mdm crashing after upgrade from Mint 17.3 to Mint 18 (and solution)

I recently upgraded my Mint 17.3 to Mint 18 using mintupgrade and following the instructions here, and unluckily had a powercut while in the middle of the upgrade. When I rebooted, some things had changed, like the logon screen had new background images, and the grub menu now said ‘Mint 18’, but as soon as I logged on, mdm crashed and there was a dialog saying that XWindows had crashed within seconds of starting. The popup dialog said to check ~/.xsession-errors, which contained this error:

initctl: Unable to connect to Upstart: Failed to connect to socket /com/ubuntu/upstart: Connection refused
syndaemon: no process found

A quick Google found this question with the same error message, and following the suggestion to run ‘sudo apt-get install cinnamon’ fixed my issues. I restarted mdm with ‘sudo service mdm restart’, logged on and eveything was good.

I’m not entirely sure how much of the upgrade completed, so re-running ‘mintupgrade upgrade’ again still prompted for a number of packages to be deleted or upgraded. Completed the upgrade, rebooted, and now everything looks good.

This could have been a lot worse, but luckily was able to recover with no noticeable issues so far. And Mint 18 looks great! (I like the new window animations!)

8 Replies to “mdm crashing after upgrade from Mint 17.3 to Mint 18 (and solution)”

  1. This happened to me and it appears to be part of an initial update as you surmised. Reinstalling Cinnamon did resolve the issue and I’ve now set my update policy to “Don’t break my computer”. Hopefully this will be the last time we have to deal with this…

  2. I got a similar error message when trying to start up Cinnamon 18.1 Installed previously with nio real issues. I did just fix an update problem, which may have caused this.
    Error message : Failed to connect to socket /com/ubuntu/upstart: connection refused
    Syndaemon : no process found|
    mdm [1428]: GLib-CRITICAL: g_key_file_free: assertion ‘ key_file ! =NULL’ failed
    Egads, I want my computer back!

  3. I am running Linux Mint Cinnamon 18.1 On set up command line, I can’t find a command which works “mdm” “sudo ” ” su ” all of these do not work with grub. I hit TAB key and there is a long list of commands, but which do I use?

  4. Same problem here in Mint 18.3 Sylvia after system upgrade. I spent several hours looking for an answer and testing with no success but it was perfectly solved uninstalling virtualbox with “apt-get remove virtualbox*”. Hope this helps someone else.

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