.Xauthority changed owner

Today all of a sudden I could not log in any more, entering my password in LightDM would only throw me back into LightDM again. I could log in on tty. Checking the system log, there was an error about systemd-homed not being available. I enabled it and it didn’t help, the error just changed to something else.

Luckily I could start xfce through startxfce4 because I had to give classes today and really needed a desktop environment urgently. Later today I had another look at the logs and saw this:

lightdm[1855]: Error writing X authority: Failed to open X authority /home/me/.Xauthority: Permission denied

Digging deeper it turned out that ~/.Xauthority was owned by root:root, setting ownership to me fixed the problem. I have no idea how this happened, I didn’t do any upgrading yesterday, I just installed something from the AUR. Has this happened to anyone else before?

According to some quick research, this typically occurs due to starting X as root. You may have accidentally done so.


Thanks! I don’t remember doing so but possible.