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
  • 1
    @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

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.