Greeter Application Crashes

In Mint 15 Cinnamon, on systems with nVidia chipsets, the login screen fails to show with the following error:

The greeter application appears to be crashing. Attempting to use a different one.

The system then tries to show the login screen, and it may repeat the error above several times. Eventually, the login screen will come up and the user will be allowed to log in. Sometimes, however, the only way to get it to work is to re-boot the machine.

According to information on the Mint forums, the issue is an interaction with the nVidia driver and some of the resolution handling code in the HTML greeter. This only seems to happen when HTML greeter mode is enabled, not with GDM or Gnome greeters. The quick workaround involves choosing a greeter type other than HTML, which is not desirable if you want to take advantage of the nicer looking HTML login screens.

In order to completely resolve this issue, the nVidia driver must be upgraded, by adding the xorg-edgers ppa, and installing an updated MDM and themes.

Install the updated nVidia drivers from the edgers ppa:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
(As of 2016/12/20 12:53, the latest nVidia driver is 331.20)

Add the updated MDM and themes:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mdm ubuntu-mdm-themes

After this, reboot the system and the problem should be completely resolved.