A month or so ago my Arch system started hanging at "Reached target Graphical interface" and never launches Gnome Display Manager (GDM). I eventually found a workaround which was to simply switch to TTY 2 (ALT + F2) and then switch back to TTY 1 (ALT + F1) and that starts GDM fine. Here is a screenshot of the stuck/hung boot: screenshot of system hanging at "Reached target graphical interface"

I looked at this question, Arch Linux stuck at boot (reached target Graphical Interface), but am not using Virtualbox for this although I did have Virtualbox installed at the time I noticed the issue, and then uninstalled Virtualbox since then in my troubleshooting steps. I did try the answer in that question to install xorg-server, but it is already installed > https://unix.stackexchange.com/a/341293/27902.

I do have the service enabled. When I switch to TTY2, this is what systemctl status gdm.service says:

screenshot of output of "systemctl status gdm.service" in TTY2

Contents of /usr/lib/systemd/system/gdm.service:

Description=GNOME Display Manager

# replaces the getty
[email protected]
[email protected]

# replaces plymouth-quit since it quits plymouth on its own

# Needs all the dependencies of the services it's replacing
# pulled from [email protected] and
# (except for plymouth-quit-wait.service since it waits until
# plymouth is quit, which we do)
After=rc-local.service plymouth-start.service systemd-user-sessions.service

# GDM takes responsibility for stopping plymouth, so if it fails
# for any reason, make sure plymouth still stops

ExecReload=/bin/kill -SIGHUP $MAINPID


Update: To clarify, I don't use Wayland but use X still.

  • Can you please share the contents of your gdm.service file?
    – spk
    Sep 28, 2020 at 18:14
  • Thanks, just added the contents of my gdm.service file. Sep 28, 2020 at 20:11
  • I've been able to see the logs in TTY2 just before it hangs and was trying to copy/paste them here but seems like the systemd folks disabled persistent logging by default and it is proving to be challenging to enable persistent boot logs. I followed serverfault.com/a/809109/101677 and made some progress but the logs that I am seeing before hang are not persisting for some reason. I'll just add some screenshots I suppose. Sep 28, 2020 at 23:50
  • Crosslinking similar thread bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=256896 Jan 6, 2021 at 3:31

1 Answer 1


K, the solution was this, credit to @cweagans for helping me out with this!

  1. systemctl disable gdm.service
  2. yay --remove gdm
  3. yay --sync --refresh gdm
  4. systemctl enable gdm.service
  5. reboot
  6. Works!

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