19.3 32-bit: XFCE Glitching?

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jmvtee
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19.3 32-bit: XFCE Glitching?

Post by jmvtee »

Hi, all. First time poster to this forum. I've been running 32-bit Mint 19.3 with XFCE for several months on an old netbook from 2010, and I haven't run into any problems until recently. The other day I updated my packages and kernel with apt-get, and the next time I booted up, my desktop environment looked completely different-- not at all like it used to. I've tried booting with backup kernels, but that hasn't changed anything.

How things look now:
Image

How things used to look (this is from the Mint website):
Image

Output from a couple terminal commands:

Code: Select all

freeman@freeman-Inspiron-1011:~$ echo $XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP
XFCE
freeman@freeman-Inspiron-1011:~$ wm-detect
Desktop environment: XFCE
Window manager: xfwm4 (4432)
Compositing: disabled
Has anyone seen anything like this? Any ideas on how to restore proper XFCE functionality?
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MrEen
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Re: 19.3 32-bit: XFCE Glitching?

Post by MrEen »

Hi jmvtee, and welcome to the forum.

Run this in the terminal and if necessary, then reboot:

Code: Select all

xfce4-panel --quit ; pkill xfconfd ; rm -rf ~/.config/xfce4/panel ; rm -rf ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-panel.xml ; xfce4-panel
I suspect that's going to cure everything , but any modifications you made on the panel will need to be redone.
jmvtee
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Re: 19.3 32-bit: XFCE Glitching?

Post by jmvtee »

Thanks for the quick feedback. I copied and pasted your code into the terminal. Here is the output.

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freeman@freeman-Inspiron-1011:~$ xfce4-panel --quit ; pkill xfconfd ; rm -rf ~/.config/xfce4/panel ; rm -rf ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-panel.xml ; xfce4-panel

(xfce4-panel:3810): xfce4-panel-CRITICAL **: 17:34:58.209: Name org.xfce.Panel lost on the message dbus, exiting.
freeman@freeman-Inspiron-1011:~$ 
Looks like something went wrong. Also, once this runs, the taskbar at the upper end of the screen disappears, but I can still Alt+Tab through open windows and sudo reboot through the terminal. When I reboot and log in, I get a black screen with just the mouse pointer for a solid minute. It feels like something is hanging until it times out and an exception is caught, or something like that. When I finally I get the desktop environment, things still look as they did before.

Interestingly, System Reports has news for me. I recall seeing this earlier, but running your commands has retriggered it.
Image

Any ideas on what to try next?
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MrEen
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Re: 19.3 32-bit: XFCE Glitching?

Post by MrEen »

That dbus message is a bit concerning, but it's not something I know how to deal with.

If it were my computer, I'd simply try the same command again now that you've rebooted. But the fact your bootup didn't go smoothly makes me think there's more amiss than just the panel/desktop stuff.

Another option, especially if you try the above and experience the same thing again, is to not log in when booting up, press Ctrl+Alt+F2 then run rm -rf /home/YourUserName/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-panel.xml replacing YourUserName with your actual username, then Ctrl+Alt+F7 to get back to the login screen and continue from there.

We'll need someone else to assist with the bootup issue if it remains.
jmvtee
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Re: 19.3 32-bit: XFCE Glitching?

Post by jmvtee »

Thanks. I tried that suggestion but didn't notice a difference. I just ran your earlier code snippet one command at a time. Very interesting things happen. Here is the output.

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freeman@freeman-Inspiron-1011:~$ xfce4-panel --quit
Gtk-Message: 07:46:01.518: GtkDialog mapped without a transient parent. This is discouraged.
freeman@freeman-Inspiron-1011:~$ pkill xconfd
freeman@freeman-Inspiron-1011:~$ rm -rf ~/.config/xfce4/panel
freeman@freeman-Inspiron-1011:~$ rm -rf ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfce4-panel.xml
freeman@freeman-Inspiron-1011:~$ xfce4-panel

(wrapper-2.0:5894): Gtk-WARNING **: 07:48:01.327: Negative content width -3 (allocation 1, extents 2x2) while allocating gadget (node button, owner GtkToggleButton)

(wrapper-2.0:5898): GLib-GIO-CRITICAL **: 07:48:01.981: g_file_new_for_path: assertion 'path != NULL' failed

(wrapper-2.0:5898): GLib-GIO-CRITICAL **: 07:48:01.981: g_file_monitor_file: assertion 'G_IS_FILE (file)' failed

(wrapper-2.0:5898): GLib-GObject-WARNING **: 07:48:01.981: invalid (NULL) pointer instance

(wrapper-2.0:5898): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: 07:48:01.982: g_signal_connect_data: assertion 'G_TYPE_CHECK_INSTANCE (instance)' failed

(wrapper-2.0:5898): Gtk-WARNING **: 07:48:01.982: Attempting to add a widget with type GtkToggleButton to a container of type XfcePanelPlugin, but the widget is already inside a container of type XfcePanelPlugin, please remove the widget from its existing container first.

(wrapper-2.0:5899): Gtk-WARNING **: 07:48:02.025: gtk_widget_size_allocate(): attempt to allocate widget with width -1 and height 30

(wrapper-2.0:5901): Gtk-WARNING **: 07:48:02.352: Negative content width -3 (allocation 1, extents 2x2) while allocating gadget (node button, owner PulseaudioButton)

(wrapper-2.0:5898): Gtk-WARNING **: 07:48:02.635: Negative content width -3 (allocation 1, extents 2x2) while allocating gadget (node button, owner GtkToggleButton)

(wrapper-2.0:5900): Gtk-WARNING **: 07:48:02.976: Negative content width -3 (allocation 1, extents 2x2) while allocating gadget (node button, owner PowerManagerButton)
Gtk-Message: 07:55:58.501: GtkDialog mapped without a transient parent. This is discouraged.
Gtk-Message: 07:56:12.110: GtkDialog mapped without a transient parent. This is discouraged.
Gtk-Message: 07:56:16.346: GtkDialog mapped without a transient parent. This is discouraged.
Gtk-Message: 07:56:18.940: GtkDialog mapped without a transient parent. This is discouraged.

The final command hangs, and I have to Ctrl + C to stop it. The desktop starts to morph back to what it should look like! (YAY!) But it does not succeed. Do you think these warnings and errors might refer to the launch icons in the left part of the taskbar? Curiously, there are several "blank" icons there that should be filled for e-mail, web browser, and something else.

Image
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MrEen
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Re: 19.3 32-bit: XFCE Glitching?

Post by MrEen »

I'm honestly not sure what is causing the trouble. Of all the output, only the lines that have CRITICAL in them are of interest. Warnings and messages aren't a concern here. Have you rebooted or logged out/in since doing them one line at a time? That could get past the final hurdle possibly.
jmvtee
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Re: 19.3 32-bit: XFCE Glitching?

Post by jmvtee »

Booting up this morning after running the commands one by one yesterday, I am greeted with an almost perfect desktop! :D The only remaining issue seems to be the launcher icons in the bottom left. Three of them are empty. Before, they were e-mail (Thunderbird), web browser (Firefox), and terminal. When I add them back to the launcher, one of the empty icons is replaced successfully with Thunderbird. However, there are still two blank icons. If I right-click on the empty icons and try to remove them, I think it wants to remove the whole launcher. The launcher editor only lists three items. Any ideas on removing the empty icons?

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MrEen
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Re: 19.3 32-bit: XFCE Glitching?

Post by MrEen »

Okay, getting closer. :D

First I want to make sure there are no ownership issues in your home directory. This command will fix any that exist and show what they were:

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sudo chown -Rc $USER:$USER $HOME
After that, if there was nothing in the output, try changing themes in Menu > Settings > Appearance trying both the Style and Icons then change them back.

After all that, try another reboot if it wasn't fixed immediately.

Also, are you saving sessions between reboots? If so, clear the saved sessions to make sure that's not causing the issue. Menu > Settings > Session and Startup > General tab, uncheck Automatically save session on logout, then go to the Session tab and click on Clear saved sessions. A reboot after this is probably also necessary.
jmvtee
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Re: 19.3 32-bit: XFCE Glitching?

Post by jmvtee »

Ok. So, there were a lot of files in my home directory that belonged to another group. Most of them were from balena etcher, which I used a while back to create bootable media, but there were a few others that were not.

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freeman@freeman-Inspiron-1011:~$ sudo chown -Rc $USER:$USER $HOME
[sudo] password for freeman: 
changed ownership of '/home/freeman/.selected_editor' from root:root to freeman:freeman
changed ownership of '/home/freeman/.config/balena-etcher-electron/blob_storage/c7f95195-0904-4bd9-94af-b59ec7899c05' from root:root to freeman:freeman
changed ownership of '/home/freeman/.config/balena-etcher-electron/blob_storage' from root:root to freeman:freeman
changed ownership of '/home/freeman/.config/balena-etcher-electron/Crash Reports' from root:root to freeman:freeman
changed ownership of '/home/freeman/.config/balena-etcher-electron/Cache/b2e5e3b2930a2df8_0' from root:root to freeman:freeman
changed ownership of '/home/freeman/.config/balena-etcher-electron/Cache/f3a6eb276b5284a0_0' from root:root to freeman:freeman
changed ownership of '/home/freeman/.config/balena-etcher-electron/Cache/index' from root:root to freeman:freeman
changed ownership of '/home/freeman/.config/balena-etcher-electron/Cache/index-dir/the-real-index' from root:root to freeman:freeman
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changed ownership of '/home/freeman/.config/balena-etcher-electron/Partitions' from root:root to freeman:freeman
changed ownership of '/home/freeman/.config/balena-etcher-electron/Dictionaries/en-US-9-0.bdic' from root:root to freeman:freeman
changed ownership of '/home/freeman/.config/balena-etcher-electron/Dictionaries' from root:root to freeman:freeman
changed ownership of '/home/freeman/.config/balena-etcher-electron' from root:root to freeman:freeman
changed ownership of '/home/freeman/.cache/dconf/user' from root:root to freeman:freeman
changed ownership of '/home/freeman/.cache/dconf' from root:root to freeman:freeman
changed ownership of '/home/freeman/.pki/nssdb/pkcs11.txt' from root:root to freeman:freeman
changed ownership of '/home/freeman/.pki/nssdb/key4.db' from root:root to freeman:freeman
changed ownership of '/home/freeman/.pki/nssdb/cert9.db' from root:root to freeman:freeman
changed ownership of '/home/freeman/.pki/nssdb' from root:root to freeman:freeman
changed ownership of '/home/freeman/.pki' from root:root to freeman:freeman
freeman@freeman-Inspiron-1011:~$ 
Following that, I opened the appearance menu and changed the style and icons, and I saw the relevant changes occur with colors and icons, etc. Then I put things back like they were. I checked, and I am not saving sessions on logout. I could not find any saved sessions to remove.

What has been so strange about this issue is the seeming randomness of what my desktop looks like each time I reboot and log in. Last night I tried your suggestions and rebooted twice... and I still had a malformed desktop using vanilla XFCE and with missing launcher icons. This morning, I boot up and everything is perfect. Rebooting once hasn't triggered a regression either. We'll see. I think it will take some consistent behavior for a week or so before I call this one solved. Any ideas?
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MrEen
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Re: 19.3 32-bit: XFCE Glitching?

Post by MrEen »

You haven't installed another File Manager have you? Just Thunar on the system? I've seen issues, although probably different from yours, when people tried installing Nemo.

EDIT: Just spotted these:

Code: Select all

changed ownership of '/home/freeman/.cache/dconf/user' from root:root to freeman:freeman
changed ownership of '/home/freeman/.cache/dconf' from root:root to freeman:freeman
Those might have been at least partially responsible for your issues.
jmvtee
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Re: 19.3 32-bit: XFCE Glitching?

Post by jmvtee »

No, just Thunar as far as I can tell. The only potential cause I can attach to the issue is installing updates. I wonder what changed the group ownership for those files.

By the way, I have been getting stable results so far. I'll keep trying for a few more days just to be sure. Normally I don't use the netbook much. :)

Thank you for your help!
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MrEen
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Re: 19.3 32-bit: XFCE Glitching?

Post by MrEen »

jmvtee wrote:
Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:14 am
I wonder what changed the group ownership for those files.
The most common cause is using sudo where it shouldn't have been used. Not saying that's certainly the case here, but it's high on the suspicion list.

Hopefully the issue isn't going to return at this point.
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Re: 19.3 32-bit: XFCE Glitching?

Post by jmvtee »

Gotcha. When I run apt-get commands like update, upgrade, and dist-upgrade without sudo, I get permission issues. Does that sound unusual to you?
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MrEen
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Re: 19.3 32-bit: XFCE Glitching?

Post by MrEen »

Yes, very.

You haven't been playing around with alternate Python versions have you?

apt update (and the others) should ask for password, but should be no issue once entered.
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Re: 19.3 32-bit: XFCE Glitching?

Post by jmvtee »

No Python versions here that I know of. One of the first things I did with my Mint was to use apt to install apt-get. Unlike apt, apt-get requires sudo for update, upgrade, and dist-upgrade to work. Here's what happens without sudo.

Code: Select all

freeman@freeman-Inspiron-1011:~$ apt-get update
Reading package lists... Done
E: Could not open lock file /var/lib/apt/lists/lock - open (13: Permission denied)
E: Unable to lock directory /var/lib/apt/lists/
W: Problem unlinking the file /var/cache/apt/pkgcache.bin - RemoveCaches (13: Permission denied)
W: Problem unlinking the file /var/cache/apt/srcpkgcache.bin - RemoveCaches (13: Permission denied)
freeman@freeman-Inspiron-1011:~$ apt-get upgrade
E: Could not open lock file /var/lib/dpkg/lock-frontend - open (13: Permission denied)
E: Unable to acquire the dpkg frontend lock (/var/lib/dpkg/lock-frontend), are you root?
freeman@freeman-Inspiron-1011:~$ apt-get dist-upgrade
E: Could not open lock file /var/lib/dpkg/lock-frontend - open (13: Permission denied)
E: Unable to acquire the dpkg frontend lock (/var/lib/dpkg/lock-frontend), are you root?
freeman@freeman-Inspiron-1011:~$ ^C
freeman@freeman-Inspiron-1011:~$ 
https://askubuntu.com/questions/440118/ ... quire-sudo
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MrEen
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Re: 19.3 32-bit: XFCE Glitching?

Post by MrEen »

Ahh, I see. I only use apt, where the sudo is essentially implied. I get the same output as you with apt-get. So that seems normal.
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