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Prelude

  • New to having a Linux distribution as an OS on anything I own.
  • Brand new to any Linux OS with a GUI.
  • Searched here on U&LSE, found questions that were tangentially similar, but nothing exactly. Closest to my issue was Manjaro: Can’t log in. Screen freezes after I enter my password, but things mentioned in those answers did not exactly seem to pertain.

Setup

  • Laptop: Pinebook Pro
  • Linux Distribution: Manjaro ARM (Pinebook Pro came with it installed)

Play-by-play

  • Everything seemed to be working fine. I've been using this laptop daily for a few weeks with no major issues.
  • Was logged in, mostly using web browsers
  • Did a mass update of Manjaro and "gazillions" of other items that the system indicated needing updated.
  • Some time after everything updated, used Ark to extract an archived folder to the desktop. This is my file that I archived and I have extracted folders exactly like this from that file at least a half-dozen times with no issues.
    • The extraction failed (don't recall the error)
  • Got a popup which stated that Plasma crashed/died (don't recall specifics)
  • Clicked [Pine button] {like the [Window] button or the [Apple] button (or whatever the button is on a Mac)} + L to try to lock the screen, intending to click Restart from the lock screen
    • Got a popup which stated that locking crashed/died/failed/would not work (don't recall specifics)
  • Held down power button to shut down

Issue

  • On power up, as usual it went to my main (and only) non-root user login screen
  • Able to enter password
    • After entering and clicking 'Enter', nothing happened
  • Able to move cursor (I use the track pad), but clicking has no effect
  • Just sits there indefinitely

Further Info

  • After holding down power button to shut down again, and then starting back up, if I don't enter a password I can click on "Restart" or "Shut down" and they work
  • I can also click to log in as a different user
    • I am able to log in as root

Postlude

If it is possible for someone to know how to fix this issue directly, I'm all for it. As a "Plan B", I just need to retrieve some files from my user account and save them externally; then if I need to, I can wipe the machine and start from scratch (I would need to be pointed to help for that, though).

1 Answer 1

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I assume that this is a rookie issue, but for folks like me who are rookies and don't already know all of this:

tl;dr

I was out of disk space.

Details

  • As stated in the question, upon power up or reboot the GUI login screen would appear but would freeze after entering the correct password.
  • If I tried this before freeze up, I was able to use Ctrl+Alt+F2 (or Ctrl+Alt+F3 or Ctrl+Alt+F4 or ...) to open a TTY/virtual terminal/however-it-is-properly-referenced and log in that way. [I had to discover that I could even attempt to do this, as I was unaware before trying to research my original issue.]
  • Using this terminal session, I was able to find the files that I wanted to "save".
  • I began trying to figure out how to mount my external drive in order to move said files.
  • At some point, an attempt to create a new directory (or maybe copy a file locally) failed with an error that mentioned being out of space.
  • After ultimately mounting my drive, copying files, and unmounting my drive, I locally deleted one large directory of files.
  • Upon restart, I was able to log in via the GUI login screen

So while most seasoned Linux users might have known the issue immediately, without something explicitly telling me when trying to log in that I was out of space, I had no idea - hence my question.

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  • That's the reason why 5% of space on ext2/3/4 filesystems are reserved for root. Commented Nov 26, 2021 at 22:12

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