I am using a Raspberry Pi 2 Model B running the latest version of Raspbian Wheezy (Raspbian Wheezy 2015-05-05). I created a new user separate from the default user "pi" and I am unable to create the desktop on that user account. I enter startx and the command prompt disappears, but only the desktop icons appear. No GUI elements, no background, no cursor. I'm not very familiar with the inner workings of Raspbian, so any help would be much appreciated.


I had a machine (not a Pi ) do that once. It had put the graphical desktop into a virtual terminal then didn't switch to it. F1~F10 through the terminal windows and you may well find your lost process. The worst you will do is locate another login: prompt where you can login with the pi account do not startx and run sudo ps ax |more to see if you can locate where your lost xwindows session went.

I re-read and it seems that when you did addusr that the xwindows components were likely not created in the new home directory. In the pi home directory, do an ls -a in a terminal window. Filenames begining with "." Are by default supressed from listing. Compare the ones that start with ".x" to those in the new user directory.

  • The files in that directory that start with ".x" are the same. In both the default and the new user, there are three files matching ".x": .Xauthority, .xsession-errors, and .xsession-errors.old. – smithb99 Nov 20 '15 at 17:31
  • Did you perchance use: "sudo useradd" instead of "sudo adduser"? The first is a low level command that simply creates the user (and drives startx nuts). Try this: from a login prompt with the pi account, with no xwindows running, type "sudo adduser test" and then answer the questions. When done, press ctrl+alt+<F2> to switch to that terminal window and login with the new test account. Now try "startx" in that terminal session. – Tad Hasse Nov 22 '15 at 14:13
  • Under user "test" the desktop background appears, as well as the cursor, but the GUI bar at the top is flickering in and out of existence. It's just plain white, no buttons, clock, etc. – smithb99 Nov 24 '15 at 17:45
  • Also, if I use the automatic login in raspi-config to log in as user "pi" and then hit CTRL+ALT+Backspace to stop XWindows, it takes me to a login prompt. If I log in there as user "test" then the GUI works. The problem with doing that is that it is both less secure and less convenient. – smithb99 Nov 28 '15 at 16:54

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