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Fixing Ubuntu Linux hang on boot after upgrade

17 May 2021


  • I have mostly been using my Laptop the past several months.
  • After a few months I attempted to boot my Desktop which has Ubuntu 18.04.
  • It would hang on boot with the following message.
    [Done] Started hold until boot process finishes up

Attempted fix

I booted into Ubuntu recovery mode successfully via the boot option: advanced options. I enabled networking and then connected to a root terminal.

First, upgraded packages.

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
apt-get install <held back packages>

Second, I removed some snaps which appeared to be giving me trouble.

snap list
snap remove <package>

I also refreshed the core snaps which basically upgraded them to latest.

snap refresh

None of it seemed to fix the issue.

Permanent Fix

After web searching, I realized Wayland may be loaded by GDM. I found a good stack overflow post which addressed fixing the issue. Edit the file /etc/gdm3/custom.conf and uncomment the following line.


This forced GNOME Desktop Manager 3 to use Xorg instead of Wayland.


This isn’t the first time Wayland has caused me issues. My opinion is not very high of it. I like to play steam games through Proton and other games through WINE. However, I seem to always have issues with Wayland even when using XWayland.

I’ve been avoiding Ubuntu 20.04 because of Wayland… When Ubuntu 18.04 loses upgrade support may be the day I stop using Ubuntu unless I can verify gaming on Linux is stable when I’m ready for the next edition. I’ll probably hold out for Ubuntu 22.04 and evaluate it for gaming when the time comes.

This article was last updated May 17, 2021.

Posted in Gaming with tags: Gaming, Linux