I had Ubuntu 14.04 running perfectly on my system and then it underwent a recommended security update. I let it update while I was at work and when I returned I found a black screen stating, "No init found" and "mount: mounting /dev/mapper/ubuntu-root on /root failed: Invalid argument". I followed some guides and ran the following commands:

ls /dev/sd*
sudo apt-get install lvm2
sudo pvscan
sudo vgscan
sudo vgchange -a y ubuntu-vg
sudo fsck /dev/ubuntu-vg/root

After running those commands and rebooting, my Linux system was back up and running again; however, not quite like it was before. It starts up into command line mode (without GUI) and asks for my username and password. When I log in and try "startx" I get the following:

user@home-pc:~$ startx
xauth:  timeout in locking authority file /home/user/.Xauthority
xauth:  timeout in locking authority file /home/user/.Xauthority

/usr/bin/X: error while loading shared libraries: libXfont.so.1: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
xinit: giving up
xinit: unable to connect to X server: Connection refused
xinit: server error
xauth:  timeout in locking authority file /home/user/.Xauthority

I get the same message when I try "sudo startx". I believe this error is due to the symbolic link that is used to identify the "libXfont.so.1" file, but I don't know how to fix this problem. I already tried running "sudo apt-get update && sudo-apt-get dist-upgrade" in hopes that this would fix or finish the upgrade and/or installing of the security update, but this didn't fix the problem. Does anyone have any idea on what is going on or how I can fix this?

  • Which guides did you follow?
    – Seth
    Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 3:29
  • I didn't follow any actual guides. The system had a dialog box that said there was about 62 MB of security related updates that were available and after the update it rendered my system unusable. I've scoured the internet for problems related to "libXfont.so.1" and tried everything I could but nothing seems to fix this problem.
    – etho201
    Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 3:33
  • This is common; You should re-intsall your Xorg and video driver and reboot after that
    – r004
    Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 4:01
  • To re-install xorg, I would run "sudo apt-get remove xorg && sudo apt-get install xorg", but what do I do to re-install the video card? I was using the proprietary driver from nvidia for one of the gtx series video cards.
    – etho201
    Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 4:12

2 Answers 2


Just a tip: try to locate libXfont.so.1 or libXfont.so. If it's located make a symlink to it:

ln -s `locate libXfont.so.1 | line` /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/

As mikeserv suggested below, quick and dirty fix is to find libXfont.so.N and make symlink libXfont.so.1 >> libXfont.so.N.

You can also check if X requires some other shared libraries by issuing ldd /usr/bin/X.

To summarize chat discussion: issue was fixed by:

sudo apt-get remove --purge libxfont1
sudo apt-get install libxfont1 xorg
sudo rm ~/.Xauthority
  • Hey - it's that ninja turtle guy. You beat me to it. It might also be a .2 now or something, by the way.
    – mikeserv
    Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 7:36
  • 1
    My cousin's name is Raphael and we know some karate =P. .1 is the suffix that OP provided.
    – Danatela
    Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 7:59
  • 1
    I suspected as much, so I'll tread carefully. But I meant maybe it can't find the .1 lib because some unmanaged package depends on the .1 version but his recent update could have upgraded it and incremented the version number. That's only speculation, but I often find a quick and dirty fix in those situations is to symlink old.1 -->> new.2.
    – mikeserv
    Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 8:33
  • I can't find libXfont.so.1 on my system. ldd /usr/bin/X shows: linux-vdso.so.1 =>, libc.so.6 => /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libc.so.6, and /lib64/ld-linux-x86-64.so.2
    – etho201
    Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 23:23
  • 1
    Additional recommendations from Danatela: sudo apt-get install --reinstall. Now you should install xserver-xorg and ubuntu-desktop. After running "sudo apt-get remove --purge libxfont1", and then "sudo apt-get install libxfont1 && sudo apt-get install xorg" I got the fatal error, but then I rebooted the machine and now it is finally able to startx and I'm on the lightdm login screen. I still had problems getting to my desktop so I deleted the .Xauthority file and restarted. Now things are working like normal! :)
    – etho201
    Commented Jun 17, 2014 at 3:37
rm -rf ~/.Xauthority

I think it should be recreated correctly after reboot/login; might be a good idea to try that first w/out reinstalling xorg and/or libXfont1. If error persists, then try reinstalling libXfont1.

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