[SOLVED:] Suddenly Cinnamon has multiple malfunctions (keyboard, windows) upon boot, and restoring from backups [. .]

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BeyondLies_MintForum
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[SOLVED:] Suddenly Cinnamon has multiple malfunctions (keyboard, windows) upon boot, and restoring from backups [. .]

Post by BeyondLies_MintForum »

Dear all

After I rebooted one of my Mint PCs today (which has a fairly up-to-date Mint 21 Cinnamon), it went haywire, in that all of the following started happening.

- My wallpaper did not appear under my Conky or underneath my dock (Plank).
- Keyboard focus malfunctions: sometimes, to type into a window, I have to close other windows that are behind it.
- Keyboard shortcuts do not work.
- The power menu, within the main Mint menu, does not appear when clicked.
- Windows have no title bars.
EDIT: oh, any my top panel had been obliterated and there was panel misbehaviour when I re-created it (though panel glitches may not be new).

I tried restoring / via Timeshift, and even went a week - no dice.
I tried restoring (from a backup) various directories under ~/.cinnamon/.config - no dice, at least not so far. (See below.)

What does work - as a workaround - is re-starting Cinnamon; upon doing that, all goes back to normal, until the next reboot.

I have yet to see what happens with a different user account. (At present I've restored my oldest Timeshift backup, and right now I am running apt-get-update on it.)

I am unsure what if anything I've done to cause all this. I did remove some packages within the last few days, but I think my Timeshift restores would have undone those removals.

I haven't managed to spot anything relevant in any logs yet.

Has anyone ever seen anything like this? Any idea of the fix? Thanks.
Last edited by BeyondLies_MintForum on Wed Sep 28, 2022 8:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Suddenly Cinnamon has multiple malfunctions (keyboard, windows) upon boot, and restoring from backups is not helping

Post by Pjotr »

Please generate an overview of your system like this:

- Launch a terminal window (this is how to launch a terminal window);

- Make the terminal window full screen, to avoid chopped lines;

- Copy/paste this command into the terminal:

Code: Select all

inxi -Fxpmrz
(if you type: the letter F is a capital letter, and don't omit the space after inxi!)

Press Enter.

Copy/paste the output in your next message.
Tip: 10 things to do after installing Linux Mint 21 Vanessa
Keep your Linux Mint healthy: Avoid these 10 fatal mistakes
Twitter: twitter.com/easylinuxtips
All in all, horse sense simply makes sense.
BeyondLies_MintForum
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Re: Suddenly Cinnamon has multiple malfunctions (keyboard, windows) upon boot, and restoring from backups is not helping

Post by BeyondLies_MintForum »

Thanks.

Code: Select all

System:
  Kernel: 5.15.0-46-generic x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 11.2.0
    Desktop: Cinnamon 5.4.12 Distro: Linux Mint 21 Vanessa
    base: Ubuntu 22.04 jammy
Machine:
  Type: Laptop System: LENOVO product: 2325L19 v: ThinkPad X230
    serial: <superuser required>
  Mobo: LENOVO model: 2325L19 serial: <superuser required> UEFI: LENOVO
    v: G2ETB6WW (2.76 ) date: 06/11/2019
Battery:
  ID-1: BAT0 charge: 72.9 Wh (78.6%) condition: 92.8/93.2 Wh (99.5%)
    volts: 11.9 min: 11.1 model: LGC 45N1029 status: Not charging
  Device-1: hidpp_battery_0
    model: Logitech M720 Triathlon Multi-Device Mouse
    charge: 100% (should be ignored) status: Discharging
Memory:
  RAM: total: 7.58 GiB used: 1.26 GiB (16.7%)
  RAM Report:
    permissions: Unable to run dmidecode. Root privileges required.
CPU:
  Info: dual core model: Intel Core i5-3320M bits: 64 type: MT MCP
    arch: Ivy Bridge rev: 9 cache: L1: 128 KiB L2: 512 KiB L3: 3 MiB
  Speed (MHz): avg: 1473 high: 1866 min/max: 1200/3300 cores: 1: 1866
    2: 1303 3: 1375 4: 1349 bogomips: 20752
  Flags: avx ht lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx
Graphics:
  Device-1: Intel 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics vendor: Lenovo driver: i915
    v: kernel bus-ID: 00:02.0
  Device-2: Chicony Integrated Camera type: USB driver: uvcvideo
    bus-ID: 1-1.6:4
  Display: x11 server: X.Org v: 1.21.1.3 driver: X: loaded: modesetting
    gpu: i915 resolution: 1366x768~60Hz
  OpenGL: renderer: Mesa Intel HD Graphics 4000 (IVB GT2)
    v: 4.2 Mesa 22.0.5 direct render: Yes
Audio:
  Device-1: Intel 7 Series/C216 Family High Definition Audio vendor: Lenovo
    driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
  Sound Server-1: ALSA v: k5.15.0-46-generic running: yes
  Sound Server-2: PulseAudio v: 15.99.1 running: yes
  Sound Server-3: PipeWire v: 0.3.48 running: yes
Network:
  Device-1: Intel 82579LM Gigabit Network vendor: Lenovo driver: e1000e
    v: kernel port: 6080 bus-ID: 00:19.0
  IF: enp0s25 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
  Device-2: Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 [Taylor Peak] driver: iwlwifi
    v: kernel bus-ID: 03:00.0
  IF: wlp3s0 state: down mac: <filter>
  IF-ID-1: lxcbr0 state: down mac: <filter>
  IF-ID-2: [redacted] state: unknown speed: N/A duplex: N/A mac: N/A
Drives:
  Local Storage: total: 223.57 GiB used: 75.56 GiB (33.8%)
  ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Intel model: [redacted] size: 223.57 GiB
Partition:
  ID-1: / size: 51.8 GiB used: 18.31 GiB (35.3%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda2
  ID-2: /boot/efi size: 523 MiB used: 5.2 MiB (1.0%) fs: vfat
    dev: /dev/sda1
  ID-3: /home size: 150.97 GiB used: 57.24 GiB (37.9%) fs: ext4
    dev: /dev/sda3
Swap:
  ID-1: swap-1 type: partition size: 14.9 GiB used: 0 KiB (0.0%)
    dev: /dev/sda4
Sensors:
  System Temperatures: cpu: 49.0 C mobo: N/A
  Fan Speeds (RPM): fan-1: 2915
Repos:
  Packages: 3637
  No active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list
  Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/agornostal-ulauncher-jammy.list
    1: deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/agornostal/ulauncher/ubuntu jammy main
  Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/danielrichter2007-grub-customizer-jammy.list
    1: deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/danielrichter2007/grub-customizer/ubuntu jammy main
  Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-chrome.list
    1: deb [arch=amd64] https://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/ stable main
  Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/official-package-repositories.list
    1: deb https://www.mirrorservice.org/sites/packages.linuxmint.com/packages vanessa main upstream import backport
    2: deb http://www.mirrorservice.org/sites/archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu jammy main restricted universe multiverse
    3: deb http://www.mirrorservice.org/sites/archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu jammy-updates main restricted universe multiverse
    4: deb http://www.mirrorservice.org/sites/archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu jammy-backports main restricted universe multiverse
    5: deb http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ jammy-security main restricted universe multiverse
  Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/phoerious-keepassxc-jammy.list
    1: deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/phoerious/keepassxc/ubuntu jammy main
  Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/recoll-backports-recoll-1_15-on-focal.list
    1: deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/recoll-backports/recoll-1.15-on/ubuntu jammy main
  Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/skype-stable.list
    1: deb [arch=amd64] https://repo.skype.com/deb stable main
  Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/sublime-text.list
    1: deb https://download.sublimetext.com/ apt/dev/
  Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/syncthing.list
    1: deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/syncthing-archive-keyring.gpg] https://apt.syncthing.net/ syncthing stable
  Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/teejeetech-ukuu.list
    1: deb [arch=amd64 signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/teejeetech-ukuu-keyring.gpg] https://packages.teejeetech.com/ukuu/g6YLZAWavG/ubuntu/focal/amd64 stable main
  Active apt repos in: /etc/apt/sources.list.d/yubico-stable-focal.list
    1: deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/yubico/stable/ubuntu jammy main
Info:
  Processes: 260 Uptime: 1m Init: syst
BeyondLies_MintForum
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Re: Suddenly Cinnamon has multiple malfunctions (keyboard, windows) upon boot, and restoring from backups is not helping

Post by BeyondLies_MintForum »

The problem seems to be the same as posted here, though that post got no replies. I think the proximate cause likely to be that some cinnamon daemon(s) does/do not run at boot. But which one(s), and why?

But, ah, I've narrowed down the problem: on my Mint PC that works, the process cinnamon-settings is running - and on the PC that is broken that process is not running - not until I restart Cinnamon. . Except, hold on: even after restarting Cinnamon (on the problematic PC), there is no cinnamon-settings running, even though everything now works . .
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Re: Suddenly Cinnamon has multiple malfunctions (keyboard, windows) upon boot, and restoring from backups is not helping

Post by Cosmo. »

Referring to a post about Mint 16, forget it.
BeyondLies_MintForum wrote:
Wed Sep 28, 2022 2:12 pm
process cinnamon-settings
That process is not supposed to run, except you have the system settings opened.

More of interest would be the result with a fresh account.
Gotcha!
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Re: Suddenly Cinnamon has multiple malfunctions (keyboard, windows) upon boot, and restoring from backups is not helping

Post by BeyondLies_MintForum »

That process is not supposed to run, except you have the system settings opened.
Ah. I found various old bug reports that said that the process was supposed to run at (but perhaps not persist after?) boot. One such report is this one.
> More of interest would be the result with a fresh account.
Recently I tried logging in (graphically) to a pre-existing but different user-account. It worked fine. But the other account, the borked one, is my main (and heavily customised) account. As I said, I did try copying across settings from one to the other but to no good effect.
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Re: Suddenly Cinnamon has multiple malfunctions (keyboard, windows) upon boot, and restoring from backups is not helping

Post by Cosmo. »

You love outdated posts, do you. :shock: Your last link is nearly as old as the previous one - and it is not even about Mint.

If the second account works as expected, than we know, that the problem is account related.
Do this in the main account:
For investigating the culprit in your main account:

Open the file manager and make hidden files visible (ctrl-h).

#1 Delete the hidden folder .cache. Log out and back in and check.

The folder gets automatically recreated.

#2 If this does not help rename the folder .config to .config.renamed. Log out / in.
Very most of your settings will get lost, but you can get them back, by renaming to the original name.

Also here a new folder with default content gets created. If you later want to get back, delete this folder and rename the original folder back. Out / In.

#3 The same as #2 with .local.

Somehow I have the feeling, that I should strongly request, that you backup your user data at first! Should my feeling be wrong it does not hurt.
Gotcha!
BeyondLies_MintForum
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Re: Suddenly Cinnamon has multiple malfunctions (keyboard, windows) upon boot, and restoring from backups is not helping

Post by BeyondLies_MintForum »

The bug report that I cited itself cites this one, and that latter report is about Cinnamon (though yes: it, too, is old; but not all problems are wholly new problems, and in searching for a solution one takes what one can find).

Thank you for your help.

Deleting /home/<me>/.cache did not help. Renaming /home/<me>/.config resulted in my seeing a default wallpaper and absolutely nothing else: no icons, no panels. Default keyboard shortcuts do not work. The PC's physical power button did not work. But I could access a tty and so I logged into my other account (which bears the apt name 'fallback') and undid the rename. And now I am back to where I was before.

PS: Let me stress that I do have (and did already have) backups: I have backups of most of my user account data, and backups of my system partition. The problem is that restoring those backups has thus far not helped - though, yes, had I a recent image backup, i.e. sector-by-sector backup, of /home, then simply restoring it would stand a good chance of helping me fix the problem.
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Re: Suddenly Cinnamon has multiple malfunctions (keyboard, windows) upon boot, and restoring from backups is not helping

Post by Cosmo. »

BeyondLies_MintForum wrote:
Wed Sep 28, 2022 4:29 pm
Renaming /home/<me>/.config resulted in my seeing a default wallpaper and absolutely nothing else: no icons, no panels. Default keyboard shortcuts do not work. The PC's physical power button did not work.
That should not happen and must have a reason. Did you also try with ~/.local (~ is a shortcut for /home/<me>) and with both together?
Gotcha!
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Re: Suddenly Cinnamon has multiple malfunctions (keyboard, windows) upon boot, and restoring from backups is not helping

Post by BeyondLies_MintForum »

My mistake. I omitted to rename ~/.local. Once I had done so, the user account at issue worked properly.

I added back the .config folder. Nothing broke. So now gradually I adding back the material that was in .local, hoping thereby to (1) get my system back as it was, (2) work out what the problem was.

Thank you very much for your help!
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Re: Suddenly Cinnamon has multiple malfunctions (keyboard, windows) upon boot, and restoring from backups is not helping

Post by BeyondLies_MintForum »

From the old .local, I've copied back everything that looked useful.

There was a load of cruft in there, especially in /share - stuff from applications I no longer has installed. What does that directory, ~/.share, do? I wonder whether what fixed the problem was (1) recreating stuff in .local that was missing, or (2) not copying back some stuff. I suspect 1.

Anyhow: I've got back seemingly everything, except some local network credentials, for Nemo, which I can add back, manually, later.
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Re: [SOLVED:] Suddenly Cinnamon has multiple malfunctions (keyboard, windows) upon boot, and restoring from backups [. .

Post by Cosmo. »

I am sure you mean actually ~/.local/share.
It is the folder for the containing subfolders with all kind of content. Usually share is the only subfolder in .local.
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Re: [SOLVED:] Suddenly Cinnamon has multiple malfunctions (keyboard, windows) upon boot, and restoring from backups [. .

Post by BeyondLies_MintForum »

I did. I gave merely the leafname (though perhaps I should not have prepended a slash).

Seemingly ~/.local is for 'user program data'. (See here.) The more specific purpose of the subdirectory ~/.local/share is something . . I will have to look into.
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