Black Desktop - No Icons; Linux Mint 17.3 xfce [SOLVED]

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Z_L
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Black Desktop - No Icons; Linux Mint 17.3 xfce [SOLVED]

Post by Z_L » Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:40 am

Linux Mint 17.3 xfce is running in a small 20GB partition (dual boot) on Dell Inspiron 1501 laptop, and I like it. It was working fine for a while, but then could not resume sessions from stand by mode. The HDD gave periodic 'sick' noises and nothing worked until restarting. To fix the problem followed these instructions:

https://tutorialforlinux.com/2015/12/11 ... asy-guide/

Now the session is resumed after standby, but the desktop is black without any icons. When I try to change wallpapers, it does not work. I am not a Linux expert, so in the past I just used to reinstall the partition when such problems appeared, but it would be nice to fix the problem or installation without spending that much time and effort.

Can anyone suggest how to fix this problem?

Thanks.
Last edited by Z_L on Thu Mar 22, 2018 1:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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kc1di
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Re: Black Desktop - No Icons; Linux Mint 17.3 xfce

Post by kc1di » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:56 am

There could be many reasons for this.
Lets start with an overview of your system that may shed some light on the problem.
please go to a terminal and type this command and post the output here (please use code tags to enclose the output when posting)

Code: Select all

inxi -Fxz
Easy tips : https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/
Linux Mint Installation Guide: http://linuxmint-installation-guide.rea ... en/latest/
Registered Linux User #462608

Z_L
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Re: Black Desktop - No Icons; Linux Mint 17.3 xfce

Post by Z_L » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:42 pm

Thanks for taking a look at this thing. :) Here is the output:

Code: Select all

System:    Host: my-PC Kernel: 4.4.0-112-generic x86_64 (64 bit gcc: 4.8.4)
           Desktop: Xfce 4.12.2 (Gtk 2.24.23) Distro: Linux Mint 17.3 Rosa
Machine:   System: Dell product: Inspiron 1501
           Mobo: Dell model: 0UW744 Bios: Dell v: 2.6.3 date: 12/07/2007
CPU:       Dual core AMD Turion 64 X2 Mobile TL-56 (-MCP-) cache: 1024 KB
           flags: (lm nx sse sse2 sse3 svm) bmips: 3192
           clock speeds: max: 1800 MHz 1: 800 MHz 2: 800 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] RS482M [Mobility Radeon Xpress 200]
           bus-ID: 01:05.0
           Display Server: X.Org 1.17.1 drivers: ati,radeon (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
           Resolution: 1280x1024@75.0hz
           GLX Renderer: Gallium 0.4 on ATI RS480
           GLX Version: 2.1 Mesa 10.5.9 Direct Rendering: Yes
Audio:     Card Advanced Micro Devices [AMD/ATI] SBx00 Azalia (Intel HDA)
           driver: snd_hda_intel bus-ID: 00:14.2
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.4.0-112-generic
Network:   Card-1: Broadcom BCM4311 802.11b/g WLAN
           driver: b43-pci-bridge bus-ID: 05:00.0
           IF: N/A state: N/A mac: N/A
           Card-2: Broadcom BCM4401-B0 100Base-TX
           driver: b44 v: 2.0 bus-ID: 08:00.0
           IF: eth0 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter>
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 120.0GB (95.8% used)
           ID-1: /dev/sda model: WDC_WD1200BEVS size: 120.0GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 22G used: 20G (95%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda5
           ID-2: swap-1 size: 4.16GB used: 0.18GB (4%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda6
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 41.0C mobo: N/A
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 193 Uptime: 1 day Memory: 2748.2/3824.7MB
           Init: Upstart runlevel: 2 Gcc sys: 4.8.4
           Client: Shell (bash 4.3.111) inxi: 2.2.28 

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kc1di
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Re: Black Desktop - No Icons; Linux Mint 17.3 xfce

Post by kc1di » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:33 pm

how much ram does the machine have and do you have a swap partition is so how big?
Easy tips : https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/
Linux Mint Installation Guide: http://linuxmint-installation-guide.rea ... en/latest/
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Z_L
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Re: Black Desktop - No Icons; Linux Mint 17.3 xfce

Post by Z_L » Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:55 pm

From the table above:

Memory: 2748.2/3824.7MB
swap-1 size: 4.16GB

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MtnDewManiac
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Re: Black Desktop - No Icons; Linux Mint 17.3 xfce

Post by MtnDewManiac » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:10 pm

Z_L wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:40 am
The HDD gave periodic 'sick' noises
Z_L wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:40 am
Can anyone suggest how to fix this problem?
Buy a new, 100% functional hard drive, install it, and then install Mint onto it, lol?

A failing hard drive can cause data loss before you reach a 100% failure point. You start seeing "little" gremlins due to the loss of integrity. By the time that your hard drive (a fairly quiet device, these past 25 years or so, AfaIK) starts sounding wounded, it's like trying to repair the wiring in a burning building. Sure, you might be able to make the lights stop blinking for a short time - but the experts would probably suggest you go find a domicile that is not on fire.

At the very least, I would suggest that you back up ALL of your important data right now, and then do regular incremental backups from that point until you turn on your computer and it just sits there beeping at you. (Backups to a different hard drive, of course.)

I could be entirely mistaken here, but as far as I know, a Mint-related issue will not provoke ominous noises from a hard drive. I haven't encountered a drive that was even capable of making "non-standard" noises without being in the process of failing since the '80s, and that wasn't a hard drive - it was a Commodore 1541 5¼" floppy drive that the user could play with the stepper motor in such a way to play "music" (badly) on. Those things were built like a tank. Now days, not so much. I assume this is a combination of the exponentially greater data density of the magnetic media and what I'll charitably call Chinese Cheapness. Used to be, companies built things to last so that they didn't lose money by replacing a bunch of devices under warranty. Today, on the other hand, they intentionally build them so cheaply that they can easily replace 25% to 40% of them under warranty... and still make a profit.

Regards,
MDM
Mint 18 Xfce 4.12.

If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, and spoons made Rosie O'Donnell fat.

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trytip
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Re: Black Desktop - No Icons; Linux Mint 17.3 xfce

Post by trytip » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:20 pm

go to xfce>settings>session and startup>session>clear saved sessions also in .cache folder delete everything then reboot
Image

Z_L
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Re: Black Desktop - No Icons; Linux Mint 17.3 xfce

Post by Z_L » Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:17 am

trytip You are the man! I have tried earlier the [startup>settings>session and startup>session>clear saved sessions] already, which didn't fix the problem on its own. But deleting the contents of /home/me/.cache folder and restart resolved the issue. Thanks for providing the solution! :)

I'm not sure if its appropriate to ask another short desktop related question here, or rather start a new thread instead, but here it is anyway:

There are several startup icons on my desktop and they work fine, except for one, the Paraview icon. Paraview resides in /home/me/ParaView-4.4.0-Qt4-Linux-64bit folder, and it can be started without problem by clicking on /home/me/ParaView-4.4.0-Qt4-Linux-64bit/bin/paraview.

In order to create a desktop startup icon I did: [right-click on paraview>Send to>Desktop (Create link)]. The icon appears on the desktop, but when I click on it (or even double-click) nothing happens. When I check the properties>permission of the icon, the “Allow this file to run as a program” box is ticked; Access: Read & Write. So theoretically it supposed to work, but it doesn't.

Does anybody know how to fix this?

Thanks

mint4all
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Re: Black Desktop - No Icons; Linux Mint 17.3 xfce

Post by mint4all » Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:59 am

Z_L wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:17 am
... There are several startup icons on my desktop and they work fine, except for one, the Paraview icon. Paraview resides in /home/me/ParaView-4.4.0-Qt4-Linux-64bit folder, and it can be started without problem by clicking on /home/me/ParaView-4.4.0-Qt4-Linux-64bit/bin/paraview.

In order to create a desktop startup icon I did: [right-click on paraview>Send to>Desktop (Create link)]. The icon appears on the desktop, but when I click on it (or even double-click) nothing happens. When I check the properties>permission of the icon, the “Allow this file to run as a program” box is ticked; Access: Read & Write. So theoretically it supposed to work, but it doesn't.

Does anybody know how to fix this?

Thanks
S/b easy ... With all your apps minimized, right-click anywhere on your desktop's space, then select (left-click) the "Create Launcher ..." option. Then just fill in the entry fields -- you may have to navigate to your paraview folder -- and save the new launcher. Once created, start it and respond to the warning message with "Mark executable". That's all it takes on LM18.3-XFCE -- LM17.3 may be different, though.

Z_L
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Re: Black Desktop - No Icons; Linux Mint 17.3 xfce [SOLVED]

Post by Z_L » Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:43 pm

Your method of startup icon creation worked fine mint4all, thank you for the tip. :) I am still a bit confused why my method of doing it doesn't work, but it is not that important now.

As a closing remark let me reflect briefly on the post of MtnDewManiac. The HDD of this laptop is healthy, I have checked it every time some major installation had to be done. Those periodic noises mentioned earlier were the startup seek noises when the firmware and/or OS is not handling the disc properly to start it up from standby mode. Once the PC was running (or was not started up from standby mode), there was no problem whatsoever with the disc. Only the awakening from standby mode caused this issue.

The health of the HDD is also confirmed by the fact that now after repairing the Linux installation with these instructions: https://tutorialforlinux.com/2015/12/11 ... asy-guide/ even the awakening from standby mode works flawlessly. If hardware failure would have been the cause of the issue, it would not be possible to eliminate it by simply fixing the OS installation.

I have read some articles and posts about the difficulties Linux in general has with hybernation and standby modes, therefore there is a very good reason to suspect that this is a software problem. Most probably the Linux developers are dropping the old hardware, and don't care much about making the relevant code snippets bug free. Alternatively, it is also possible that some “BigBrother” shady elements were sniffing on my laptop, and messed things up.

I am keeping this good old trusty laptop for a reason, despite it being 10 years old. Many people use Linux mainly for privacy reasons (not just because it is free and open-source). It has become painfully obvious lately that Windows 10 (and other variants after XP) is an overt intelligence gathering software, and the user is forced to agree to being spied upon. Unfortunately, simply using Linux doesn't grant much greater privacy, because the latest hardware technology, specifically the latest Intel CPUs contain a hidden layer of processors and infrastructure that serves exclusively spying purposes and as a back-door. There are many articles about this online. So if anybody wants at least some chance of privacy, buy an old PC that doesn't have Intel inside, and then an alternative OS may have a chance. Use this to connect to the internet. For more demanding tasks one can always use a modern PC that is kept offline and used for serious work.

Thanks gentlemen for help, now this thread can be marked as [SOLVED].

mint4all
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Re: Black Desktop - No Icons; Linux Mint 17.3 xfce [SOLVED]

Post by mint4all » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:30 pm

Z_L wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:43 pm
Your method of startup icon creation worked fine mint4all, thank you for the tip. :) I am still a bit confused why my method of doing it doesn't work, but it is not that important now. ...
"One is glad to be of service " ... If you're interested, please start a new topic, and i'd be happy to share what i've learned re. *ux' program shortcuts.

mint4all
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Re: Black Desktop - No Icons; Linux Mint 17.3 xfce [SOLVED]

Post by mint4all » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:44 pm

Z_L wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:43 pm
... I have read some articles and posts about the difficulties Linux in general has with hybernation and standby modes, therefore there is a very good reason to suspect that this is a software problem. Most probably the Linux developers are dropping the old hardware, and don't care much about making the relevant code snippets bug free. ...
Over the past 4 years, I've run into similar problems with a number of older laptops and desktops. At the heart of the problem is the fact that until about 7-8 years ago, many mobo & chipset makers wrote custom drivers for MS-Win* versions, but never published their (proprietary aka closed source) specs.

Consequently, afaik, *ux' developers then had to figure out -- by trial and error -- what works and what doesn't for certain mobo+chipset combos. Alas, unless one finds a REAL/working solution for an older (pre-2008) system, the safest approach, imho of course, is to avoid suspend / standby / hibernate whenever practical. Moreover, the *ux' "save session" option upon logout often turns into a bear trap, as you have found out, due to the fact that the restarting system tries to "restore" a broken/hung session.

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