[xubuntu-users] New xubuntu install doesn't bring up X

Steve Litt slitt at troubleshooters.com
Mon Dec 8 23:23:26 UTC 2014

On Mon, 8 Dec 2014 15:41:15 -0500 (EST)
"George F. Nemeyer" <tigerwolf at tigerden.com> wrote:

> On Mon, 8 Dec 2014, Steve Litt wrote:
> > By the way, in order for a no-lightdm computer to run xfce from
> startx,
> > you need to put the following line in ~/.xinitrc:
> >
> > exec  /usr/bin/xfce4-session
> >
> > It does no harm to leave your .xinitrc that way after restoring
> > lightdm: lightdm doesn't consult .xinitrc.
> I *wish* it was as simple as that.  The solution may provide enough to
> troubleshoot the original poster's problem, but what comes up will
> more than likely be a crippled session with certain menu items
> missing, non-functional indicators, and other strangeness.
> This *appears* to be because lightdm really isn't a Display
> Manager...it's an entire user session of its own, and it starts
> things that a normal window manager or 'startx' won't.  Because those
> elements aren't there, the user's x-session won't be fully
> functional, though it may look to be there at first glance.
> So far, nobody's been able to tell just *what* light-dm starts so
> that you could scrap lightdm altogether for something less bloated
> and which *dosen't* expose low level configuration (such as network
> selection, shutdown/reboot, etc.) to non-privilaged users.

Two issues here:

1) I recommended it as a 20 second diagnostic test, after which you
restore the original situation.

2) As a permanent solution, as opposed to a diagnostic test, renaming
lightdm and putting your desired Window Manager in .xinitrc might
preclude your using certain Window Manager/Desktop Environments as
intended. I know gdm is needed for Gnome. Don't believe me, take it from
The Man himself: 


On Debian Wheezy and Manjaro, I've been able to run Xfce without any
kind of display manager.

/* disclaimer: I typically use either Openbox or LXDE, and these have
very few magical tidbits. */


Steve Litt                *  http://www.troubleshooters.com/
Troubleshooting Training  *  Human Performance

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