Downloading Package removed my GUI

DCooper's picture


Hello everyone, I'm a linux newbie and I can't seem to figure out how to reverse a pretty big mistake I made yesterday. I attempted to install the icedove package using aptitude, and allowed it to handle all the dependencies (by removing packages/adding packages/etc). I walked away from my computer for like 20 minutes, and came back to a black screen. Figured it just froze so I restarted it, anddd now all I can get access to on my linux partition is a command line. I can login and navigate bash but it won't let me run any GUI. I attempted the "startx" command and I was left with a black screen. Is there any way around this?

I'll post any log files or anything you guys ask for. Would post them now but I'm not quite sure which you would be interested in. I don't believe I can access to internet to grab packages because I believe that my network-manager was removed too. I'm using Debian Squeeze on a Dell Inspiron 1545 computer. It has an integrated Intel graphics card.

Re: Downloading Package removed my GUI

IntnsRed's picture

It's strange that an install of Icedove would break X. That's just an application and shouldn't have bothered the GUI.

Have you taken a look at things with a package manager (e.g. aptitude) to see if anything looks odd? It may be as easy as installing/reinstalling a package or two.

If it were me, I'd take a hammer approach and "purge" (completely delete) the entire X system and its apps. (This will use some Internet bandwidth so you may not want to do this if you've got a slow connection.)

In Debian, you have the option to "remove" software packages, which deletes the binary program files and libraries and things, but leaves the configuration files on the hard drive. But you also have the option to "purge" software packages which completely removes the programs and the configuration files (of course, files and configuration data in your home directory are always safe).

The easiest way to select X to be purged is with a package manager; something like "aptitude", "dselect" or "synaptic". You can use apt-get, but it will try to resist doing such a thing since it'll assume you don't want to shoot yourself in the foot. Smile If you choose to purge the package "x11-common" it will cause a cascading effect that will impact every X component and application.

Once X is purged, it can be easily reinstalled by something like an "apt-get install xorg kde-full" to install KDE, or an "apt-get install xorg gnome" to install GNOME (or some other window manager or desktop).

Black screen

--luke--'s picture

I've the same problem, but the difference is that my monitor goes black when reboot after installed Squeeze.
I've posted this topic "".
Other people had write for this problem in this forum, but with no responses: please tell me if you have found any solution.
Thank you, bye.