. That seems to me to be an installer bug.

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