I'm using Debian Jessie with Xfce and cannot login into the GUI as a normal user, root works. I can login on another terminal. I tried to reinstall lightdm, but I still cannot login. After a login attempt, dmesg tells me

systemd-logind[2638]: New session c4 of user lightdm.
systemd-logind[2638]: Linked /tmp/.X11-unix/X0 to /run/user/110/X11-display.
systemd-logind[2638]: Removed session c2.

How can I get more information about what's going wrong? What could prevent me from login in?

  • What happens when you try to log in? Does the screen go blank for a second and then you are returned to the login screen? Could you post the contents of your ~/.xsession-errors file? – terdon Apr 16 '14 at 10:51
  • Yes, that's what happens. I don't have the file ~/.xsession-errors. I do have /root/.xsession-errors though. – pfnuesel Apr 16 '14 at 11:00
  • Well, this kind of thing is usually related to errors in your shell's configuration files. Try renaming ~/.profile, ~/.bash_profile and ~/.bash_login and then logging in. Does that help? Do you have any other desktop environments installed? If so, can you login to those? – terdon Apr 16 '14 at 11:05
  • try creating new user and check can you login with that. – Tejas Apr 16 '14 at 11:17
  • Thanks for your help, guys. I was able to log in with a new user, so I figured something in my home directory must be wrong. I then ran sudo chown -hR username:username /home/username/ and I'm now able to log in again. – pfnuesel Apr 16 '14 at 11:30

The fix for me was to chmod +x this file:


Source: https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=748944#27



First open a terminal and type su then your root password that you created when installing your Debian 9. Install Leafpad text editor which allows you to edit text files. Type: “apt-get install leafpad” Stay in root terminal and type “leafpad /etc/gdm3/daemon.conf”. This command opens the file “daemon.conf” in leafpad. Under security type “AllowRoot=true”. So your security section in the file should look like this:[security] AllowRoot=trueOnce it looks like this save the file then exit the window. Stay in root terminal and type “leafpad /etc/pam.d/gdm-password”. This command opens the file “gdm-password” in leafpad. Within this file you have comment out the line containing “auth required pam_succeed_if.so user != root quiet_success” so that it looks like this

auth required pam_succeed_if.so user != root quiet_successSave the file and exit.

Now you should be able to login as root in you GUI Debian 9.

To enable CLI or Terminal Login do as below:

vim /etc/ssh/sshd_config and then make sure that you remove a “#” sign and change the line that starts with #PermitRootLogin 'something somethin as in whatever u see’ to ‘PermitRootLogin yes' without the quotes

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