Black desktop and no icons all the rest works perfectly

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sichenia
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Black desktop and no icons all the rest works perfectly

Post by sichenia » Sat Mar 17, 2018 4:56 pm

Hi, I have Mint 17.3 and KDE.
Tonight I was working as usual when I pressed a couple of keys and I must have triggered a shortcut of some kind. The desktop suddenly became black and with no icons, the taskbar remained but with no icons of the programs that were open at the moment, as if there were none running.

The desktop was different also because there was the plasma icon on the upper right corner, a small blue square on the upper left (if I move the mouse in that area), and pressing key combinations prompted actions that didn't happen before (for instance once came up a search box). All this wasn't there before.
Rebooting didn't help.

Apart from this, everything works. The programs all start regularly (incredibly, after rebooting, when I restarted the ones that were open before, each of them reopened with the same webpages or files that were open before the problem. Libreoffice reopened the file I was working on, without me telling if to, even if it was unsaved data... didn't ask me if I wanted to repair it, thing that happens when it closes uncorrectly).
With the file manager if I go to home/.../desktop I see all the icons that are supposed to be there.
The font type, program preferences, screen resolution etc. are correct.
Clicking the little blue square on the right doesn't 'close' anything.

It is as if I switched desktop, or if a new one using Plasma was superimposed on my one that didn't have Plasma, but trying ctrl+alt+arrows doesn't work. In the settings I still have only ONE virtual desktop, as before.

I have no idea of what I clicked but there has to be a way to find out and undo it! Or to go back to the settings I was using an hour ago!
Any suggestions?

Thanks!

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Re: Black desktop and no icons all the rest works perfectly

Post by kc1di » Sun Mar 18, 2018 7:31 am

this is just a guess you didn't press F11 key did you? If you did try pressing it again.
the f11 key places it in full screen mode.
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sichenia
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Re: Black desktop and no icons all the rest works perfectly

Post by sichenia » Sun Mar 18, 2018 8:39 am

Tried it, absolutely no effect.
I also tried switching sessions (ctrl+alt+f4-5-6-etc), no effect apart from a textual login coming up in a couple of sessions -didn't enter it- and a bunch of error messages in another.

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Re: Black desktop and no icons all the rest works perfectly

Post by sichenia » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:03 pm

Besides, a friend suggests it may be something regarding Plasma activities. That I could have created a new desktop like that.
I tried to delete every activity there is, but to no avail.

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Re: Black desktop and no icons all the rest works perfectly

Post by kc1di » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:10 am

you may want to try creating a new user and see if you log in to it if the problem is still there If you get a regular screen the you'll know it not a system wide problem but something in your user config files. good luck.
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Re: Black desktop and no icons all the rest works perfectly

Post by tovian » Mon Mar 19, 2018 8:53 am

sichenia wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:03 pm
Besides, a friend suggests it may be something regarding Plasma activities. That I could have created a new desktop like that.
I'm not the expert but I think that is a good possibility.

Something you can try...
Pull your mouse down to the bottom of your (blank) screen. It may be (hopefully) pointing in the panel area even if you can't see it.
Try right-clicking and see if a context-menu pops up. If yes, do you have "Panel Options" the item? If yes, then click that; then click "Add Widgets"; find the "Activity Pager" (near the top) and drag it onto your (blank) screen. That will be a symbolic for your activities (desktops). If the first entry is not highlighted click it to switch to the first desktop.

As I learned more about KDE I learned to stay away from the panel and all those options. I like and use "Activities" for discrete desktops, but that damned panel is more like an utterly alien Operating-System than a "feature". In my view it is absolutely best to leave it alone.

* Also - try holding your ALT key and hitting your F2 key. Do you get a run-box?
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Re: Black desktop and no icons all the rest works perfectly

Post by sichenia » Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:38 pm

First of all thanks tovian for your reply and apologies for not replying soon but was away for work.
I'm not the expert but I think that is a good possibility.
Something you can try...
Pull your mouse down to the bottom of your (blank) screen. It may be (hopefully) pointing in the panel area even if you can't see it.
I do see the panel. It's only the wallpaper area that is black. And I see the clock, the program launcher, everything. So I can run every program, and thank God they all work.
Try right-clicking and see if a context-menu pops up. If yes, do you have "Panel Options" the item? If yes, then click that; then click "Add Widgets"; find the "Activity Pager" (near the top) and drag it onto your (blank) screen.
Done.
That will be a symbolic for your activities (desktops). If the first entry is not highlighted click it to switch to the first desktop.
Dragging the activity icon on the desktop brought a small rectangular icon on the desktop but there is nothing inside it. There's a small perpendicular rectangle on the right, with some icons. I clicked the upper one (sort of a frame) and nothing happened. Clicked the second (sort or a reload icon) and nothing happened. The third brought up a small window asking me to set up a keyboard shortcut. The last one closed the activity thingie.
As I learned more about KDE I learned to stay away from the panel and all those options. I like and use "Activities" for discrete desktops, but that damned panel is more like an utterly alien Operating-System than a "feature". In my view it is absolutely best to leave it alone.
I agree completely. I despise plasma and its panels, I had so much trouble making it disappear after it messed up panel and other stuff years ago...
* Also - try holding your ALT key and hitting your F2 key. Do you get a run-box?
Yes, I do. And I'm absolutely sure that before this problem started, that run-box never came up.

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Re: Black desktop and no icons all the rest works perfectly

Post by tovian » Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:17 pm

sichenia wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:38 pm
Dragging the activity icon on the desktop brought a small rectangular icon on the desktop but there is nothing inside it.
That's the symbolic that shows your activities/desktops. If it is empty then you have only one activity (the default). Therefore, sitting on the wrong desktop/activity is not the problem.

The only other thing I can suggest is that you go into system settings and change the theme, the window behavior, and whatever other settings might be in play. Just as with panel settings nothing in those applets is intuitive (at least not for me).

sichenia wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:38 pm
There's a small perpendicular rectangle on the right, with some icons. I clicked the upper one (sort of a frame) and nothing happened.
The activity pager is a KDE desktop widget. Those are the controls for where (and how) you can put widgets (like the the activity pager). You can click one of them to resize the widget. You can click (and hold) another and drag the widget "around the clock" to be vertical instead of horizontal, and so on. It's really not very useful for the activity pager unless you do have multiple activities and want to put the pager in different locations on different desktops. (I actually prefer my pager to be vertical in the upper-right corner of my screens)
Last edited by tovian on Sun Mar 25, 2018 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Black desktop and no icons all the rest works perfectly

Post by catweazel » Sat Mar 24, 2018 8:46 pm

sichenia wrote:
Sat Mar 24, 2018 3:38 pm
I do see the panel. It's only the wallpaper area that is black. And I see the clock, the program launcher, everything. So I can run every program, and thank God they all work.
This is a video driver issue. Please post the output of this terminal command:

Code: Select all

inxi -Fxz
Enclose the results inbetween [ⅽode] and [/ⅽode] code markers by selecting </> from the mini toolbar above the textbox where you type your reply.
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Re: Black desktop and no icons all the rest works perfectly

Post by vlaporte » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:16 pm

I have the same problem - I have Mint 17.3 - after one of my updates - the desktop presents a black screen with a intact taskbar at the bottom.
Here is the output of - inxi -Fxz
I note that Desktop is "N/A" which may explain why I do not have a desktop - but how do I correct this?
Thanks,
Vince


vlaporte-T3400 vlaporte # inxi -Fxz

System: Host: vlaporte-T3400 Kernel: 3.19.0-32-generic x86_64 (64 bit gcc: 4.8.2) Desktop: N/A
Distro: Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa
Machine: System: Dell product: Precision WorkStation T3400
Mobo: Dell model: 0TP412 Bios: Dell v: A14 date: 04/30/2012
CPU: Dual core Intel Core2 Duo E8400 (-MCP-) cache: 6144 KB
flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 ssse3 vmx) bmips: 11970
clock speeds: max: 2992 MHz 1: 2992 MHz 2: 2992 MHz
Graphics: Card: NVIDIA G96 [GeForce 9500 GT] bus-ID: 01:00.0
Display Server: X.org 1.17.1 drivers: nouveau (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
tty size: 142x23 Advanced Data: N/A for root
Audio: Card Intel 82801I (ICH9 Family) HD Audio Controller driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:1b.0
Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k3.19.0-32-generic
Network: Card: Broadcom NetXtreme BCM5754 Gigabit Ethernet PCI Express driver: tg3 v: 3.137 bus-ID: 04:00.0
IF: eth0 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
Drives: HDD Total Size: 500.0GB (4.9% used) ID-1: /dev/sda model: WDC_WD2502ABYS size: 250.0GB
ID-2: /dev/sdb model: WDC_WD2502ABYS size: 250.0GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 47G used: 7.8G (18%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1
ID-2: /home size: 92G used: 9.5G (11%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda2
ID-3: swap-1 size: 6.00GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda3
RAID: No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors: System Temperatures: cpu: 45.0C mobo: N/A
Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: 40020 mobo: 32100
Info: Processes: 182 Uptime: 3 min Memory: 1272.9/7917.9MB Init: Upstart runlevel: 2 Gcc sys: 4.8.4
Client: Shell (bash 4.3.111) inxi: 2.2.28
Vince LaPorte

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Re: Black desktop and no icons all the rest works perfectly

Post by Spearmint2 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:56 pm

Is the folder "desktop" still existent? If not, create a new one.
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Re: Black desktop and no icons all the rest works perfectly

Post by lmuserx4849 » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:38 pm

I see you already checked for activities. How about virtual desktops?

I switch between virtual desktops with my mouse wheel. If I right-click the desktop and select "Settings" (last item on menu), then select Mouse Action, Vertical-Scroll is set to Switch Desktop.

There are shortcut keys too. Go to KDE's Settings > Shortcuts and Gestures > Global Keyboard Shortcuts, select KWin by KDE Components, then type desktop in the Search Field. On my KDE Desktop the setting are: Switch to Desktop 1: Ctrl+F1, Desktop 2: Ctrl+F2, Desktop 3: Ctrl+F3. Some of the shortcuts you see depend on whether the specific Desktop Effects is on or off. This info can also be seen in KDE's Settings > Workspace Behavior > Virtual Desktops > Switching. Last, the virtual desktops can also be controlled via the Pager widget.

KDE Shortcuts: https://docs.kde.org/trunk5/en/applicat ... s/kbd.html

Very infrequently, kde desktop gets messed up, goes black. This fixes it for me, backup and restore .kde/share/config/plama*. I'd only do this as a last resort.

I have also used the following to cleanup and restore KDE cache.

Code: Select all

kquitapp plasma-desktop
rm -rf /var/tmp/kdecache-$USER/plasma*
rm -r /var/tmp/kdecache-$USER/kpc/
kbuildsycoca4
plasma-desktop &
Right-clicking your desktop and selecting Settings (last item on menu), what does the Layout drop-down show (i.e., Folder, Grouping...)?

Is it possible for you to take a snapshot of this desktop and post it. I understand the "plasma icon on the upper right corner", but the "small blue square on the upper left (if I move the mouse in that area)" is interesting. Do you use Screen Edges (Settings > Workspace Behavior > Screen Edges)?



My environment: LM17.3/KDE4.14 (kde4-config -v)

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