Recovering after upgrading to Ubuntu 17.10


Recently I've upgraded Ubuntu to latest 17.10 Artful Aardvark. One of the evenings I've blindly executed do-release-upgrade like I does year ago for v16.04. Surprisingly for me, the command was done successfully. It was late and after installation I've turned off power for notebook and go to sleep.

Next morning I turned on my notebook and trapped in a nightmare :). It seemed like Ubuntu hungs right before it is going to show GUI desktop. Last I've seen on the screen was mysterious boot log:

[  OK  ] Started CUPS Scheduler
[  OK  ] Started Trigger anacron every hour
[  OK  ] Listening on CUPS Scheduler
         Starting Console System Startup Logging...
[  OK  ] Started systemd-resolved-update-resolvconf.path
[  OK  ] Reached target Paths
[  OK  ] Listening on Avahi mDNS/DNS-SD Stack Activation Socket
         Starting Socket activation for snappy daemon
[  OK  ] Listening on D-Bus System Message Bus Socket
         Starting systemd-resolved-update-resolvconf.service....r...server...p link was shut down....

This last line with many dots... There was thoughts in my mind that I'll need to reinstall the system from the scratch. And I'll need to save all my data before reinstall. Arggghh :)

Hopefully, I rescued my Ubuntu installation. In this blog post I'll list possible solutions that I've tried and one that really helped.

Troubleshooting login

During many of reboots, the several last lines is rarely changed but once I've seen:

[  OK  ] Reached target System Initialization
         Starting Socket activation for snappy daemon
[  OK  ] Listening on ACPID Listen Socket
[  OK  ] Started Trigger anacron every hour
[  OK  ] Started Daily apt download activities
[  OK  ] Started Daily apt upgrade and clean activities
[  OK  ] Listening on D-Bus System Message Bus Socket
[  OK  ] Listening on Avahi mDNS/DNS-SD Stack Activation Socket
[  OK  ] Listening on UUID daemon activation socket
[  OK  ] Started Daily Cleanup of Temporary Directories
[  OK  ] Started systemd-resolved-update-resolvconf.path
[  OK  ] Started GNOME.Display link was shut down....

Started GNOME.Display Manager. Not Unity. So I learned that Unity was replaced by Gnome starting from Ubuntu 17.10 and there is no way back.

I've started to search the way to revive my Ubuntu installation. First, I've found Ctrl+Alt+F8 keystroke. It changed shell output to strange:

/dev/sda3: clean, 1303341/5218304 files, 13405783/20853232 blocks

"Ok, it seems like Ubuntu not hanged and I could try to rescue it', - I thought.

Then I found that there is Alt+F2 keystroke which started the terminal session for me and I was able to login. There was no GUI but now I was able to execute any of bash commands!

Then I've connected to local Wi-Fi hotspot to be able to download apt packages.

In fact, I didn't have to connect to the Wi-Fi from the terminal before. I found good enough article on on turning on and connecting to the Wi-Fi interface from the terminal.

But the challenge was that the local Wi-Fi hotspot I've connecting to was protected with WPA2 profile and it requested user login and password. I've found useful discussion on archlinux forum which led me to the solution.

I've created /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf file with following content:


Then I've executed

sudo wpa_supplicant -i wlan0 -c /etc/wpa_supplicant.conf -B
to run connection process in background.

To check if the connection was successful I've executed iwlist wlan0 scan command.

Rescuing Ubuntu Gnome Desktop Manager

First of all, I've tried to reinstall ubuntu gnome with command:

sudo apt-get --reinstall install ubuntu-gnome-desktop gnome-shell gnome

Later I've found discussion about reinstall (almost) all packages at once without full reinstallation. Unfortunately, it didn't helped too.

The last thing which actually helped is restarting Gnome Desktop Manager with commands:

apt purge gdm gdm3
apt install gdm3 ubuntu-desktop
systemctl restart gdm

Actually, after execution of last line the magic happened and Gnome Desktop Manager was revived! I saw lock screen and was able to login to new Ubuntu GUI.


I've repaired my Ubuntu by reinstalling and restarting of Gnome Desktop Manager. All other things did't helped much.

Happy upgrading!

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