Cannot access Gnome (GUI) Desktop

I am having a problems getting passed the GUI logon screen. To be fair I have not used this Vbox machine running Alma-Linux-8.3 since last week; since updating my kernel and etcetera.

I can switch to an alternate-terminal with
CTRL-ALT-F3 and successfully logon, but just not get into a GUI (gnome) desktop.

What happens is
I select the username from the logon page, I enter my password, the password is accepted, the GUI goes black as if it is logging me account in to the desktop environment, then I pop back out to the logon page. I have attempted to logon as root and experienced the exact same problem.

Here is a snippet from my /var/log/secure file, but I am not sure what to make of it:

May  2 20:28:27 alma systemd[5507]: pam_unix(systemd-user:session): session opened for user wfrench by (uid=0)
May  2 20:28:27 alma gdm-password][5497]: pam_unix(gdm-password:session): session opened for user wfrench by (uid=0)
May  2 20:28:38 alma polkitd[1211]: Registered Authentication Agent for unix-session:13 (system bus name :1.1122 [/usr/bin/gnome-shell], object path /org/freedesktop/PolicyKit1/AuthenticationAgent, locale en_US.UTF-8)
May  2 20:28:41 alma polkitd[1211]: Unregistered Authentication Agent for unix-session:13 (system bus name :1.1122, object path /org/freedesktop/PolicyKit1/AuthenticationAgent, locale en_US.UTF-8) (disconnected from bus)
May  2 20:28:50 alma polkitd[1211]: Registered Authentication Agent for unix-session:13 (system bus name :1.1167 [/usr/bin/gnome-shell], object path /org/freedesktop/PolicyKit1/AuthenticationAgent, locale en_US.UTF-8)
May  2 20:28:51 alma polkitd[1211]: Unregistered Authentication Agent for unix-session:13 (system bus name :1.1167, object path /org/freedesktop/PolicyKit1/AuthenticationAgent, locale en_US.UTF-8) (disconnected from bus)
May  2 20:28:52 alma gdm-password][5497]: pam_unix(gdm-password:session): session closed for user wfrench

My machine
I a virtual machine running inside Oracle Vbox 6.1.18. The VM has plenty of disk capacity available to each filesystem (usage percentages are less than 50%). The VM has been allocated 6,144 MB vRAM.

Here are the versions of the packages I have installed that I think relate to the issue, in the case it helps:

kernel-core-4.18.0-240.22.1.el8_3.x86_64
kernel-tools-libs-4.18.0-240.22.1.el8_3.x86_64
kernel-core-4.18.0-240.el8.x86_64
kernel-modules-4.18.0-240.el8.x86_64
kernel-4.18.0-240.el8.x86_64
kernel-tools-4.18.0-240.22.1.el8_3.x86_64
kernel-4.18.0-240.22.1.el8_3.x86_64
kernel-modules-4.18.0-240.22.1.el8_3.x86_64
gnome-software-3.36.1-4.el8.x86_64
gnome-terminal-nautilus-3.28.3-2.el8.x86_64
gnome-control-center-filesystem-3.28.2-22.el8.noarch
gnome-video-effects-0.4.3-3.el8.noarch
gnome-bluetooth-libs-3.28.2-2.el8.x86_64
gnome-session-3.28.1-10.el8.x86_64
gnome-user-docs-3.28.2-1.el8.noarch
gnome-keyring-pam-3.28.2-1.el8.x86_64
gnome-shell-3.32.2-20.el8.x86_64
gnome-boxes-3.36.5-6.el8.x86_64
gnome-initial-setup-3.28.0-8.el8.x86_64
gnome-logs-3.28.5-3.el8.x86_64
gnome-menus-3.13.3-11.el8.x86_64
gnome-terminal-3.28.3-2.el8.x86_64
gnome-session-xsession-3.28.1-10.el8.x86_64
gnome-keyring-3.28.2-1.el8.x86_64
gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons-3.32.1-11.el8.noarch
gnome-shell-extension-window-list-3.32.1-11.el8.noarch
gnome-classic-session-3.32.1-11.el8.noarch
gnome-desktop3-3.32.2-1.el8.x86_64
gnome-session-wayland-session-3.28.1-10.el8.x86_64
gnome-control-center-3.28.2-22.el8.x86_64
gnome-shell-extension-apps-menu-3.32.1-11.el8.noarch
gnome-shell-extension-places-menu-3.32.1-11.el8.noarch
gnome-system-monitor-3.28.2-1.el8.x86_64
gnome-calculator-3.28.2-1.el8.x86_64
gnome-screenshot-3.26.0-3.el8.x86_64
gnome-getting-started-docs-3.28.2-1.el8.noarch
gnome-bluetooth-3.28.2-2.el8.x86_64
gnome-settings-daemon-3.32.0-11.el8.x86_64
gnome-shell-extension-common-3.32.1-11.el8.noarch
gnome-color-manager-3.28.0-3.el8.x86_64
gnome-remote-desktop-0.1.8-3.el8.x86_64
gnome-online-accounts-3.28.2-1.el8.x86_64
gnome-autoar-0.2.3-1.el8.x86_64
gnome-shell-extension-horizontal-workspaces-3.32.1-11.el8.noarch
gnome-disk-utility-3.28.3-2.el8.x86_64
gnome-font-viewer-3.28.0-1.el8.x86_64
gnome-characters-3.28.2-1.el8.x86_64
xorg-x11-drv-qxl-0.1.5-11.el8.x86_64
xorg-x11-drv-ati-19.1.0-1.el8.x86_64
xorg-x11-drv-vesa-2.4.0-3.el8.x86_64
xorg-x11-drv-wacom-serial-support-0.38.0-1.el8.x86_64
xorg-x11-drv-evdev-2.10.6-2.el8.x86_64
xorg-x11-drv-wacom-0.38.0-1.el8.x86_64
xorg-x11-server-Xwayland-1.20.8-6.1.el8_3.x86_64
xorg-x11-xinit-session-1.3.4-18.el8.x86_64
xorg-x11-utils-7.5-28.el8.x86_64
xorg-x11-xkb-utils-7.7-28.el8.x86_64
xorg-x11-server-common-1.20.8-6.1.el8_3.x86_64
xorg-x11-server-Xorg-1.20.8-6.1.el8_3.x86_64
xorg-x11-drv-nouveau-1.0.15-4.el8.1.x86_64
xorg-x11-xinit-1.3.4-18.el8.x86_64
xorg-x11-font-utils-7.5-40.el8.x86_64
xorg-x11-drv-fbdev-0.5.0-2.el8.x86_64
xorg-x11-server-utils-7.7-27.el8.x86_64
xorg-x11-drv-intel-2.99.917-39.20200205.el8.x86_64
xorg-x11-xauth-1.0.9-12.el8.x86_64
xorg-x11-drv-libinput-0.29.0-1.el8.x86_64

I do not have Oracle VirtualBox installed. I was going to try the steps offered by @lee to see if I would have some success. But with gnome not working at all, it does not make sense to attempt to install that software.

Thanks for the help,
Warron

My test Alma is running under KVM/Qemu on a C7 host. I updated this morning (about half an hour ago).

My /var/log/secure for the login period has the same first three lines (20:28:27 and 20:28:38) but that’s all, no 20:28:41) The fact that you had a login screen makes me think that the hosting is working fine, you need to concentrate on why the AuthenticationAgent disconnects from the bus.

Just a passing thought, do you run the audit service? It might be worth seeing what happens in the period 20:28:39-41. I’m assuming you’ve alread checked the other logs for the same period.

@MartinR I did check the other logs. Thanks for the input, I cannot remember if I did configure auditd or not since I am using it at home to fiddle around with the OS in general.

Thanks for the feedback!

Slightly OT, but I’m in the process of migrating now to a bare metal installation and so far have had no problems with the GUI (once I’d attacked it with Tweak). Sorry if I don’t respond quickly, but when I’m on the new system I don’t see fora and emails.

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Guest additions also installs a display driver. Is that the issue?