From Gnome GUI (on ubuntu 12.0.4 classic not unity) I am able to authenticate from the logon screen: but after starting to load the user workspace, some error occurs - probably in /etc/profile since I have a lot of stuff there - and then we end up right back to the Gnome Login chooser.

When I did CTL-ALT-F1 - which is usually my savior in such circumstances - i get the dreaded "No Signal" on the monitor. Now I am kind of out of ideas how to proceeed.

I just want a single-user shell to go and nuke the /etc/profile (and possibly ~/.bashrc as well). How to get the single user prompt?

Note: this is NOT the same question as Ubuntu Server 12.10 - After entering credentials at login screen, the login screen reappears. Login screen is looping That other one involves win2008/samba/etc. This one is simple ubuntu only.

UPDATE I have reason to believe the issue is simply incompatibility with my monitor. How to boot to VGA?

1 Answer 1


Holding down shift during the entire bootup sequence did lead to a single user logon screen. And .. yes .. my /etc/profile was to blame for the issue. Nuked it, restarted and all's well.

UPDATE This process does NOT work on all machines. There is an onerous bug in grub: can not boot to it from many types of hardware.

I also have a good laptop also with Linux on it. Finally i brought up my Mac with the HW codebase and dev env and am ready to roll.


This is a really bad showstopper. I may have to wipe that one machine since no apparent way to get to grub.

Further update After about ten attempts, and spurred by one comment in the bug - I did manage to get to grub and chose Recovery Mode. The trick is hit SHIFT repeatedly. Do not just hold it down.

  • @pnuts I do go back to clean up unaccepted answers on some interval - so this one would have been marked within a week or so. IN addition, there would be the off chance that someone would come along with a BETTER answer. How about you?? Oct 27, 2014 at 3:43
  • @pnuts Oh I see - on this site I really AM neglectful . I do a better job on SOF. So I "accept" your gentle commentary there. Will do some cleanup in a couple of days (under the gun right now) Oct 27, 2014 at 4:12
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    @pnuts I cleaned up my list, thanks for pointing it out. Now only half a dozen questions with answers and unaccepted: in those cases the answers do not work and i have commented why. I had not done my housekeeping here. Oct 27, 2014 at 4:38

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