mintMenu disappears upon login

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GradysGhost
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mintMenu disappears upon login

Post by GradysGhost »

Running Linux Mint Helena with all updates applied, and mintMenu version 4.9.3 is giving me some trouble.

I can't decide on what the inciting factor is, but the problem seems to happen more often when I'm coming out of sleep mode than when I power the computer on from cold boot. At any rate, the mintMenu panel applet all but disappears. It actually shrinks to one pixel wide, so I have to hunt for it to click it. The keyboard shortcut (Control + Super_L, the default) still works when it's hidden. To get it back, I am currently locating that one pixel that it occupies and right-clicking it to get to the properties. I hide and then show the button icon and the panel applet reappears.

FWIW, I've configured it to leave off the word "Menu" and only show the button. I'm running Mint on an Acer Aspire 5534-1121, and everything else seems to be fine. I'm also running the same distro and version on my desktop (custom built), and it's not experiencing the problem at all. That computer never sleeps, though, which kinda points the finger at the sleep issue (or a hardware incompatibility problem). If there are more details needed, let me know what they are, and I'll post them.

This is more of an annoyance than a real problem. I'm not gonna switch distros because of this. I can get the menu back, but it's really annoying to have to do it all the time. Any advice from the community?
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viking777
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Re: mintMenu disappears upon login

Post by viking777 »

Well that is strange. I have an Acer Aspire too (different model though) and I am getting a similar problem intermittently. I don't use sleep mode so I don't know about that, but like yourself it occurs after a cold boot not after a reboot. My solution is to restart the X server (Ctl/Alt/Backspace) I hadn't thought to try the keyboard shortcut, I will try that next time it happens. It doesn't happen often but I have never known it with earlier versions of Mint.

I have another slight annoyance too, which may be related, and that is that at random boot ups some of my tray icons are duplicated (like Volume, Network Manager etc). An X restart cures that as well.
Fujitsu Lifebook AH532. Intel i5 processor, 6Gb ram, Intel HD3000 graphics, Intel Audio/wifi. Realtek RTL8111/8168B Ethernet.Lubuntu 13.10,Ubuntu12.10 (Unity), Mint16 (Cinnamon), Manjaro (Xfce).
GradysGhost
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Re: mintMenu disappears upon login

Post by GradysGhost »

I also have automatic login set up, and I'm wondering if it has something to do with the keyring not unlocking automatically along with it. Restarting X would require you to log in again, correct? Those duplicate tray icons -- are they responsive to mouse clicks, or are they just duplicated graphics that do nothing?
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viking777
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Re: mintMenu disappears upon login

Post by viking777 »

GradysGhost wrote:I also have automatic login set up, and I'm wondering if it has something to do with the keyring not unlocking automatically along with it. Restarting X would require you to log in again, correct? Those duplicate tray icons -- are they responsive to mouse clicks, or are they just duplicated graphics that do nothing?
I also have automatic login set.
Restarting X would require you to log in again, correct?
Correct.
Those duplicate tray icons -- are they responsive to mouse clicks, or are they just duplicated graphics that do nothing?
I haven't actually tried clicking them, I will have to wait until next time it happens to answer that.
Fujitsu Lifebook AH532. Intel i5 processor, 6Gb ram, Intel HD3000 graphics, Intel Audio/wifi. Realtek RTL8111/8168B Ethernet.Lubuntu 13.10,Ubuntu12.10 (Unity), Mint16 (Cinnamon), Manjaro (Xfce).
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viking777
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Re: mintMenu disappears upon login

Post by viking777 »

This just happened to me again (so I guess that is about 4 days since the last time). This time I tried your method of removing and replacing the button icon and it worked nicely - a bit quicker than logging in and out again. Still a nuisance though.
Fujitsu Lifebook AH532. Intel i5 processor, 6Gb ram, Intel HD3000 graphics, Intel Audio/wifi. Realtek RTL8111/8168B Ethernet.Lubuntu 13.10,Ubuntu12.10 (Unity), Mint16 (Cinnamon), Manjaro (Xfce).
GradysGhost
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Re: mintMenu disappears upon login

Post by GradysGhost »

I think I've identified my problem.

It starts when I have the sleep issue. If I put my laptop to sleep while it's plugged into AC power, it will consistently fail to wake up if it is not plugged into AC power. I do not have this problem if it goes to sleep on battery power, no matter what power state it's in upon wake-up. When it fails to wake up from sleep, I'm forced to do a hard power-down (hold power button for 5-10 seconds) and bring it up from cold boot.

Under these circumstances (hard down, cold up), the main menu button disappears. More precisely, it slims down to a single pixel's width.

For this reason, I believe the problem has something to do with the way the panel applet is not properly unloaded when the hard power-down occurs. I will probably try to find the source code for mintMenu to review the startup code and see if it accounts for bad unloads.

The easiest way to arrive at a temporary fix for this is to launch gconf-editor and browse to /apps/mintMenu Change the hide_applet_icon value to whatever it isn't set to at the time, then change it again. The menu will return.
GradysGhost
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Re: mintMenu disappears upon login

Post by GradysGhost »

Just noticed that there's a new version of mintmenu, so I upgraded. I will have to do more testing to be sure, but the changelog did not address this issue.
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viking777
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Re: mintMenu disappears upon login

Post by viking777 »

GradysGhost wrote:Just noticed that there's a new version of mintmenu, so I upgraded. I will have to do more testing to be sure, but the changelog did not address this issue.
Yeah, I got that yesterday and so far it hasn't happened again, but it is very early days yet, as I said last time it took 4 days to recur. Sleep modes (hibernate or suspend) are not the issue with me, I never use them.
Fujitsu Lifebook AH532. Intel i5 processor, 6Gb ram, Intel HD3000 graphics, Intel Audio/wifi. Realtek RTL8111/8168B Ethernet.Lubuntu 13.10,Ubuntu12.10 (Unity), Mint16 (Cinnamon), Manjaro (Xfce).
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viking777
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Re: mintMenu disappears upon login

Post by viking777 »

GradysGhost wrote: Those duplicate tray icons -- are they responsive to mouse clicks, or are they just duplicated graphics that do nothing?
Well it is all happening today. I am now able to answer your question above, which I couldn't do before. The icons are just duplicated graphics, they do nothing and unfortunately if you right click on them and select 'Remove from Panel' it actually removes the Notification area not the duplicated graphic within it. (at the moment I have 2.5 clipboard icons - not 2 and not 3 but 2 and a half!)
Fujitsu Lifebook AH532. Intel i5 processor, 6Gb ram, Intel HD3000 graphics, Intel Audio/wifi. Realtek RTL8111/8168B Ethernet.Lubuntu 13.10,Ubuntu12.10 (Unity), Mint16 (Cinnamon), Manjaro (Xfce).
bealer
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Re: mintMenu disappears upon login

Post by bealer »

My folks are getting this problem. I've not had a chance to pop back there to investigate though.
GradysGhost
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Re: mintMenu disappears upon login

Post by GradysGhost »

bealer wrote:My folks are getting this problem. I've not had a chance to pop back there to investigate though.
The problem has something to do with sleeping the computer. That's about all I can say about it right now. I looked through the mintMenu code (it's all Python), but didn't find any specific unloading code or any loading code which depended on a state set by an unload method. My passthrough of the code was rather cursory, however, and I could have easily missed something. Perhaps it's worth a second look through.
deivid
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Re: mintMenu disappears upon login

Post by deivid »

Same issue here. My workaround is to killall mintmenu and then choose reload.
prubin73
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Re: mintMenu disappears upon login

Post by prubin73 »

I've been getting this intermittently on my laptop (Dell Latitude E6400) and never (so far) on my desktop. I haven't tried to find a one-pixel-wide button, though, so I don't know if it's exactly the same thing -- I just see a space in the bottom pane where the menu button should be. The space is the right size, but clicking there does nothing (which may mean I'm not hitting the right pixel).

For me it's not a question of sleep modes; it happens when I boot the laptop after a normal shutdown. I haven't identified a definitive set of symptoms. My workaround is to right click where the menu button should be, add it to the panel again, and then (if I remember) remove the new one from the panel just before I quit. If I forget, next time I boot I have two menus side by side.

My laptop has a dual core processor. I mention that in case it turns out to be a synchronization problem due to two processes running in parallel that were designed to be sequential.

/Paul
GradysGhost
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Re: mintMenu disappears upon login

Post by GradysGhost »

Paul,

Do you have the MintMenu bound to a keystroke? I think by default, it's Ctrl+Meta (the Windows key). Try pressing it to see if that gives you the menu.

I haven't actually experienced this problem myself in quite a while. I'm running mintMenu 4.9.4. How about you?

Also, I've seen the code, and it's written in Python. There is nothing that I saw in it that suggests that it should be a threaded application requiring the use of both processors, so I don't think it's a CPU synchronization issue.

My problem popped up when I brought my laptop out of sleep mode with a different power source (battery vs. A/C) than it went down in. Have you noticed a similar pattern?

Also I think I may have detailed above an alternate way of getting your button back, but I can't remember, so I'll repost it:
  • Press Alt+F2
  • Type 'gconf-editor' without the quotes. Press Enter.
  • Expand the 'apps' node, then scroll down and select the 'mintMenu' item. Some keys should show up in the right panel.
  • Click on the checkbox for the 'hide_applet_icon' key. This should check the box and hide the icon (which you won't notice because it's already hidden for you). Click it again to uncheck the box, and your icon will be restored.
Hope this helps. I admit I kinda dropped the issue here because it hasn't happened to me recently. Maybe we can get a Mint code expert to look into this. I program, but I'm more of a web developer than anything. As such, I may have missed something in the mintMenu code when I looked through it.
prubin73
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Re: mintMenu disappears upon login

Post by prubin73 »

GradysGhost wrote:
Do you have the MintMenu bound to a keystroke? I think by default, it's Ctrl+Meta (the Windows key). Try pressing it to see if that gives you the menu.
Same binding here, and it does work, even when the menu button is MIA.
GradysGhost wrote:
I haven't actually experienced this problem myself in quite a while. I'm running mintMenu 4.9.4. How about you?
Same here.
GradysGhost wrote:
Also, I've seen the code, and it's written in Python. There is nothing that I saw in it that suggests that it should be a threaded application requiring the use of both processors, so I don't think it's a CPU synchronization issue.

My problem popped up when I brought my laptop out of sleep mode with a different power source (battery vs. A/C) than it went down in. Have you noticed a similar pattern?
For whatever reason, I just about never put my laptop in sleep mode. I just quit cold turkey and then reboot when I get where I'm going. I have put it in either nap or hibernate mode a few times (not recently), and I think I occasionally woke it with a different power source, but never experienced the missing menu button. Then again, it's been long enough since I last slept it that there've been at least a few mintmenu upgrades in between.
GradysGhost wrote:
Hope this helps. I admit I kinda dropped the issue here because it hasn't happened to me recently. Maybe we can get a Mint code expert to look into this. I program, but I'm more of a web developer than anything. As such, I may have missed something in the mintMenu code when I looked through it.
Well, it's comforting to know I'm not the only one seeing it. Given that there are at least three work arounds (Ctrl-Meta, your idea with gconf, and just adding a duplicate mintmenu to the panel), it's not a huge problem, just a trifle annoying. It would be nice if a Mint developer had a look at it.

Thanks,
Paul
GradysGhost
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Re: mintMenu disappears upon login

Post by GradysGhost »

Okay. I have filed an official bug report: https://bugs.launchpad.net/linuxmint/+bug/537671

It's a low priority issue, so don't expect it to be an immediate fix, but at least we have the ability to do this. I referenced this forum thread in the bug report for the sake of redundancy and completeness.

If you can dig up any further details on how to reproduce the issue for you, please post them here and I'll try to get them into the bug report.

Thanks for posting!
prubin73
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Re: mintMenu disappears upon login

Post by prubin73 »

Thanks for filing the bug report. If I can identify additional symptoms, I'll definitely report them.

/Paul
prubin73
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Re: mintMenu disappears upon login

Post by prubin73 »

No progress on the cause or trigger, but I think I did reduce any doubt it's the same problem. It happened again just now (booted into Mint fine, rebooted to Win 7, booted back to Mint and lost the menu). This time I did some blind clicking where the menu should be (panel, lower left) and sure enough, if I click in the absolute bottom left corner of the screen the menu opens.
GradysGhost
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Re: mintMenu disappears upon login

Post by GradysGhost »

Good to know.

Clemente Lefebvre sent me an email this morning regarding the bug report:
Can you reset mintmenu completely (remove it from the panel, open a
terminal, type "rm -rf ~/.linuxmint/mintMenu", type "mintmenu clean",
reboot, add it to the panel again) and then see if you can reproduce the
problem?

** Changed in: linuxmint
Assignee: (unassigned) => Clement Lefebvre (clementlefebvre)

** Changed in: linuxmint
Importance: Undecided => High

** Changed in: linuxmint
Status: New => Confirmed
Can you try this out? I haven't experienced the problem myself in quite some time, so you're more likely to have the opportunity to try this.
prubin73
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Re: mintMenu disappears upon login

Post by prubin73 »

Ok, I followed the directions. (I think everything in the named directory was defaults, but I went ahead and deleted/recreated it.) The menu goes missing maybe one time in every 10 boots for me, so it may be a while before it happens again if it's going to, and it will be quite a while before we can conclude it's not going to happen again. I'll post back here if it does or, after a lot of boots, if it doesn't.
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