LinuxMint: Fix blank screen at startup with mouse cursor showing

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When my LinuxMint desktop froze up, I thought nothing of it and hit the reset button. After booting up, I had a strange issue with it not responding after login. All it displayed was a black screen and my cursor.

A few other people had the same issue and there weren't any clear indicators to why this happened.

I pressed CTRL+ALT+F1 to get into the terminal. The following attempts didn't work.

  • A few search results told me to install gnome shell so I could get back into the login screen, which allows you to select which X server to use. Didn't work.
  • Another told me to run cinnamon-session or startx to kickstart it. Didn't work.
  • Another told me to uninstall cinnamon and reinstall it. It worked, I got back in but then on the next reboot it didn't work.

During my ventures on the session that was working, by chance I noticed something unusual. I was low on disk space. I've run out of it actually.

The fix? Surprisingly easy

I poked around the trash folder and found it was brimming with files. Over a hundred gigabytes of rubbish! After wiping it clear via the terminal, I rebooted and haven't had any issues since.

It's a damn shame Linux has to crash and burn so hard because things like this could have been avoided if I had been given a little notification regarding my remaining space when it was running low.

YtbdkPI
Crashing and burning because of a little mistake...

Sources

Pages I resorted to but weren't overly helpful to me, but maybe they'll help you.

Linux: Enable Remote Desktop support for LinuxMint/Ubuntu

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Normally, SSH will get you 90% of the way. But today I needed to access the desktop side of things in order to check some settings and well, it involved a little extra work.

What you'll need to install

  • xrdp - The remote desktop server that interfaces with a bunch of different protocols (rdesktop, freerdp, and Microsoft Windows remote desktop clients)
  • vino - The remote desktop server which allows you to log into your actual current desktop session.

Installation

As with most good libraries in Linux, it's been packaged for easy installation. Open up your terminal and type in:

sudo apt-get install xrdp vino

Configuration

By default, Vino asks the current user to allow remote control over the current desktop. In my case, I don't want this confirmation because it's a headless device protected by xrdp's login screen.

You'll need to perform this from the Linux desktop.

In the terminal, bring up the vino settings dialog by typing:

vino-preferences

Select "Allow other users to view your desktop" and make sure "Allow other users to control your desktop" is selected.

You'll probably also want to customise the security settings to your liking, such as unticking "You must confirm each access to this machine".

Close to save.

image

Once it's done, you'll need to link xrdp and vino.

vi /etc/xrdp/xrdp.ini

Now add a new entry so xrdp knows how to activate vino (localhost, port 5900)

# set empty username because VNC auth
# doesn't actually use username, so no
# point in asking the user for one.
[xrdp8]
name=Active Local Login
lib=libvnc.so
username=
password=ask
ip=127.0.0.1
port=5900

Extra step for XFCE users

That should be enough get Ubuntu up and running on Gnome. However, if you're on XFCE, you'll need to manually add vino-server to the startup scripts.

Go to "Settings" > "Sessions and startup" > "Application auto start"

image image

Click "Add" and type in:

Name: vino-server

Description: RDP Client

Command: /usr/lib/vino/vino-server

You can either type in "vino-server &" in a terminal to start it or restart the session or computer.

Sources

 
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