Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon crash - now everything's gone weird!

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mrodent
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Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon crash - now everything's gone weird!

Post by mrodent » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:23 pm

Pretty much a Linux newb here. I can't now (currently) use this Mint OS.

I see from one or two posts here that Mint Cinnamon crashes are historically not uncommon, which is a bit worrying. I've had a Mint MATE on an old machine (which is why I chose MATE for it) for some time and nothing dramatic like this has ever occurred. Then again, I haven't changed desktop display settings in it, to my knowledge.

Here there is a recommendation to use a graphics driver called bumblebee... but at the moment I'm can't boot up properly at all (see details below).

Situation: dual-boot machine (with Windows10). x64, powerful enough i7 CPU, NVidia GeForce GTX 1060 6GB GPU (I'm using it on a giant monitor with 4k resolution). No reason to suspect any hardware issues. OS Cinnamon 18.4 x64.

What I did when in Linux Mint leading up to this "event":
- upgraded to install Python3.6
- changed sizes of desktop icons (from within Nemo file manager)
- changes of default presentation of files in Nemo (default set to show List view)

... first I found I couldn't launch a Terminal from within Nemo

... then I found Terminal wouldn't launch at all (saw spinner)

... then I got a crash/freeze.

- So I thought logging out and in would solve it: No.

- Then I thought rebooting would probably solve it: No: the icons are still present on the desktop ... but the status bar and "menu button" have DISAPPEARED. When I pressed the "Windows" button on my keyboard a funny little box appeared at the bottom right of the screen and let me type into it.
No known way then to shut down: I ended up having to press the hardware On/off button!
Rebooting again: same situation.

Does anyone know how I might try to recover, i.e. maybe by booting into "terminal mode"...?
Last edited by karlchen on Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Title: Mint release corrected to read "Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon"

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Moem
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Re: Cinnamon 18.4 crash - now everything's gone weird!

Post by Moem » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:40 pm

Are you sure it's 18.4? I don't think that exists yet. To avoid any confusion, can you please post the result of the following terminal command, and enclose it in code tags? That's the button marked </>.
This is needed for pretty much any question about your system, so it's a good habit to post it straight away.

Code: Select all

inxi -Fxz
Image

If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!

mrodent
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Re: Cinnamon 18.3 crash - now everything's gone weird!

Post by mrodent » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:46 pm

Thanks... sorry, my mistake, it's 18.3.

As stated in my question I am unable to run ANY commands at all in the normal boot up... although about 4 icons appear I can't run a Terminal ... I have no start button, and no task bar along the bottom ... so I can't give you the result of that command.

I have also tried the other two possibilities in the "Advanced bootup" GRUB list: one booted to a completely black screen, the other, "Boot to recovery mode", booted to a list of options none of which meant anything to me.

Maybe there is a way of getting a command prompt from that Recovery mode boot option? If so can you tell me what I have to do?

2018-03-19

Well I've now tried booting up with the Recovery option... this has behaved very strangely indeed: lines going off-screen... when I chose the option near the bottom "boot to ... ? command line?" it initially booted to a command line... I then ran that "inxi -Fxz" command ... I was thinking I would try and manually write down the output in a file in another computer (because obviously I have no known way of saving the output)... but before I could do that some other process took over and spewed a whole load of lines on the screen... at the end of which things were entirely dead. At the command line.

This is not good. If this can happen to me as a consequence of not particularly outrageous attempts to reconfigure screens, I can guarantee it's happened to others.

Does anyone know whether earlier versions of Cinnamon are known to be more stable? Or whether Mint MATE is known to be more stable?

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Re: Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon crash - now everything's gone weird!

Post by Moem » Mon Mar 19, 2018 3:49 pm

Cinnamon is not unstable. Something is broken in your installation. Unfortunately, with things being what they currently are, it's pretty hard to troubleshoot. I hope someone else can help!
Image

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Re: Cinnamon 18.3 crash - now everything's gone weird!

Post by thx-1138 » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:13 pm

mrodent wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:46 pm
............................
This is not good. If this can happen to me as a consequence of not particularly outrageous attempts to reconfigure screens, I can guarantee it's happened to others.
............................
What I did when in Linux Mint leading up to this "event":
- upgraded to install Python3.6
- changed sizes of desktop icons (from within Nemo file manager)
- changes of default presentation of files in Nemo (default set to show List view)
...from 'upgraded to install Python3.6' to 'outrageous attempts to reconfigure screens'...you need to decide what the fault was me thinks... :roll:
I strongly tend to believe it was the former (as Mint heavily depends on the already installed Python specific versions)...and if such is the case, something among those lines would probably help you...
viewtopic.php?f=47&t=257591

Cosmo.
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Re: Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon crash - now everything's gone weird!

Post by Cosmo. » Mon Mar 19, 2018 4:17 pm

mrodent wrote:
Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:23 pm
- upgraded to install Python3.6
A method to break your system and crying for trouble. Revert it (if at all possible) or install Mint new.

BTW: bumblebee is not a driver, but an on-the-fly switch between the integrated and the dedicated graphic device.

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Re: Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon crash - now everything's gone weird!

Post by mrodent » Tue Mar 20, 2018 3:21 pm

Thanks to all... OK I'm going to reinstall I think.

With a certain proprietary OS I regularly take disk images (particularly when I'm installing a new one) of the OS ... So I'll try this this time with Mint. Also document steps more copiously ... and get that

Code: Select all

inxi -Fxz
output to hand ... just in case!

It's immensely helpful to hear that a Python upgrade is courting disaster. In a situation like this, for a newb in particular, the worst thing is having no pointers about what the cause might have been... and therefore no predictability.

Also reassuring to hear that Mint 18.3 is very stable... my online searching certainly seems to confirm that Mint is one of the best from this angle.

I suppose a list of "upgradey or other things newbs shouldn't do" wouldn't go amiss!

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Re: Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon crash - now everything's gone weird!

Post by Pat D » Tue Mar 20, 2018 4:48 pm

Re-install.
If you made a separate home partition, those files should be safe if you don't format home in the install.
If your original install was all on one partition you could try re-installing without formatting the root partition, but then you might not fix the problem.
Anyway, re-install and call it a learning experience. :D :D :D

mrodent
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Re: Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon crash - now everything's gone weird!

Post by mrodent » Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:26 pm

Thanks... well fortunately it was all very much at the experiments stage. So re-installing is no great shakes.

With my Windoze setup I install everything I possibly can, including apps, on drive D:, E:, F: ... rather than drive C: - the rationale being that should C: every go horribly wrong at least I will have the last disk image to reinstate. Also making it quicker to take a snapshot of C:.

No doubt a similar strategy can be followed with Linux... but it takes time and experience to get to the level of understanding of the issues and so on...

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Re: Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon crash - now everything's gone weird!

Post by Cosmo. » Tue Mar 20, 2018 6:18 pm

mrodent wrote:
Tue Mar 20, 2018 5:26 pm
No doubt a similar strategy can be followed with Linux... but it takes time and experience to get to the level of understanding of the issues and so on...
This is easy. Use TimeShift; if this was a fresh install of 18.3, you find it in the menu. You can create system snapshots and if case of problems you can revert all system changes and go back to a previous state with a few clicks.

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Re: Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon crash - now everything's gone weird!

Post by mrodent » Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:46 am

Great. Thanks again.

At the moment even my Recovery boot options don't enable me to boot into Linux in any known way. I'm just wondering if there's another way to boot into the Linux setup ... to try to revert the Python upgrade for example.

Obviously this TimeShift thing would only be useful if I could actually boot into Linux in the first place. Taking an independent disk image (of the partition involved) using Macrium (for example) means that even in my present total lock-out situation I can get things back.

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Re: Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon crash - now everything's gone weird!

Post by Cosmo. » Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:08 am

mrodent wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 2:46 am
Obviously this TimeShift thing would only be useful if I could actually boot into Linux in the first place.
Not quite. Have a live system with Mint 18.3 handy. TimeShift is also there installed and you can use it to do a revert, if the system itself is not bootable or usable..

Note, that this will not help you for the current issue, as until now you do not have any snapshots, where you can revert to.

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Re: Linux Mint 18.3 Cinnamon crash - now everything's gone weird!

Post by mrodent » Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:48 am

Most helpful! Will investigate. Thanks again.

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