Everything is gray.

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cpergiel
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Everything is gray.

Postby cpergiel » Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:30 pm

I'm having a fine time working on a blog post. I've got three or four applications open:
-Google Chrome
-Text Editor
-Files
and something else, probably another Files.

And then something happens (I pressed the wrong key maybe) and all my applications disappear. The normal desktop icons are still there, and the tabs for my applications are there in the status bar along the bottom of the screen. Clicking on one of the tabs causes the application to go back to being full screen, but it is all grayed out. It is so gray you might call it black. I can just barely make out that it is there.

I found nothing that would get things back to normal and ended up rebooting the system.

This has happened before, but only to a single application. What is going on? I would file a bug report, but I suspect it might be somebody's 'feature'.

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Re: Everything is gray.

Postby Spearmint2 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:26 pm

You probably changed desktop screens (workspace). Use CTRL-ALT and left and right arrow keys to toggle between all four of them.
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lmuserx4849
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Re: Everything is gray.

Postby lmuserx4849 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 11:06 pm

No mention of which Desktop (console commnad: inxi -S), so I'll assume Mate.

Could it be:
Ctrl + Alt + d - Minimizes all windows, and gives focus to the desktop.
https://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/45


Press again should restore the windows.

To view the keyboard shortcuts go to the Control Center. Look for "Keyboard Shortcuts". Here's an image that shows it, or run mate-keybinding-properties from the console.

The window is probably gray because it doesn't have focus yet. When you click on one of the tabs and see the gray window, have you actually clicked the restored window. Have you tried hitting ESC, or Alt-tab to rotate though the windows.

I don't know Mate well enough, but most larger desktops (Cinnamon & KDE) have similar options. You just have to find them :-) Mate is suppose to have something called "focus-mode" under Windows -> Window Behaviour in the Control Center. The focus-mode indicates how windows are activated. This sounds like your situation.

The window focus mode indicates how windows are activated. It has three possible values;
- "click" means windows must be clicked in order to focus them,
- "sloppy" means windows are focused when the mouse enters the window,
- "mouse" means windows are focused when the mouse enters the window and unfocused when the mouse leaves the window.
There's an image on this page.

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cpergiel
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Re: Everything is gray.

Postby cpergiel » Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:45 am

Ctrl + Alt + d does nothing
CTRL-ALT and left and right arrow keys does move between workspaces, but none of my active applications show up in the status bar in any workspace besides 1.
I found nothing in the keyboard shortcuts that would explain what happened.
I am starting to tilt away from feature and towards 'bug'.

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Re: Everything is gray.

Postby lmuserx4849 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:47 am

Are you using the Desktop Mate, Cinnamon, KDE, XFCE...? The output from the console commnad inxi -S would help a lot.

Alt-Tab.... keep your finger on the Alt key and every time you hit the tab, another window will be displayed.

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Re: Everything is gray.

Postby cpergiel » Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:55 am

Code: Select all

c@c-H97N ~ $ inxi -S
System:    Host: c-H97N Kernel: 4.4.0-53-generic x86_64 (64 bit)
           Desktop: Cinnamon 3.2.7  Distro: Linux Mint 18.1 Serena
c@c-H97N ~ $

Alt-Tab simply moves focus from one application program to the next.

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Re: Everything is gray.

Postby lmuserx4849 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:55 pm

cpergiel wrote:

Code: Select all

c@c-H97N ~ $ inxi -S
System:    Host: c-H97N Kernel: 4.4.0-53-generic x86_64 (64 bit)
           Desktop: Cinnamon 3.2.7  Distro: Linux Mint 18.1 Serena
c@c-H97N ~ $

Alt-Tab simply moves focus from one application program to the next.


With Alt-Tab, as you rotate through the windows, when you release the keys the window in the forefront should become active.

Hopefully a Cinnamon Desktop expert can chime in. This page lists shortcuts for Cinnamon. I'm sure the shortcut keys are visible in a Cinnamon setting, but I don't have access to a Cinnamon desktop. It appears in Cinnamon that SUPER-D shows the Desktop (item 10 on the above link). Double check with your Cinnamon settings. The SUPER key is usually the windows key. Does toggling the SUPER-D (Windows key along with the D key) restore your desktop? If you have multiple Window keys (one on the left, one on the right), try each one.

This specific forum comment, confirms the SUPER-D.

Just a clarification, I've conflated "Show Desktop" with "Minimize All Windows". They aren't the same thing. From your initial post, it sounds like the keys hit, were for "Show Desktop".
Last edited by lmuserx4849 on Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Everything is gray.

Postby Cosmo. » Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:25 pm

The shortcut for showing the desktop (with all window minimized) and to restore the windows again is in Cinnamon super-d.

I admit, that I am unsure, if this really solves your problem. This "everything is gray" confuses me and I don't know, how this might look. Can you please provide a screenshot?

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Re: Everything is gray.

Postby cpergiel » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:07 pm

Didn't take a screenshot when it happened. It doesn't happen often, and before this instance it's never happened to more than one app at a time. Usually it's the text editor. Here's a screenshot of what my desktop looks like now, with all apps minimized.
Image
When 'it' happened, it looked just like this. When I clicked on an app, it would go back to full size, but it was so black and dim that I just barely able to make out that there was anything there, and there certainly wasn't enough detail to actually do anything with it.

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Re: Everything is gray.

Postby Spearmint2 » Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:34 pm

cpergiel wrote:Didn't take a screenshot when it happened. It doesn't happen often, and before this instance it's never happened to more than one app at a time. Usually it's the text editor. Here's a screenshot of what my desktop looks like now, with all apps minimized.
Image
When 'it' happened, it looked just like this. When I clicked on an app, it would go back to full size, but it was so black and dim that I just barely able to make out that there was anything there, and there certainly wasn't enough detail to actually do anything with it.


That's your desktop background. Right clk on it and choose a new background if you want.
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Re: Everything is gray.

Postby cpergiel » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:31 pm

It just happened again. Had the Chrome browser open, clicked on the desktop icon in the Linux status bar. When the desktop appeared I opened Text Editor and everything went blooey. Here's a screen shot:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EgHXiE ... sp=sharing

I was able to reboot by clicking on the Menu icon and then the power cycle icon and pressing the Enter key. This worked because the default is to shut down the system, which is lucky, because you can't read anything in the dialog box because it's all black-ish.

P.S. How are you supposed to insert an image? If I use the "img" control Submit does not work. If I click on preview (here in the forum) I get this message:
[color=#BF4000]It was not possible to determine the dimensions of the image. Please verify that the URL you entered is correct.[/color]

I tried the URL and it works, so now what?

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Re: Everything is gray.

Postby Schultz » Sun Jul 16, 2017 7:52 pm

[offtopic]
cpergiel wrote:
P.S. How are you supposed to insert an image?

Click on "Attachments" below the text box, browse to your image and select it, place the cursor in the text box where you want the image, then click "Place inline."
[/offtopic]

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cpergiel
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Re: Everything is gray.

Postby cpergiel » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:52 am

Gracias.

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Re: Everything is gray.

Postby Penn » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:50 pm

If I understand correct the issue is suddenly the windows minimize themselves. You haven't ruled out the possiblity of you causing it, they seem to minimize themselves. When you go to restore the windows the color is off (gray) and everything in that window is unreadable?

I had something similar happen and never found an actual solution so I don't know if this is a help but based on that experience I only have general guesses where the issue might lie. Graphics card/drivers. Window server (xorg). Memory allocation. Keep track of which processes are getting memory or cpu spikes over time compared to a fresh boot and report back if you do notice anything. Important also, if you are getting sudden jumps in memory or cpu, do they drop significantly when you close the windows. Some increase in memory usage over time is normal so don't report all higher usage, just unusual usage that doesn't go away when you close everything.

Additional help is output of

Code: Select all

inxi -Fxz


The reason I say I never found a solution is I tried LMDE and the problem went away. I found I prefer it over the Ubuntu based version anyway so no need to revisit the issue on that machine.

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Re: Everything is gray.

Postby cpergiel » Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:32 pm

Running a program in Terminal. It's going to take a while, so I open Chrome to kill some time. Switch back to Terminal and I notice that the web page is visible, through the black portion of the Terminal window. This is the same kind of effect I was getting before where everything is grayed out. Here is a screen shot.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qIjdi2NlCokp5o1dQBWBg6Y4m8kWB6qk/view?usp=sharing

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Re: Everything is gray.

Postby greerd » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:11 pm

The screen shot looks to me like you're using a partially transparent background. In the terminal Menu, select Edit - Profile Preferences - Colours, then uncheck 'Use transparent background' or adjust the slider to your preference.
Image

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Re: Everything is gray.

Postby cpergiel » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:51 pm

Huh, imagine that. I had no idea.


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