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Re: Lost window manager and gnome-panel



On Mon, 23 Nov 2009 22:10:06 -0500
Rob Owens <rowens@ptd.net> dijo:

> On Mon, Nov 23, 2009 at 01:14:23PM -0800, John Jason Jordan wrote:
> > On Mon, 23 Nov 2009 12:50:52 -0800
> > John Jason Jordan <johnxj@comcast.net> dijo:
> > 
> > > On Mon, 23 Nov 2009 14:53:56 -0500
> > > Tony Nelson <tonynelson@georgeanelson.com> dijo:
> > > 
> > > > On 09-11-23 13:31:14, John Jason Jordan wrote:
> > > >  ...
> > > > > 1) How can I fix Gnome? What part of the configuration starts 
> > > > > metacity and gnome-panel when the user logs in? Note that I'll have 
> > > > > to do this manually from XFCE, because I can't even get a terminal 
> > > > > running in Gnome.
> > > > 
> > > > Try creating a new user.  If that user works properly in Gnome, it's 
> > > > probably a user-specific config file, usually in a .gnome*/ directory, 
> > > > and diff'ing the files may help (I suggest meld, but I use vimdiff 
> > > > nowadays).
> > > 
> > > Now, why didn't I think of that!
> > > 
> > > Turns out that this was an excellent suggestion. I created a new user
> > > (using XFCE4), then logged out and back in as the new user. When my new
> > > user logged in I deliberately selected Gnome. And my new user got a
> > > default Gnome desktop, complete with window manager and gnome-panel.
> > > 
> > > So now we know that the problem is something in my configuration.
> > > 
> > > The only thing I can think of is that Nautilus has a bug where clicking
> > > on Preferences crashes it, so I used gconf-editor to change the way
> > > Nautilus works. I could go back and set Nautilus to defaults (I think
> > > there is an option somewhere for that), but I Gnome is not usable at
> > > the moment unless I log in as my new user. 
> > 
> > Turns out that I can edit my configurations from an XFCE4 session as
> > long as I log in as myself. I changed only one thing - so Nautilus
> > would display the desktop. Then I logged out and back in again to Gnome
> > as myself. Still no metacity or gnome-panel, but at least now I could
> > create a launcher to start a terminal. I opened a terminal and started
> > metacity and gnome-panel, and now things look as they did before.
> > 
> > The problem is that if I log out and back in to Gnome again (or reboot
> > and log in to Gnome again) I will have to use the launcher to open a
> > terminal and start metacity and gnome-panel manually. 
> > 
> In most window managers that I've used, Alt-F2 will open a "run" dialog
> box.  Type into that "gnome-terminal".
> 
> Also, you can delete your .gnome* and .gconf* directories and they will
> be re-created when you log in.  Although I would recommend moving them
> rather than deleting them:

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. 

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.

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.

I have spend hours googling trying to figure out where exactly metacity
and gnome-panel start after the login window. They must be started by a
script, a config file, or something. But exactly how must be a state
secret.

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. Either I have to
get to the bottom of it or I have to give up on Squeeze. I don't mind
working around the occasional bug, but you can't do much without a
window manager and a panel.


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