[lug] Trouble with Gnome

Hugh Brown hugh at math.byu.edu
Thu Dec 1 13:32:24 MST 2005

> 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).

Two thoughts: this is the testing version of Debian.  Generally it
doesn't have issues, but occasionally it will get a bit wacky.

Use the virtual terminals to deal with problems in X/Gnome if possible.
If you type Ctrl-Alt-F1 you will go to a console/virtual terminal login.
When you are done, exit/logout from the VT and then type Ctrl-Alt-F7 and
you should go back to the X session.  It may be on Ctrl-Alt-F8, but try
the F7 one first.

> 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?

The first step is usually to clean out your .gnome*/.gconf*
configuration.  Log in to a VT or in failsafe mode and then either move
or remove all the ~/.gnome*  ~/.gconf* files out of the way.  Then log
in to Gnome again and you will have a fresh user set up of gnome.

I have to admit, I fall into the "prefers KDE" category.  Gconf
irritates me to no end.  But that's a personal problem :)


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