Re: Lost window manager and gnome-panel
On Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 11:13:14PM EST, John Jason Jordan wrote:
> On Mon, 23 Nov 2009 22:10:06 -0500
> Rob Owens <email@example.com> dijo:
> > On Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 01:14:23PM -0800, John Jason Jordan wrote:
I just noticed this thread, so please ignore if you have already been
> Tony suggested polluting my new user alter ego with the gnome
> configuration files from my regular self. I started by just
> renaming .gconf, .gnome2 and .gnome2_private, then logging out and back
> in again as myself. There was no change - metacity and gnome-panel
> still did not start.
To be on the safe side, rather than logging out and back in again, you
should have rebooted. We don't know if gnome keeps a copy of the
contents of these files (or part thereof) in storage across logins. The
heavier desktop environments like to keep stuff around so they can come
back up faster than the competition.
> Yet they do start for my new user alter ego. So I used Tony's
> suggestion and copied my original .gconf, .gnome2 and .gnome2_private
> files to the new user, then logged in as the new user. The new user
> still had metacity and gnome-panel.
> Conclusion: The problem is somewhere in my configuration files, but
> not in .gconf, .gnome2 or .gnome2_private.
Since you write that you logged out and logged back in, I assume that
you were in gnome when you renamed the files.
Or did you su to root under your test user, rename the files and then
logged out and logged back in as yourself?
In any case, when you logged back in as yourself, the three directories
had been recreated, right?
If you did the renaming under your own user, how do we know gnome had
not recreated these directories when you logged out, possibly using some
of the stuff you had in memory to populate them - rather than recreated
them from scratch when you logged back in?
Even if you did it from another user, how do we know gnome did not keep
configuration data from your last session around and used that to
recreate your config files?
Whatever the case, you may want to boot into Squeeze, log in as another
user, su to root, rename the gnome/gconf stuff in your regular user's
home directory and log back in as yourself - or do the renaming off of
another system if you have one available on this box.
> Logged in as myself and having started metacity and gnome-panel
> manually from the terminal, I reinstalled gnome-panel and metacity and
> all their libraries and dependencies with Synaptic. No joy.
Which tends to suggest that the problem is indeed with your config
files. Maybe, maybe not.. but that's definitely the first place to look.
> I have spend hours googling trying to figure out where exactly
> metacity and gnome-panel start after the login window.
Google's usefulness in this respect is directly related to how closely
and 'exclusively' your keywords match the problem.
Maybe this has already been suggested by somebody else, but I would
check the contents of a file called ~/.xsession-errors and look for
suspicious messages relative to 'metacity' or 'gnome-panel'. Since you
have at test user that does not have the problem, you could display that
user's .xsession-errors side by side with yours and see if you can spot
any useful differences. If there are any, the messages may be too
cryptic to draw conclusions, but they may provide something that you
can use to google for a solution.
Large programs such as gnome usually have a searchable bug-tracking
system. If google does not provide anything conclusive, or too many
hits, it may be worth taking a look.
I didn't see anything that looked clearly related to your problem, but
sometimes while looking at currently open bugs, you may run into one
that reminds you of something that you saw and either had forgotten, or
thought might not be relevant, and that might put you on the right
> They must be started by a script, a config file, or something. But
> exactly how must be a state secret.
Did you check if they were actually running?
$ ps -Alf | grep -i metacity
$ ps -Alf | grep -i gnome-panel
> Still trying to figure out how to fix the problem.
> I could wipe out testing and reinstall, but this is the second time I
> have installed it and exactly the same thing happened last time. If I
> reinstall probably the same thing will happen again.
Actually, there are over 28,000 hits in google with keywords 'gnome
panel disappeared' and though they are mostly for ubuntu, this might be
the same issue, since my understanding is that ubuntu is pretty much a
rehash of debian testing with additional updates and cosmetics (?)
> Either I have to get to the bottom of it or I have to give up on
> I don't mind working around the occasional bug, but you can't do much
> without a window manager and a panel.
Please note, that I haven't been near gnome in 3-4 years and only used
it for a few weeks at the time, but oddly enough, I do remember having
lost icons, maybe even the panel at some point.