Debian – gdm3 and Gnome broken after dist-upgrade

Yesterday I upgraded my debian testing release (jessie) and after that the Gnome Desktop and also gdm3 (the Desktop Manager to login) was broken. I installed lightdm and xfce to get back a working desktop. But I can’t figure out whats going wrong until my last upgrade.

Finally I found help in this forum thread.

So I removed all the nvidia packages (I had no nvidia graphic card but a Intel HD3000)

apt-get remove --purge nvidia-*

Next I reinsalled gdm3, gnome and reconfigured finally gdm3

apt-get --reinstall install gdm3
apt-get --reinstall install gnome
apt-get --reinstall install gnome-shell
dpkg-reconfigure gdm3

After that procdure my system worked again!

I don’t understand why a dist-upgrade on a system with not nvidia graphic card leads into such a strange situation.

Corrupted /tmp folder

Additional I was affected from a corrupted /tmp folder which shows the wrong size. To solve this I found the following Blog Post.

  1. press ‘e’ during the grub boot loader
  2. add the following to the end of the line starting with /boot/vmlinuz…
    –add rw init=/bin/bash
  3. press f10 to boot with that configuration – system will start in a bash
  4. remove and create the tmp folder
    >rm -rf /tmp
    >mkdir /tmp
    >chmod  1777 /tmp
  5. reboot system

This helps me to create a new empty /tmp folder.

7 Replies to “Debian – gdm3 and Gnome broken after dist-upgrade”

  1. Thank you! Among the many reports and forum-threads about problems with gdm3 after dist-upgrade to Debian Jessie yours was that one that helped me solving my problem. My nvidia packets were not even installed any more because I changed hardware 2 years ago, but some config-files were still around. ‘–purge’ and now the system reboots into the graphical login-screen again.

  2. I had Jessie to begin with, and I was working on persistent usb. My issue was while installing some new gnome packets to address a printer issue, my usb reverted to only terminal, no GUI. This helped, but now I have to go to recent activities to see the left-hand menu; otherwise it is not visible or reachable. What a day…

    But thank you for at least getting me back to the gui, and with all my saved work. I am a newb, and it took forever to find linpng12.0 for wps office, install sound and cups and a printer, and reconfigure the touchpad doc. to incluse scrolling on the pad. I really need to learn how to back up my usb before making iffy changes. Hugs to you!

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