Running Fedora 16 3.2.3-2.fc16.x86-64 on box with Intel Q8200 cpu. Login problem also occurred when I was running version 3.2.2-1. Exactly the same symptoms. Selinux is running in permissive mode and the file system was relabeled on the off chance that this might help. It did not.
It is possible the the problem is related to the installation of an HP printer using the hplip driver, since it started on the first reboot after that installation. But that is probably just be a coincidence.
After the login problem started to occur, and I read various other posts, I noticed and fixed the problem that /etc/shells did not show /bin/bash and /bin/sh. But after that fix, the login problem still happened.
The first login can be for any user (there are three). I created a new user Parkie who has nothing but a home directory and a new uid. The .xsession.errors for the first login (which was for user Parkie) is seen in the attachment xsession.errors.1.txt.
The second login attempt was for user mike instead of Parkie. User mike has quite a bit of stuff under his home directory and a number of hidden files for various things such as thunderbird, google-chrome, etc.
On this login attempt, the desktop appeared without any fuss or muss. The contents of xession.errors for the second login are found in the attachment xsession.errors.2.txt
Just in case it might have a clue in it, I have attached messages.txt which has the contents of the last 226 lines of var/log/messages as it was after the first login attempt.
Except for the nuisance and the time, as far as I can tell, the second login really works; I can print a test page to the printer. Everything else seems to be functioning properly.
Anyone got any ideas as to what might be causing this kind of behavior?
And of course, anyone got any ideas of how to fix this?