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.

sichenia
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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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sichenia
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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
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