XFCE has lost its mind! [SOLVED]

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mweishaa
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XFCE has lost its mind! [SOLVED]

Post by mweishaa » Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:05 pm

Edit: sorry for the title because I don't know for sure if XFCE is to blame.

I've been using XFCE since before I used Mint, back to about 2008. This is the first time I've experienced this problem. I am on Mint 18.3 and my system is up to date as of this post.

Backstory... I just picked up a new-to-me Dell Optiplex 7010, swapped in my drives and video card, and was up and running. Faced a couple of very minor things, but transition was smooth. Was running for a couple of days. I decided to troubleshoot this persistent issue of very slow shutdown/reboot, which I had on my old machine too and suspected to be systemd related. So instead of doing a "shutdown" via the menu as I normally do, I did a systemctl poweroff. It went down immediately. Powered back up, and that's when the craziness started.

My previous saved session didn't come up correctly. I usually have 3 xfce4-terminals, browser (palemoon), and gkrellm running. The terminals didn't come up, and I couldn't start them. I got the error: Failed to execute default terminal - input/output error. Also had a PulseAudio plugin error, which is usually in my panel. Plugin "PulseAudio Plugin" unexpectedly left the panel, do you want to restart it?. It never restarted, and I can't add it back in manually. I was able to do alt-f2 and launch xterm. From there I can see that pulseaudio is running.

Disabled Save Session, logged out and back in. Same issues. Rebooted as well to no avail.
Not an exhaustive list, but what I can and can't do below.

Can launch:
Settings Manager, some sub-settings... but can't launch the following items: Driver Manager, Software Manager, Software Sources, Update Manager, Languages, Input method, Firewall Configuration, Bluetooth, Notifications. No error given.
File Managers (default and Xfe)
Pale Moon and Midori browsers (sites run fine... youtube videos play w/sound)
Gimp
Geeqie
Unreal Tournament
UXterm
LibreOffice
Gkrellm

From command line, can't launch:
- VLC (VLC media player 2.2.2 Weatherwax (revision 2.2.2-0-g6259d80) [00000000010a1148] core libvlc: Running vlc with the default interface. Use 'cvlc' to use vlc without interface. QMutex: destroying locked mutex. I can launching cvlc and it will play mp3 files and mp4 videos fine.
- gnome-terminal, xfce4-terminal - no error
- evince - no error
- handbrake-gtk - no error
- Firefox, Chromium

I tail /var/log/syslog while failing to launch these things, and there is nothing getting logged there.

System info from inxi:

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System:    Host: heimlich18 Kernel: 4.4.0-112-generic x86_64 (64 bit) Desktop: Xfce 4.12.3
           Distro: Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia
Machine:   System: Dell product: OptiPlex 7010 v: 01
           Mobo: Dell model: 0GY6Y8 v: A02 Bios: Dell v: A28 date: 02/22/2018
CPU:       Quad core Intel Core i5-3570 (-MCP-) cache: 6144 KB 
           clock speeds: max: 3800 MHz 1: 1599 MHz 2: 1599 MHz 3: 1601 MHz 4: 1600 MHz
Graphics:  Card: NVIDIA GT215 [GeForce GT 240]
           Display Server: X.Org 1.18.4 drivers: nvidia (unloaded: fbdev,vesa,nouveau)
           Resolution: 1920x1080@60.00hz, 1920x1080@60.00hz
           GLX Renderer: N/A GLX Version: N/A
Audio:     Card-1 Intel 7 Series/C210 Series Family High Definition Audio Controller driver: snd_hda_intel
           Card-2 NVIDIA High Definition Audio Controller driver: snd_hda_intel
           Sound: Advanced Linux Sound Architecture v: k4.4.0-112-generic
Network:   Card: Intel 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection driver: e1000e
           IF: eno1 state: up speed: 1000 Mbps duplex
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 4000.8GB (74.2% used) ID-1: /dev/sda model: ST1000DM003 size: 1000.2GB
           ID-2: /dev/sdb model: WDC_WD30EFRX size: 3000.6GB
Partition: ID-1: / size: 55G used: 20G (37%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda2
           ID-2: /boot size: 232M used: 113M (53%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1
           ID-3: /home size: 55G used: 30G (57%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda3
           ID-4: swap-1 size: 16.38GB used: 0.00GB (0%) fs: swap dev: /dev/sda7
RAID:      No RAID devices: /proc/mdstat, md_mod kernel module present
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 29.8C mobo: 27.8C
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 191 Uptime: 1:32 Memory: 1323.8/7938.3MB Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 2.2.35 
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 29.8C mobo: 27.8C
           Fan Speeds (in rpm): cpu: N/A
Info:      Processes: 191 Uptime: 1:33 Memory: 1324.7/7938.3MB
           Init: systemd v: 229 runlevel: 5 default: 2 Gcc sys: 5.4.0 alt: 4.7/4.8
           Client: Shell (bash 4.3.481 running in xterm) inxi: 2.2.35
Last edited by mweishaa on Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Flemur
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Re: XFCE has lost its mind!

Post by Flemur » Mon Mar 26, 2018 2:59 pm

mweishaa wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 12:05 pm
Failed to execute default terminal - input/output error.
I hate to say it, but that sounds like a dying disk - is the "new" disk you put in the machine old?
Check out the "S.M.A.R.T." tools.

To run disk check/fix (fsck) at boot, do this:

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sudo touch /forcefsck
and reboot.
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?
Mint 18.3 Xfce/fluxbox/pulse-less
Xubuntu 17.10/fluxbox/pulse-less

michelob
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Re: XFCE has lost its mind!

Post by michelob » Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:21 pm

I'm almost sure this is a problem with a recent update. I just had the same thing pretty much happen on my laptop that has been running Mint for about a year. I also have 18.3 and XFCE.

I was using the laptop today and had a notice from the Update Manager for several updates. I accepted the updates and about that time the trouble started. I first noticed a new tab I tried to open in Firefox gave me a crash notification. Later I could not even open Firefox. The Update manager panel also failed on system restart. I can not open the update manager or Synaptic. Chromium will not open either. It basically has disabled that laptop for the time being.

One of those updates had major bugs, I would recommend to anyone using Mint to hold off on any recent updates!

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smurphos
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Re: XFCE has lost its mind!

Post by smurphos » Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:26 pm

A hunch - updates to virtualbox related packages today appear to be causing widespread issues with different symptoms for different desktops. Try sudo apt remove virtualbox-guest* or if that doesn't work sudo apt remove virtualbox*. You may need a reboot after removing the problem packages.

See viewtopic.php?f=47&t=266431

mweishaa
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Re: XFCE has lost its mind!

Post by mweishaa » Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:32 pm

smurphos wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:26 pm
A hunch - updates to virtualbox related packages today appear to be causing widespread issues with different symptoms for different desktops. Try sudo apt remove virtualbox-guest* or if that doesn't work sudo apt remove virtualbox*. You may need a reboot after removing the problem packages.

See viewtopic.php?f=47&t=266431
BOOM! Ran apt remove virtualbox*. When it was done, everything is working now, without even needing a reboot.
Great hunch smurphos, thanks a million! :D :D :D

michelob
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Re: XFCE has lost its mind! [SOLVED]

Post by michelob » Mon Mar 26, 2018 3:55 pm

I just ran sudo apt-get remove virtualbox-guest* from the terminal and now everything is working again. I checked the update history log and sure enough, there were 3 entries of various flavors for the virtualbox-guest.

Thanks for the clue smurphos!

Boris_the_Bobcat
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Re: XFCE has lost its mind! [SOLVED]

Post by Boris_the_Bobcat » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:24 am

I had the same problem in my LM Xfce 18 with following symptoms.

When I restarted my desktop for the first time after installing some updates to Virtualbox -related packages, I got the following error message:
Plugin "Indicator Plugin" unexpectedly left the panel, do you want to restart it?

The plugin restarted more than once in the last 60 seconds. If you press Execute the panel will try to restart the plugin otherwise it will be permanently removed from the panel.
If I chose Execute, this dialog just appeared again, if Remove, it removed the indicator from the panel. If I tried to add the indicator to the panel again, this same error message appeared before I was able to access any of it's settings.

What was much worse, many applications didn't launch at all.

Did not launch:
  • Chromium
  • Firefox
  • Image Viewer
  • Text Editor
  • Update Manager
Did launch:
  • LibreOffice Calc
  • Thunar
  • Tor Browser
  • Xfce Terminal
Glad I had Tor Browser and it worked, as I would have had great troubles to search any information of what is going on.

I also kind of suspected from the beginning that this would be related to these latest updates, and indeed, there were following packages being updated at /var/log/apt/history.log

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virtualbox-guest-utils:i386 (5.0.40-dfsg-0ubuntu1.16.04.2, 5.1.34-dfsg-0ubuntu1.16.04.2)
virtualbox-guest-dkms:i386 (5.0.40-dfsg-0ubuntu1.16.04.2, 5.1.34-dfsg-0ubuntu1.16.04.2)
virtualbox-guest-x11:i386 (5.0.40-dfsg-0ubuntu1.16.04.2, 5.1.34-dfsg-0ubuntu1.16.04.2)
I did not have virtualbox or virtualbox-guest installed at all in my system. Instead, I had to remove those three packages individually:

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sudo apt remove virtualbox-guest-dkms virtualbox-guest-utils virtualbox-guest-x11
And that solved the problem. Thanks a lot.

Kev1105
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Re: XFCE has lost its mind! [SOLVED]

Post by Kev1105 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:56 pm

I have the same issue but neither the terminal nor Synaptic will launch any idea how I can fix this without going full nuke and pave?

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MrEen
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Re: XFCE has lost its mind! [SOLVED]

Post by MrEen » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:20 pm

Kev1105:
xenopeek wrote:
Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:05 pm
  1. You can manually do the same thing that Update Manager would have done for you with these steps:
    1. From the login screen press Ctrl+Alt+F1 to go to a virtual console (full screen terminal);
    2. Login as yourself (you get no visual feedback as you type passwords, just type it and press Enter);
    3. Then run this command:
      apt remove virtualbox-guest*
    4. After the command completes you can return to the login screen by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F7 or F8 and then reboot your system.
  2. If you have Timeshift installed and configured, and are comfortable with it, you can alternatively use that to roll back your operating system to an earlier snapshot. Then install available updates from Update Manager will also fix this issue.

Kev1105
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Re: XFCE has lost its mind! [SOLVED]

Post by Kev1105 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:39 pm

Thanks a lot that worked

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