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Ok, so I updated my Kubuntu 10.10 install to 11.04 and now when I log on I land in a consoile instead of getting a GUI - the rest seems to be working fine though.

I'm using a Radeon 4870 with the proprietary drivers (since the open source ones don't seem to allow some fanspeed control which gets annoying) and my xorg.conf has those entries:

Section "ServerLayout" Identifier
"aticonfig Layout" Screen 0 "aticonfig-Screen[0]-0" 0 0 EndSection

Section "Module" EndSection

Section "Monitor" Identifier
"aticonfig-Monitor[0]-0" Option
"VendorName" "ATI Proprietary Driver" Option "ModelName" "Generic Autodetecting Monitor" Option
"DPMS" "true" EndSection

Section "Device" Identifier "aticonfig-Device[0]-0" Driver
"fglrx" BusID "PCI:1:0:0" EndSection

Section "Screen" Identifier "aticonfig-Screen[0]-0" Device
"aticonfig-Device[0]-0" Monitor
"aticonfig-Monitor[0]-0" DefaultDepth 24 SubSection "Display" Viewport
0 0 Depth 24 EndSubSection EndSection

When running sudo startx I only get some error messages, see here

No idea how to solve this problem - actually not even sure what those errors mean - but I'd prefer getting around reinstalling the complete OS for a botched Xserver.

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Try running

$ startkde 

From the console window. That should start it up at the very least.

Although its a different distro, take a look at these installation guidelines to make sure that KDE will be running properly and start:

KDE - ArchWiki

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Using startkde only prints "$display is not set or cannot connect to the X-Server". the ArchWiki article seems about getting KDE to startup automatically at startup which I fear is the least of my problems right now - or do I misread something? – Voo May 15 '11 at 15:21
It is both, as well as starting and configuring. – Simon Sheehan May 15 '11 at 15:23
Well they cover installing KDE and then how to start it. But since KDE is already installed and won't start, the crucial step in between is missing. – Voo May 15 '11 at 15:44
As did your dbus start? Im scrolling through here – Simon Sheehan May 15 '11 at 15:45
Yeah I'm also user only usually and have not much experience with it, but well - it can't make the xserver much worse anyhow, so let's try it ;) – Voo May 15 '11 at 16:02

Looks like your default run level may have changed. Landing on a CLI interface is indicative of being in runlevel 3, you want runlevel 5 (GUI mode).

If you wanted runlevel 5 to be the default, then you need to edit /etc/inittab.

look for "# The default runlevel."

yours probaly says


Change it to



Restart and you should be in runlevel 5 now.

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Sadly that file seems to be missing. I only have an init and init.d directory in /etc but nothing even similar to inittab :/ – Voo May 15 '11 at 15:34
are you listing the hidden files and directories? – Amartel May 15 '11 at 15:42
I used sudo ls -a just to be sure, which I think covers all bases. I found one post that claimed that inittab was replaced with rc-default in /etc/event.d but since that file (well not even dir) also doesn't exist that not especially helpful either. But I think that's not the problem anyways, since manually starting kde/xserv throws errors as well. – Voo May 15 '11 at 15:47
you may want to simply remove KDE and reinstall it, as it obviously is having issues starting. for the console commands – Amartel May 15 '11 at 15:59
Yeah I assume that's the next step after reinstalling the xserver. Just in my previous experiences with that, it only made matters worse - but then there's not much else I can try it seems, thanks. – Voo May 15 '11 at 16:01
up vote 1 down vote accepted

So the solution was quite easy after all. Reconfiguring the xserver or KDE didn't help uninstalling xserv-xorg alone also had no effect. But purging every every xorg and xserver package and completely removing the ati drivers and then installing the newest ati drivers with a new xserv worked fine (apart from the fact that I had to build the ubuntu version of the debs, but oh well seems to work).

So seems like the upgrade process didn't work well with the ati driver and my xserver version - well probably just the ati drivers..

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