Gdm3 does not start

I have encountered some show-stopping issues on a freshly delivered librem 13 laptop.

  • The screensaver would not allow me to enter my password to unlock the session. I had to use loginctl in a separate tty.
  • On restart, gdm3 will not start at all. F2 will drop me in in a tty just fine, but I cannot startx as the system didn’t boot with systemd, and service gdm3 start fails silently.

dpkg-reconfigure reports that the gdm3 install is broken, but I am having major problems reinstalling since I cannot easily connect to wifi without the window manager and a valid gnome-session.

Any advice would be helpful here.

Assuming lots of things here, but once in tty, try the command nmtui connect
Chances are you’ll get wifi connection as easily as in gnome session.

I managed to resolve this, which involved the following steps:

  • Get a USB-ethernet cable
  • Plug in ethernet cable
  • Get interface name of ethernet connection when activated, add to /etc/network/interfaces, by adding the line iface enx00e04c68001e inet dhcp so that a DNS lease would be acquired. (Your interface name will vary).
  • Once in, I reinstalled gdm3, and found I also had to reinstall the entire task-gnome-desktop.

Following this, I was able to log in again to a graphical shell. I also made sure to install the network-manager package so that I would have access to nmtui in the future.

Later I encountered significant issues with start up jobs blocking boot. This was mitigated by removing plymouth from the system, so for now I have a less pretty boot, but it is much more reliable.