|FROM ||James Keenan
|SUBJECT ||Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Need Linux expert to help solve failed Ubuntu
|From hangout-bounces-at-nylxs.com Sun Sep 2 17:24:05 2018
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From: James Keenan
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Date: Sat, 01 Sep 2018 15:38:53 -0700
Subject: [Hangout - NYLXS] Need Linux expert to help solve failed Ubuntu
List-Id: NYLXS Tech Talk and Politics
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I need assistance from a Linux expert, preferably one in New York City. Today I attempted to upgrade from Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS to 18.04 LTS. The upgrade failed leaving me only with a crippled 16.04 system on which I cannot get past the login page.
On the machine in question I successfully upgraded from 14.04 LTS to 16.04 about two years ago. ISTR that I used the Ubuntu Software Updater (GUI) program and all went smoothly. So, having done a backup of my homedir, I today first attempted to use the Software Updater to move to 18.04. (That program had been prompting me to upgrade for the past two weeks or so.) I spent several hours working on one problem and, via a post on askubuntu.com, got past that. At the command line I called the apt command to do a dist version upgrade and I observed the program downloading, unpacking and installing packages as expected.
After about twenty minutes I came back to the keyboard and that the command had completed with messages like the following:
"The dist upgrade has completed, but there were problems with these file:
[list of about 15 packages]
"Dist upgrade has been completed."
(I'm sorry I can't quote the exact message. I copied it to a plain-text file but, as you shall soon see, have no access to that file.)
The program's output did not specify any what of addressing the problems with packages. On the basis of past experience I figured that after a restart I could address those problems one at a time.
So I rebooted -- and here my troubles began.
When the computer came back up, it came up into Ubuntu 16.04 LTS -- not 18.04. So the upgrade had not really completed. Worse, once I entered my password I never got anywhere past the login page, i.e., I never got to my Desktop. The login page looks slightly different in that next to my username there is a "footprint in a circle" item which, if I click on it, offers me a choice between "GNOME on Xorg" with a circle but no footprint and "GNOME on Xorg" with a circle and the footprint therein. I don't recall seeing either of these on the real 16.04 LTS login page. But regardless of which I choose, after entering my password and hitting enter, I get taken back to the login page.
So what happens if I try a restart (I do have mouse and keyboard input)? The computer comes back up to the 16.04 login screen, albeit with the "circle with no footprint in it" variant.
I also tried holding down the Ctrl key while restarting. Earlier in my debugging that would bring me to a pop-up stating that I was now running in low-resolution graphics mode and offering me several options. Unfortunately, I cannot reproduce that now.
So what I fear happened was that the attempted upgrade removed packages that were fundamental to the operation of 16.04 LTS -- I recall that one of the problematic packages was 'nautilus' -- without installing everything I needed for 18.04. I have no Desktop, terminal, browser -- nothing on the affected machine.
I suspect that this is the sort of problem where I'll have to bring the computer to a knowledgeable person and work side-by-side with her/him to salvage this situation. The only other computer I have is a 14-year-old Mac whose browsers are so old that I can't use them to login to askubuntu.com.
So if anyone can help me out, the help would be greatly appreciated and I'd ask that you mail me off-list with suggestions, time/place to meet up, etc.
Thank you very much.
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