Ubuntu 11.04 desktop won't load after login

Posted on 2011-05-06
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi all,

First off apologies if this issues has already been raised, I found some similar issues using the search but none of them have helped.

I have recently downloaded and installed Ubuntu 11.04 desktop. I'd like to be able to dual boot into Windows or Linux on my PC so I've installed in on an ext4 partition on a separate drive from Windows.

The installation process ran smoothly and the dual boot functionality works as planned. The problem I'm having is that after logging in, the login window disappears (as does the options bar at the bottom of the screen), and then nothing else appears, the Ubuntu startup music plays, then just the mouse cursor (with a loading icon) and an empty background image, no icons, no menus, no right click context menu. It doesn't matter how long I leave it for, nothing ever happens from this point on. I CAN get in to the GUI using safe mode though.

512mb ATI graphics card
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2Ghz CPU
150Gig partition formatted with ext4.

I am technical, however, unfortunately ,I'm very new to Linux (something I'd like to remedy) so I'm a bit stuck with what to try next. Any pointers would be appreciated.

Question by:andymcculloch
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    It sounds like Ubuntu is having problems with the new Unity interface.  You should try downloading Kubuntu to use the KDE, or perhaps switch to Ubuntu 10.10 instead of 11.04.  I don't really like the new interface myself, but that could be because I've been using the old one for so long.
    LVL 20

    Assisted Solution

    by:José Méndez
    Yes Andy, it sounds like a reinstall is better. Sometimes this happens. Can try 11.04 again, or even 10.10.

    10.10 is super nice IMHO. They put their own Ubuntu font into the desktop environment, and it looks very cool, very stable and everything. And you can even add Firefox's repo to download version 4.

    Have you tried clicking on your user name, and before filling out the password, select Ubuntu Classic as the desktop environment from the bar at the bottom? This will bring up Gnome instead of Unity.

    Author Comment

    Thanks for the replies. The only sessions I could get to work are Ubuntu Classic (No effects) and safe mode. A clean reinstall of 11.04 didn't work, I haven't had chance to try out 10.10. I'm assuming it's a compatibility problem with Compiz and my graphics card (I've heard a few people say that ATI and Compiz don't get along too well). I've ended up installing KDE and going with Kubuntu instead, which seems to work well. Shame, I like the look of Unity but it's not the end of the world.

    Author Closing Comment

    Not a fix, more of a work around but still valid advice.

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