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I recently installed automatic updates on my ubuntu system and now ubuntu won't load into graphical mode. I have a dual screen setup and manually configured my monitors before.

Is there a way to revert to before I installed the updates?

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migrated from serverfault.com Oct 2 '10 at 10:40

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Revert to your previous backup? –  Zoredache Oct 2 '10 at 6:40
    
In this case you might just need to re-run the video driver config to get everything working correctly - I'd suggest asking a separate question about that. –  therefromhere Oct 2 '10 at 12:05

1 Answer 1

There's no turnkey command, but you can do it manually.

You'll find a log of recent installations in several forms under /var/log:

  • /var/log/dpkg.log shows package status and version changes;
  • /var/log/apt/term.log shows a full log of console output during installations;
  • /var/log/aptitude shows installations (including upgrades) in a terse way.

The old packages might still be in /var/cache/apt/archives. Otherwise, you might be able to find a mirror that still has them (I don't think Ubuntu has an equivalent to snapshot.debian.org). Then install them manually with dpkg -i /path/to/foo.deb.

The symptoms you describe point to a problem with the current kernel, video drivers or X server and mostly occur with proprietary drivers. Usually the problem is either that the proprietary video driver was upgraded to a newer version that's buggy with your particular video card model, or that its compilation failed with the newer kernel.

If there was a kernel upgrade, first try reverting that. It could be as simple as rebooting and choosing the old kernel on the Grub prompt. (Press and hold Shift when your computer boots to see the Grub2 prompt; with Grub1, press Esc when prompted.)

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