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.┬áThe 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!)

Linux Mint Cinnamon upgrade 17.1 to 17.3 – Cinnamon crash with nvidia-304

I’ve been using Mint Cinnamon 17.1 as my main desktop OS, of all the Linux distros I’ve played with in the past couple of years, this is my favorite by far (in terms of simplicity of the Desktop Environment).

17.3 Rosa came out recently, so I hadn’t upgraded for a while, so updated via the menu link in the software package manager.

I realized from installing and configuring 17.1 before that I needed to use the older nvidia-304 graphics – I have an older HP mobo with nvidia 6150SE graphics on the motherboard, and the best driver seems to be nvidia-304.

The upgrade itself was without issue, but after rebooting and logging on, within a few sessions I got the message “Cinnamon just crashed. You are currently running in Fallback Mode” and various parts of the screen started not refreshing. At one point when I pressed Yes on the dialog, but that resulted in more corruption to the point where individual characters became scrambled and not readable.

Seems like others are having the same issue too:

From feedback from others, it seems 17.2 was the last stable version for them, so I reinstalled 17.2 from a dvd, completely wiping my / partition. Luckily my docs and everything else I needed to keep was on a separate /home partition, so this worked out for me.

Usually any issues with a distro are on the initial install. This is the first time I can think of that doing an upgrade had significant issues, so hopefully they can get it sorted.

Using Grub Customizer to … do what it says

Customizing your Grub2 config by hand is not a trivial task. On a re-purposed desktop over the past couple of months I’ve installed a bunch of different OSes, and my Grub menu on boot is a mess to say the least.

After installing more than one bootable Linux, you also (unless there’s a workaround for this?) end up with each Linux having it’s own grub config (/boot/grub/grub.cfg), although only one (the last installed) will have installed it’s config to your MBR. There’s a good question/answer on this here. In my case I do have two Linux installs, Mint and Kubuntu, so I did have to look at the config of each and work out which was currently installed to the MBR before I started doing any editing of the configs.

Luckily there’s an easier way to customize what OSes you have in your menu, using Grub Customizer – for install and usage see post here.

Part of my mess is having a prior install of Vista, upgraded to Windows 8, and then later upgraded to Windows 10. The boot menu options left behind are now for some reason a mix of all 3, even though only Windows 10 is actually installed and bootable. Plus I have a few Linux distros too:

Switching to View/Show Hidden, you can uncheck the menu entries you don’t want displayed, so that’s an easy fix. There’s plenty more options to configure and customize too, but for simple menu housecleaning, it’s an easier option than attempting to edit the grub config files by hand.