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I have a Kubuntu 10.04 system that I use for software development. I've had it for quite a while and things have been working well - no unexplained glitches. I've got it setup so that it automatically boots into the KDE gui.

A few days ago, it stopped initializing the gui and just drops me into a character mode screen. I can login there, but no graphical interface. I've got the nvidia drivers installed and have two monitors configured which has also been working fine.

dmesg has nothing that seems relevant. I've tested the graphics card and it seems to be just fine, as is my other hardware. I may have done a security update recently, but don't know which ones as I rarely reboot this machine.

What should I be looking for or trying out to resolve this issue?

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you mean, the boot proccess stops on console , where you need to startx or launch KDE? – Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Apr 1 '13 at 22:46
did you use the "startx" command ??? – Sam Apr 2 '13 at 10:22

Test the startx command
The xinit program allows a user to manually start an X server. The startx script is a front-end for xinit.

By default, xinit and startx start an X server on display :0 and then start an xterm on it. When the xterm terminates, xinit and startx kill the X server. In general, xinit and startx can start an arbitrary server and run an arbitrary script. Typically, this script runs a number of programs and a window manager.

Two alternative methods for starting an X server are by using a display manager and by starting the X server and then manually starting one or more clients. On desktop Linux systems, using a display manager is the most commonly used method.

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The problem was a back-level nvidia driver - probably updated with some system updates that were installed as it had been working just fine.

Anyway, I downloaded the new version (310.44), installed it, and now things are back to working perfectly.

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