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When my Ubuntu 12.04 boots up, it boots up in text mode and the command prompt comes. To go to GUI desktop, I type:

startx

then the colored Desktop comes, but without any icon i.e it is blank, but yes I can see mouse cursor and can move it.

then I logged out and restarted the system. and on the command prompt I typed:

sudo service lightdm restart

every thing works fine and X is loaded perfectly.

Can some one explain what is the matter, why startx did not load X properly and what the following command does:

sudo service lightdm restart

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