Ubuntu Unity freezes after login when upgraded from Ubuntu 13.10 to 14.04

I just upgraded from Ubuntu 13.10 to Ubuntu 14.04. However, after I had entered the username and password the computer froze. Unity just appears to hang. I fixed this by reinstalling Unity.

Note – this problem might have be caused by the upgrade process. I’m not sure it was related to this error message:

(gtk-update-icon-cache:19911): GdkPixbuf-WARNING **: Cannot open pixbuf loader module file '/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/gdk-pixbuf-2.0/2.10.0/loaders.cache': No such file or directory

This likely means that your installation is broken.
Try running the command
  gdk-pixbuf-query-loaders > /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/gdk-pixbuf-2.0/2.10.0/loaders.cache to make things work again for the time being.

I tried running gdk-pixbuf-query-loaders > /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/gdk-pixbuf-2.0/2.10.0/loaders.cache but this didn’t seem to fix the problem.

Step 1 – Get into the terminal
You enter the terminal by holding down ctrl-atl and pressing f2. You can actually press any of the f (function) key and you get a new terminal.

Step 2 – Reinstall Unity and the Ubuntu-Desktop

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop
sudo apt-get install unity
sudo reboot

Several people had added additional steps that worked for them. So, please read the comments. I considered modifying the original post but there are several variations on the theme.

This post is getting quite a lot of views. Could you please add a comment if this solution worked or didn’t work for you? It would help me improve the post. Thanks.

26 thoughts on “Ubuntu Unity freezes after login when upgraded from Ubuntu 13.10 to 14.04

  1. That didn’t work for me…

    This was my solution to bring my desktop back.

    sudo su
    apt-get install –reinstall ubuntu-desktop
    apt-get install unity
    apt-get purge nvidia* bumblebee*
    apt-get install nvidia-prime
    shutdown -r now

    When the computer fully restarts. Login and wait a few minutes, finally the desktop loaded.

    1. I seem to have the same problem that you dd. I installed an nvidia driver, then bumblebee. I tried running your command set, but my problem persists. Any further suggestions?

    2. These instructions worked for me.

      I upgraded from 13.04 to 13.10 and then immediately to 14.04, and experienced this problem. LightDM loaded up, but in low res and only showed on one of two my monitors. Logging in to Unity or Gnome just resulted in a blank background with working mouse cursor. Running startx from a console window showed some error to do with modprobe and nvidia-331.

      These steps fixed the problem, though, thanks!

  2. In my case the desktop is not totally frozen, there is a working mouse cursor, but nothing else but the background image is displayed.

    The solution here didn’t work for me.

    1. I think that this might be a separate issue. This occurs to me when the computer is suspended and unsuspended. I haven’t been able to find the solution for this. Could you let me know if you find a solution. Thanks.

  3. Thank you both James and easyrecipes109921 , the second solution with the addition from easyrecipes109921 of purging nvidia worked for me, very much appreciated.

    sudo su
    apt-get install –reinstall ubuntu-desktop
    apt-get install unity
    apt-get purge nvidia* bumblebee*
    apt-get install nvidia-prime
    shutdown -r now

  4. I had the same issue as Nicolas and followed similar steps to easyrecipes109921, these steps worked for me:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install –reinstall ubuntu-desktop
    sudo apt-get install unity
    sudo apt-get remove –purge nvidia*
    shutdown -r now

    Once started I was able to log in normally and then reinstall the Nvidia drivers

    1. Thanks, spent hours removing, installing, reinstalling, updating and every time it would still freeze after login.
      sudo apt-get remove –purge nvidia*

      with the * to remove ALL nvidia packages finally did the trick for me.

  5. Thank you all.

    The solution from Damien worked for me. It makes sense, since my trouble started after
    I tried to install some Nvidia drivers.

  6. Upgraded from 12.04 to 14.04, bad and slow video, tried to install AMD drivers but it was conflicting with older Fglrx. I tryed to remove that in “gentle” way,with no success. so I decided to force remove,did the remove, than restart,login and nothing else but I was able to play with mouse cursor. No luck with instructions up. I install a second desktop enviroment called Xubuntu,that works. It seems we have to wait for better solution.

    at login screen: shift+f1
    your login name
    password
    then
    sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop
    restart
    and next login choose the xubuntu icon(little mouse)
    at least I am able to access my files

  7. i have the same problem on linux mint , switched from 15 to 16, and had mouse but no lign screen. switched then to 17 just using terminal user mode. i can login with gui, but then i get black screen with arrow. even tryed to re-install xorg server but nothing happens. any hints? i’m thinking about a plain new install but i had so much software and stuff on that machine. cheers . anyone solved this ? i’m on 32 bit eepc asus 1025c, no nvidia drivers .

  8. I’ve encountered this problem a few times.
    It is usually occurs after kernel updates.
    For me the NVIDIA Drivers mess up the whole system.
    All you need to do is reinstall the NVIDIA drivers.

    Download the latest NVIDIA Drivers from NVIDIA website first ! (for example)

    ALT-CTRL-F1
    wget http://us.download.nvidia.com/XFree86/Linux-x86_64/340.32/NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64.340.32.run
    chmod a+x NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64.340.32.run

    sudo apt-get purge nvidia*
    sudo ./NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64.340.32.run

    Good luck..
    Nir

  9. I had already done

    apt-get install –reinstall ubuntu-desktop
    apt-get install unity

    So I skipped to

    sudo su
    apt-get purge nvidia* bumblebee*
    apt-get install nvidia-prime
    shutdown -r now

    I logged back into my system and still had the same background screen and mouse. Thought it hadn’t worked. Cntrl+Alt+F7 brought up the desktop with the keyboard menu and my app icons started to populate. Hit Alt to close the menu as it disables the mouse (did on mine) and now it works like normal.

  10. I had the issue of being able to login and then having the desktop freeze with just the background image showing. I had recently installed nvidia-current, but was able to boot/reboot a few times afterward. I was able to fix the issue by using the above:

    apt-get install –reinstall ubuntu-desktop
    apt-get install –reinstall unity
    apt-get purge nvidia* bumblebee*
    apt-get install nvidia-prime
    reboot

    Hope this helps others, and good idea asking others to post what actually worked!

  11. hey, this also occurs when u r in a hurry-burry and press some key.. which happened with me.. just reboot again and wait for atleast 5 min. then you will find ur desktop being opened..

Leave a Reply