Recover a damaged desktop

If you've having trouble logging into your GNOME desktop, first see Tip 109. If that doesn't work, you can try deleting your GNOME desktop configuration files and starting again. This is possible because, if GNOME doesn't find configuration files where they should be, it will automatically create some afresh. Deleting these files is very radical because it will delete all your desktop settings, plus those for GNOME applications (although your Evolution mail and account settings will remain because they're stored in the .evolution folder). However, if you have no other choice...

Log out of the desktop and then switch to a new virtual console (Ctrl)+Alt ]+[F2)). Then login and type the following:

Then switch back to GUI mode (ICtrl 1+1 Alt]+iF7]) and login as usual.

Ubuntu loves to use sudo/gksu to dish out superuser powers, but if you want to permanently enable the root account so you can log into it, type the following, which will assign the root user a password and thereby activate it: $ sudo passwd root

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Then type a new password that you'll use in future when logging in as root user.

In future you can switch to root user at the command prompt by typing su -. You won't be able to login as root from the login window, however, unless you start alter a login preference. Click System ^ Administration ^ Login Window, then click the Security tab, and put a check in Allow Local System Administrator Login. Then close the program and log out and back in again as root (provide root as your username). Note that running a GUI as root is about as dangerous as it gets but, then again, it's your computer!

If you don't want to enable the root user, but would still like to switch to root user account on occasion, Ubuntu can accommodate: see Tip 83, on page 142.

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