[SOLVED] plasma desktop broke - windows/panels dissapeared

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[SOLVED] plasma desktop broke - windows/panels dissapeared

Postby noobler on Tue May 29, 2012 6:16 pm

Hi,

My plasma desktop has spontaneously 'broken' on my last boot (and will not fix itself with reboot). By this I mean, the taskbar and all windows refuse to appear. Widgets appear as normal on the desktop (and I can add new ones), but when I right-click the desktop, 'run command', and start a program, the window will not appear. I can see that the programs are running because pressing alt-tab will show the windows cycling as normal, but the windows will dissapear as soon as I select a window (let go of alt-tab).

I noticed that by right clicking the desktop and clicking 'run command', I 'show system activity' and this WILL show up (unlike any other windows). In this way I can kill the plasma process, and doing so will reveal all of the windows that were not visible before (this is how I managed to get my firefox up to type this message) at the cost of losing the rest of the desktop environment.

I am running the latest Linux Mint KDE edition and my install is about two weeks old. However, this problem has happened whenever I have installed ANY distro running KDE 4; the distro will work OK for a short while but will eventually 'break' in this same way. Until now I have just installed a new distro whenever this happened, but I really like KDE and don't want to return to gnome 3, so I'd really like to troubleshoot this.

I havent' been able to find someone else with this problem with a quick googling. Has anybody seen this before? Does anybody have any ideas? Is there more information I can provide that would help diagnose the issue?

Thanks
Last edited by noobler on Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: plasma desktop broke - windows/panels dissapeared

Postby bu99zy on Tue May 29, 2012 11:06 pm

HI Noobler

I had a similar problem, a few weeks back with the same symptoms as you described.

It turned out to be an outdated widget/plasmoid, that was crashing the plasma-desktop. Try uninstalling them one by one until you find the one responsible.
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Re: plasma desktop broke - windows/panels dissapeared

Postby noobler on Wed May 30, 2012 1:35 am

Thansk for the reply bu99zy!

I'm new to KDE... can you tell me how I can uninstall a widget? (Right now I've only got the stock ones that come with KDE).

Thanks
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Re: plasma desktop broke - windows/panels dissapeared

Postby bu99zy on Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:08 pm

Plasmoids are found in

Code: Select all
/home/bu99zy/.kde/share/apps/plasma/plasmoids/


Of course you would change the name of the home founder, to the name you use eg bu99zy >> noobler or what ever user name you use to log in.

If you are doing it in a console, use the list command to see if there is anything in that folder.

Code: Select all
ls /home/bu99zy/.kde/share/apps/plasma/plasmoids/


Then use the rm folder command

Code: Select all
rm -rf /home/bu99zy/.kde/share/apps/plasma/plasmoids/NAME_OF_FOLDER


Example below to remove appmenu-qml

Code: Select all
bu99zy@bu9b0x ~ $ ls /home/bu99zy/.kde/share/apps/plasma/plasmoids/
appmenu-qml  notifier  veromix-plasmoid
bu99zy@bu9b0x ~ $ rm -rf /home/bu99zy/.kde/share/apps/plasma/plasmoids/appmenu-qml
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Re: plasma desktop broke - windows/panels dissapeared

Postby noobler on Sun Jun 03, 2012 1:52 am

Thanks again for the reply bu99zy! I appreaciate your help...
I actually opened a bug in the KDE bug tracker after posting this (bug 301022), and the fine folks in the KDE community helped fix the problem. Thankfully, I got my desktop working without having to uninstall any of my plasmoids. (It's still good to know where they're stored and how to remove them though, so thanks for sharing that :) )

It turned out to be a settings issue: my .kde/share/config/plasma-desktop-appletsrc config file got corrupted somehow, and the desktop's depth value got changed such that it was being displayed on top of everything else. Because of this, windows and panels were hidden behind my desktop. This also explains why the windows became visible when I killed the plasma-desktop process.
I replaced the above mentioned configuration file with that of a brand new user. This fixed the problem by reverting all of my settings.

I still don't know why my configuration file got corrupted, and why this seems to happen to me regularly with every KDE distro I try, but I'm really glad that I got my plasma desktop working again. The only downside, is that because I can't understand the contents of plasma-desktop-appletsrc, I couldn't selectively modify it to fix the problem, and in replacing it altogether, I lost all of the customizations I made to my desktop (to the panels and such). Either way, I'm extatic that I've got my KDE working, and I don't have to switch back to gnome :)
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