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My workstation suddenly began displaying a blank screen while loading the default KDE GUI desktop. How can I bypass the frozen GUI and log into the console instead?

I press 'ESC' so that I can see things loading. Everything is 'OK' in green letters, for example:

[ OK ] Starting udev Kernel device manager...

... everything displays OK

Finally, the system reaches the command line that says:

Ubuntu 16.10 caroline tty1

caroline login:

Unfortunately, the login above lasts for about a second before it immediately begins trying to load the GUI. The GUI never loads and the screen stays completely black. What can I do to get to the console?

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As soon as you reach the command line that says Ubuntu 16.10 caroline tty1 press the keyboard combination Ctrl+Alt+F3 as fast as you can to bring up the console screen and then you can login from the console screen. This is impossible to do in one second unless you prepare yourself in advance by placing your fingers over the three keys. Alternatively you can also use Ctrl+Alt+F3 to bring up the console at any time. Try it and see.

Once you see the console screen you can exit from the console screen by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F7 or reboot the system with sudo reboot. In Ubuntu 17.10 and later press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+F2 to exit from the virtual console.

  • There is no need to be quick: the keys are registered even though the screen is dark. – MariusMatutiae Apr 28 '17 at 17:31

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