Font Manager Destroyed a complete Linux Mint System!!

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cptX
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Font Manager Destroyed a complete Linux Mint System!!

Post by cptX » Thu Feb 22, 2018 4:29 am

I'm copying here the issue I opened here: https://github.com/FontManager/master/issues/55 which the irresponsible maintainer (JerryCasiano) closed it in a blink of an eye without giving a shit if somebody will have the same problems as me!
I'm opening this here in order to protect the community from having serious problems by using this program...

Two months ago, I installed font-manager in Linux Mint 17.3.
It's the first time in my Linux career that such a small program manages to crash irreversibly a complete linux system!!!!!

After pressing the button to scan the system for fonts font-manager start hanging the system. The disk started running like crazy. After 20 minutes I had to shut the system down with hard reset....
After that the system was booting in a black screen displaying only the cursor and at the same time the disk were running like crazy.
(See the issue I openned at that time but nobody helped me so far: viewtopic.php?f=47&t=259686 )

I never managed to recover from that situation (first time in my life I couldn't recover a linux system!!!) as nobody suggested a solution and as the problem was so mystic and I had no GUI...

So I reinstalled everything in a Linux Mint 18.3 installation (we are talking about weeks of reinstalling work and still not finished...)

Today again font-manager hooked me in the same situation and this time I didn't press the scan button. I just pressed something else which I don't remember now (maybe something in the gear menu).

The system hanged immediately, the disk started running like crazy, no application was responding. Terminal, firefox and System Monitor couldn't load, so only solution was CTRL+ALT+F1.

There with iotop I noticed that csd-xsettings and cinnamon-settings.py were running like crazy!!
I was afraid to kill these processes as I had the previous bad experience, so I returned back with CTRL+ALT+F7 and did a restart. This time Cinnamon actually responded and after a couple of minutes the restart took place (probably in 18.3 cinnamon is more responsive)

After Restart I logged in again in the terrifying black screen with the cursor. You can't imagine my frustration..... but after some minutes Cinnamon managed to load and now I have again a running system.

After thourough investigation I finally found the problem:

Font manager created the file ~/.fonts.conf
in this file it is referencing ~/.config/font-manager/directories.conf
in directories.conf is referencing the home folder so it was scanning the whole home folder thinking that all files are fonts, thus creating over 30.000 font cache files in the font cache folders.

As the maintainer closed my issue without a second thought telling me that I'm using an outdated version (which is not my mistake as I found this version in the repositories) I'm asking the Linux mint community to remove at least version 0.5.7-4 from the repositories.
Really the program with just the normal usage is able to destroy somebody's computer and work.

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absque fenestris
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Re: Font Manager Destroyed a complete Linux Mint System!!

Post by absque fenestris » Thu Feb 22, 2018 5:48 am

Synaptic. Synaptic. Synaptic! There are warnings - they are for reading.
Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia (Mate) 32-bit - Acer D250 Netbook (Intel Atom N270, 2 GB RAM, 120 GB SSD)

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Pjotr
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Re: Font Manager Destroyed a complete Linux Mint System!!

Post by Pjotr » Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:15 am

Font Manager (font-manager) is a package in the Universe repo. Universe is controlled not by Mint nor even by Canonical, but by the Ubuntu community.... In this case the Ubuntu developers.

You might inform them: ubuntu-devel-discuss@lists.ubuntu.com
Note: always remain polite and friendly, otherwise you'll be ignored. They are under no obligation whatsoever to help you out or to fix this. I doubt that they'll want to spend time and effort on this obscure (and probably little used) package, because a new Ubuntu LTS is upcoming, and they have better things to do right now. But you never know.

The Universe repo means: guaranteed malware-free, but no quality warranty. None. Nada. Nix. Most of the Universe packages are good or fairly good, but it also contains some plain rubbish. Always has, always will.... It's the nature of the beast. :mrgreen:
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Cosmo.
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Re: Font Manager Destroyed a complete Linux Mint System!!

Post by Cosmo. » Thu Feb 22, 2018 6:53 am

I am running Font Manager in LM 17.3 from the official repositories since some years without issue. It would need some more investigation to find out, why this is not the case for you.

The problem after the hard reset is most likely a problem of this hard reset and not caused by Font Manager. Doing a hard reset does likely destroy your file system. If there is really no other way, you have to use the reisub method to reboot the system: Press and hold the alt key and the print key and enter r e i s u b one after the other; after the last letter the system will reboot.

Regarding the installed and the current version: The latest version seems to depend on GTK 3.22, which will be AFAIK available on Mint 19, so this is not an option.

cptX
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Re: Font Manager Destroyed a complete Linux Mint System!!

Post by cptX » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:03 pm

I posted here my experience in the hope to save some people from frustration.
I was negatively surprised by the behavior of the maintainer who is in my opinion the main responsible to solve the problem.

@Cosmo
In LM17.3 the problem happened before the reset. I just pressed the button to scan the system for font folders. You can try it but beware! Maybe in your version is now fixed!
In LM17.3 had no chance to investigate as I never managed to recover my system. But in LM18.3 I discovered the cause as I describe it:
In my case the Font-Manager was confused and added the whole home folder as fonts folder, which resulted in an infinite creation of font cache files, one for every single file found in the home folder (in some minutes font manager generated 30000 cache files.). This process was making the computer hanging and profoundly in 17.3 didn't allow Cinnamon to load, as the cache was so huge that cinammon couldn't load it...

Personally I had already 2 hard experiences with this app, so I'm not going to risk installing it again. Whoever wants to try is welcome to give here some feedback...

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Pjotr
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Re: Font Manager Destroyed a complete Linux Mint System!!

Post by Pjotr » Thu Feb 22, 2018 2:25 pm

cptX wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:03 pm
I posted here my experience in the hope to save some people from frustration.
Good idea; hopefully it does.
cptX wrote:
Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:03 pm
I was negatively surprised by the behavior of the maintainer who is in my opinion the main responsible to solve the problem.
That's incorrect. The upstream developer of font-manager can only do what he's doing already: fixing bugs in newer versions of his software. A report about an old bug in an old version of font-manager, apparently already fixed in a new version of font-manager, is of no use to him.

What's downstream in the Universe repo of Ubuntu, is no concern of his. Nor does he have any authority over it. That's solely the responsibility of the MOTU's, in this case the Ubuntu developers. See my previous message. :wink:
Tip: 10 things to do after installing Linux Mint 19 Tara
Keep your Linux Mint healthy: Avoid these 10 fatal mistakes
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