ALL OF A SUDDEN! I'm getting major system window issus.

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Hiero2
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ALL OF A SUDDEN! I'm getting major system window issus.

Post by Hiero2 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:29 pm

Greets - the problem(s): in xfce, my windows lost their title bar. Can't move the windows, can't switch between window. Programs will open, but I can't get back to a program after opening a new one. In Cinnamon and xfce, I have gotten "Linux Mint has an internal failure" crashes. I can't copy and paste the error message.

The error message seem to indicate something in nautilus, but could be a result of a dependency crashing.

System is Mint 13, Cinnamon, 32 bit, with xfce added on top.

I recently installed SpiderOak - a 3rd party package. I don't think I did any updates after that, but before the problem, but who knows, maybe I did. I uninstalled the Spider Oak package. No change to symptoms.

Cinnamon mostly is running, with the occasional internal failure error. Xfce is kinda unusable.

So, what error logs do I look at to find out what they said? What other error logs might be helpful?

Where else, or what else, should I be looking at?

Is this coincidental to the SpiderOak installation, or could SpiderOak be the cause?

Should I attempt to reinstall some of the offending programs, like nautilus?

I'm kinda hoping it is not the SpiderOak. I like their ideas on security for a Dropbox clone. I can use that.

Hiero2
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Re: ALL OF A SUDDEN! I'm getting major system window issus.

Post by Hiero2 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 4:20 pm

Bump, please.

Another possible symptom/clue - the gnome widgets are not working. They crash on desktop start on both Cinnamon and xfce. In xfce I at least get an error telling me they have crashed. On Cinammon they have died silently.

I uninstalled the SpiderOak and there was no change.

I just don't know where to look in the logs for these errors. I'm afraid I haven't been using the log files that much. More like "not at all" for the past few years, except for some fairly specific logs. Last time I really did I had a log called "errors" and another called "messages" that recorded pretty much everything. I can't even find them now - and I'm wondering if those logs were in OpenSuse (I switched to Ubuntu 10.04 gnome/xfce, then recently upgraded to Mint 13.)

Not sure how to go about fixing this, either. Reinstall from scratch? Hate to go there I it is not necessary.

Maybe I'll stick in the cd and see if there is a "repair installation" option - I don't recall it if there is.

I know I'm sounding pretty stupid at this point, but what the heck, sometimes I suppose I am!

Anyway, I can't seem to find anything in the xorg log using the gui log viewer. But I can't seem to get the "filters" to work either. Shoot, another learning curve every way I turn. I guess I'm could relearn how to do the log viewing from the command line using grep. But I've forgotten how to tell which lines are errors and all that stuff.

So, please give a shot at answering these questions: Is there a single log file that records errors in Mint? Is there a single log file that records all system messages in Mint (maybe syslog?)?

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DrHu
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Re: ALL OF A SUDDEN! I'm getting major system window issus.

Post by DrHu » Mon Mar 03, 2014 5:29 pm

If I was there, I would reinstall the parts that I am interested in getting to work and concentrate on one component
--for example, if I want xfce to work, I would be reinstalling that and its parts and fixing any detected errors (depencies or otherwise)

I would be installing from the terminal, not a GUI
--but if one is lazy a gui may work, for example Synaptic package manager
  • It would be safer and surer to do any installs via the terminal, thus avoiding desktop GUI issues..
Unless you know the installed system and a particular application or component; looking at logs won't help much, if at all.

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Re: ALL OF A SUDDEN! I'm getting major system window issus.

Post by Habitual » Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:51 pm

The first thing I would "do" is create a new user on the system and login as that new user to see if the problem is in fact, system-wide or specific to your login identity (something in your ~/.config or ~/.gconf) that may be causing the issue.
You may have to give it some time to make itself known, or not :)

If your usual login shows these symptoms within a few minutes, then give the new user the same amount of time to see what's up with the system.

Please let us know.

Hiero2
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Re: ALL OF A SUDDEN! I'm getting major system window issus.

Post by Hiero2 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:32 pm

Habitual wrote:The first thing I would "do" is create a new user on the system and login as that new user to see if the problem is in fact, system-wide or specific to your login identity (something in your ~/.config or ~/.gconf) that may be causing the issue.
You may have to give it some time to make itself known, or not :)

If your usual login shows these symptoms within a few minutes, then give the new user the same amount of time to see what's up with the system.

Please let us know.
That is an excellent idea. The quick road was to try and reinstall the impacted components, like nautilus and xfce, and I did that, without any change. When I can FIND the error messages, in the past, I've had good luck tracking problems down - as the terminal error message is usually more helpful than a gui error message.

I'm going to a LUG meetup tonight, and I'll take my /var with me. Somebody there will figure out where to look. And probably more, too. If I can find the system messages - they have special little "markers" recorded so you can pick out just the errors and and filter on a number of things. I just don't remember how, and I'll have to revisit that to get it back.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Ok - held off on posting this reply until I had tried logging in as a new user. Created one, did so, in xfce almost immediately got the "linux mint 13 internal error", with the error report starting at /usr/bin/nautilus.

So, next step is to either find the appropriate error message - or do a cold reinstall. Since doing a full reinstall to a blank system and migrating docs back into the system, and then moving partitions about to get back to "where we were" - is such a pita, it is obviously less desirable.

Well, we shall see what it takes. More to come, I think.

Hiero2
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Re: ALL OF A SUDDEN! I'm getting major system window issus.

Post by Hiero2 » Fri Mar 07, 2014 5:13 pm

Update;

Very interesting results. Time passes, and I, of course, logged in again. I just thought I'd give the 2nd user another go. No "internal error" - and I discovered that all the "broken" stuff in xfce was NOT broken with the 2nd user. So I'm facing 2 issues, not one.

I renamed the xfce and a couple of other config directories, and logged in as my main user. Lost all my settings of course, but the broken stuff worked again.

So, one issue resolved. Now I have to figure out why I was getting the "internal error" crash from /usr/bin/nautilus.

And, I'll have to reinstall SpiderOak to see if it breaks things this time. Of course, if it doesn't, something else broke them.

I especially appreciate the tip to create a 2nd user. That was a very good idea - especially since it lead to answers!

Hiero2
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Re: ALL OF A SUDDEN! I'm getting major system window issus.

Post by Hiero2 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 6:19 pm

Further update;

Xfce is still working. After reinstalling SpiderOak, I don't get a repeat of the issues. The spideroak installation appears to have been a red herring.

Idk confused happened, but something borked two things - the xfce desktop settings, and whatever is causing the program crashes. I still have not tracked that down, although I have a few clues.

I did find the crash logs - in a folder named crash, of all things! Who'd a thunk. Major facepalm on that one.

Habitual
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Re: ALL OF A SUDDEN! I'm getting major system window issus.

Post by Habitual » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:12 pm

So, you create a new user and no problems with the new user AND now you have 2 problems?
Your math eludes me.

Logout of the GUI
Press Ctrl+Alt+F1 and login as yourself ('broken' user)

Code: Select all

mv ~/.config ~/.config.org
mv ~/.gconf ~/.gconf.org
exit
Ctrl+Alt+F7 and login as the 'broken' user.

NOTE: You will have to re-setup your desktop environment (panels/startup stuff, etc..)
but the crashing/issue/errors should not be present.

Hiero2
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Re: ALL OF A SUDDEN! I'm getting major system window issus.

Post by Hiero2 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:20 pm

Habitual wrote:So, you create a new user and no problems with the new user AND now you have 2 problems?
Your math eludes me.

Logout of the GUI
Press Ctrl+Alt+F1 and login as yourself ('broken' user)

Code: Select all

mv ~/.config ~/.config.org
mv ~/.gconf ~/.gconf.org
exit
Ctrl+Alt+F7 and login as the 'broken' user.

NOTE: You will have to re-setup your desktop environment (panels/startup stuff, etc..)
but the crashing/issue/errors should not be present.
Hehehe, oh my, got me laughing. Not quite - removing the configs fixed the window appearance - but I have no assurance that it fixed the crashes that were occurring simultaneously. At the moment, I am think they were coincidental - since the crash indicators point in directions other than configuration. Amof, it was the crash report that got me looking at the SpiderOak install - as it said something about 3rd party software. Once I was able to actually READ the crash report, in full, it was not SpiderOak that was being pointed at - but something to do with python versions - I forget exactly what the words were. Frankly, I think the crash reports are handing out wild guesses in this case. But, be what it may, I am movin' on!

:D

Edit adder: btw - that is an elegant way to rename the .config and .gconf settings directories!

Habitual
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Re: ALL OF A SUDDEN! I'm getting major system window issus.

Post by Habitual » Fri Mar 28, 2014 3:59 pm

So, you're all better now? as in "Fixed"?

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