OK, so right away, newbie hacking in Ubuntu resulted in an unusable, unvisible desktop.
I read an article from Linux.org, with Ten tips for new Ubuntu Users. And saw this tip:
7. How to reconfigure X.org
Most of the time, X.org — that’s the software that drives your
video card and provides the foundation for the GUI, whether you’re
running GNOME, KDE, Xfce, or another window manager — “just works”
when you install Ubuntu. In fact, I’d wager that most Ubuntu users
never even have to think about their video settings.
But, sometimes you need to reconfigure X.org because Ubuntu hasn’t
detected your video card and monitor properly, or maybe you’ve just
purchased a shiny new video card and need to get it working with
Ubuntu. Whatever the reason, it’s good to know how to reconfigure X
without having to edit your /etc/X11/xorg.conf by hand.
To run through the configuration, use
at the console or in a terminal window. Then you’ll have a chance to
specify your monitor and video card, the resolutions and color depths
you want to run the server at, and so forth.
Since every setup is different, it’s hard to give concrete advice
for configuring X, but it’s generally OK to accept the configuration
defaults. Also, you’ll be given a choice between Advanced, Medium, and
Simple methods for giving your monitor’s specifications. As a rule,
it’s probably best to go with Simple unless you really know what you’re
doing, or the Simple method doesn’t work for you.
Aha! I think. Maybe I can get to the right resolution for my screen, instead of this jaggie 800×600.
I went thru the many questions the reconfigure process asked for, but clearly answered one or more questions wrong, because when I robooted, there was no display at all. When the GUI should have appeared, there was nothin. Just plain black void. Uh oh.
So I crossed my fingers and powered down, then powered up.
Luckily, right after the bios came up a message reading
“GRUB Loading, please wait…
Press ‘ESC’ to enter the menu. “
What the hell, I figure. I pressed it, and got the option to enter the Ubuntu Kernel in Recovery mode.
When it finished it left me at a \root prompt.
I carefully navigated to /etc/x11/ and used to “mv” command to rename the broken xorg.conf file, then used the “cp” command to make a copy of the backup version of the file into the xorg.conf file. Thanks to itcsdocs for this one.
I issued “shutdown -r now” to shutdown and reboot. (Thanks to computerhope)
Ubuntu came back just the way it was before I started diddling with it.
whew! Maybe I should actually figure out what the RIGHT answers are before reconfiguring, huh?