If you are dual booting Windows, and Linux, chances are that at least once you've been greeted with a broken bootloader, a busybox, or ash shell. If you happen to be dual booting a Debian, Ubuntu, or related distro you can actually fix your bootloader with ease by booting the installer again and run the following from a terminal:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair &&
sudo apt-get install boot-repair
- after this completes simply type:
and a gui will come up with a variety of common fixes including moving the bootloader to the correct drive.
Persistent booting issues
If you have changed desktops and are now confronted with a broken environment, there are things you can try before giving up and reinstalling. Window managers like gdm can be problematic on some systems but switching to lightdm, or even slim, may solve the problem. To do so install the package from a shell, and if you cannot access a shell press control alt f3 to drop to non graphical mode. sudo apt-get install slim. After a reboot if the environment still fails try another desktop using the same method, i.e. sudo apt-get install mate-desktop-environment. To com back to this desktop on reboot may prove tricky unless you know to get back to the greeter menu before rebooting. Examples like gnome-session-quit are desktop specific, so depending on the session you may need at least passing familiarity with the desktop commands. You could try --force-logout or even
sudo pkill -u username
Obviously your own username replaces the word username in the example. If you have installed multiple window managers and want to switch to another for any reason you can run dpkg to replace the active window manager. A use case looks like:
sudo dpkg-reconfigure lightdm
You will find that there are ways to save every installation on Linux, probably on Windows as well. I look forward to bringing you plenty of tricks to make your sessions more enjoyable in the future, and thanks for stopping by!