I have a Debian Wheezy 7 installation. When I turn it on it boots to the log in screen normally. However when I type in my username/password and try to login the screen briefly turns off for about one second and returns to the log in screen. I cannot log in.

I have made no changes to the system other than an owner/permissions change I made to the "/tmp" folder. If anyone can help it will be greatly appreciated! Please help.

  • 1
    "I have made no changes to the system other than an owner/permissions change I made to the "/tmp" folder." ? – Chris Down Apr 19 '15 at 1:15

Starting a graphical session requires the creation of files in the /tmp directory. If your user no longer has write permission to that directory, graphical logins will fail.

To see that this is the issue, switch to a virtual terminal (press Ctrl+Alt+F2) and log in normally. If the changed permissions on /tmp are the reason, your log in should succeed.

To remedy the situation, log in from the virtual terminal as root and issue the command:

chmod 1777 /tmp

This should return the permissions to the default case and allow you to log in normally (to switch back to graphical screen after switching to the VT, press Ctrl+Alt+F7)

This often happens if you extract an archive in the /tmp directory as the root user.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you very much Joseph R. I did as you said and I'm back in business!! Hope this post helps someone else having the same issue. – Borges Diaz Apr 19 '15 at 5:38
  • @BorgesDiaz Glad I could help. For future reference, what helped me diagnose this problem before is looking at /var/log/Xorg.0.log. It contains the X server log so errors having to do with starting your graphical session usually end up there. – Joseph R. Apr 19 '15 at 5:41

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.