[lug] Trouble with Gnome

Marty Haught mghaught at gmail.com
Wed Nov 30 21:03:53 MST 2005

Hey Guys,

I just joined the list even though I came to a hacker society meeting
a few weeks ago... Got a bit busy with the holidays and such.  Anyway,
I've been having a bit of trouble with Gnome.   I'll give a bit of
background first.  This is on a Dell XPS laptop with Debian testing
version and 2.6.12 kernel.  I originally started with Gnome last
summer but after I needed to reinstall the OS, I switched to KDE. 
Since I'm new to linux I wasn't sure which I would prefer.  Then I
decided to switch back to Gnome this summer.  I did so after
reformatting the harddrive.  I also did this install on my own,
whereas in the past I had an experience linux co-worker at my side.

It wasn't long until I noticed some difficulties with the install.  I
figured it was most likely Gnome.  First, I get some annoying warnings
dealing with icons on my toolbar such as 'Show Desktop' has quit
unexpectedly after I log in.  The warning window gives me two options
of don't reload or reload.  Hitting reload works fine.  This happens
with 3 other items on my lower panel.  I also get a generic error
window saying I've detected a panel already running and will not exit.
 These problems are just annoyances (as far as I can tell).  However,
after I work for a while I get more troubling issues.  First, if I use
the file browser (which I rarely use unless I want to preview images)
after a while it locks up.  After this happens the rest of gnome
doesn't seem to respond such as the application menus on the lower
panel.  Also my terminal windows will lock up at this point.  Other,
non-gnome programs seem to run fine still such as Eclipse or Firefox. 
I usually have to hit the ctrl-alt-backspace to restart the machine. 
Even if I don't use the file browser after a while I'll notice that
using the log out option on the desktop menu in the lower panel
doesn't actually work.  In that case I run the shutdown command in a
terminal (as sudo).  And in some cases the terminal window will also
lock up, especially if I try to copy contents out of it (using the
mouse's scroll wheel).

Anyway, I've got the sense that gnome is hosed.  Now that I've given
you that lengthy description of the problem my question is what's the
easiest way to fix this?  I would rather not do a complete reinstall
if i can avoid it.  Do you think removing gnome and reinstalling it
would be sufficient?

Part two of my request for help is that I'm planning on bringing my
laptop to tomorrow's hacker society gathering so if anyone wants to
pair with me to get this fixed, I'm all for it.  In that case, if
there's any 'prep' you recommend before I come that would be good to

Thanks in advance for all your help!


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