Category Archives: gnome

Debian – gdm3 and Gnome broken after dist-upgrade

Yesterday I upgraded my debian testing release (jessie) and after that the Gnome Desktop and also gdm3 (the Desktop Manager to login) was broken. I installed lightdm and xfce to get back a working desktop. But I can’t figure out whats going wrong until my last upgrade.

Finally I found help in this forum thread.

So I removed all the nvidia packages (I had no nvidia graphic card but a Intel HD3000)

apt-get remove --purge nvidia-*

Next I reinsalled gdm3, gnome and reconfigured finally gdm3

apt-get --reinstall install gdm3
apt-get --reinstall install gnome
apt-get --reinstall install gnome-shell
dpkg-reconfigure gdm3

After that procdure my system worked again!

I don’t understand why a dist-upgrade on a system with not nvidia graphic card leads into such a strange situation.

Corrupted /tmp folder

Additional I was affected from a corrupted /tmp folder which shows the wrong size. To solve this I found the following Blog Post.

  1. press ‘e’ during the grub boot loader
  2. add the following to the end of the line starting with /boot/vmlinuz…
    –add rw init=/bin/bash
  3. press f10 to boot with that configuration – system will start in a bash
  4. remove and create the tmp folder
    >rm -rf /tmp
    >mkdir /tmp
    >chmod  1777 /tmp
  5. reboot system

This helps me to create a new empty /tmp folder.

Debian Jessie – systemd-shim

Yesterday I crashed my debian testing release (jessie) after I updated the system via

apt-get upgrade

The reason was a dependency conflict between systemd and systemd-shim. systemd-shim is necessary for different packages including the gnome-shell. After a long time of searching the web and reading many politically discussions about pros and cons of systemd in general, I was finally able to solve my problem with the following trick:

1) I uninstalled system-shim (8-2)

apt-get remove systemd-shim

2) Downloaded version 8-1 from

3) installed the package ‘cgmanager’ manually

apt-get install cgmanager

4) installed the downloaded version 8-1 from commandline

dpkg -i systemd-shim_8-1_amd64.deb

5) installed the meta package ‘gnome’ again

apt-get install gnome

Now Gnome Shell is back again 🙂 Some conflicts are still there but I think this will be solved by updates in the next few days