All panels are missing on one account.

All panels are missing on one account.

Postby LoneWolfiNTj » 17 Nov 2014, 07:48

Greetings, Forum. (This is my first post in Point Linux Forums.) I just installed Point Linux on my computer about a week ago, and other than a few minor issues still to be resolved, everything has been working fine... until tonight (Sun Nov 16, 2014).

Tonight, a big problem cropped up when I booted my machine from cold shutdown. On the account I use as my "main" account (I made 3 accounts, all administrators, when I installed Linux), all 3 of my panels are nomissing. I had 3 auto-hiding panels: top, left, and bottom; but tonight I have none, and no way to make any. This means I now can't open any apps directly (no launchers). To open Firefox in order to visit this forum, I had to double-click the caja icon on the desktop, navigate to a random file, right-click, and select "open in Firefox".

Oddly, though, the problem does not exist on my other two accounts! They all show 3 auto-hiding panels each, top, left, bottom. I move mouse to edge and they pop up normally. (This is how I like to launch apps, both in Windows and in Linux: nearly-empty desktop, all files filed away in folders, all applications launched from auto-hiding panels, accessible with a flick of the wrist.)

SO... does anyone have any ideas on why all Mate panels would suddenly disappear from just ONE of three accounts, and not from the other two? And how to fix it?

Where are the files which hold Mate panel settings for an account? (I figure this must be an account-specific settings issue, as the underlying "panels" technology is clearly still functional, as evidenced by the panels working fine in the other accts).

I suppose I could fix it by deleting the account then immediately making another with the same name, after saving any files in my home folder... but it seems there should be a better way.
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Re: All panels are missing on one account.

Postby Maroman » 17 Nov 2014, 10:21

if we are talking on Point 2 (mate 1.4) all settings are in menu > system tools > configuration editor > apps > panel. there is no problem with up to two panels (top and bottom) but I had a problem with vertical one (right).

have you installed with backports option?

cheers,
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Re: All panels are missing on one account.

Postby LoneWolfiNTj » 17 Nov 2014, 11:21

Maroman wrote:if we are talking on Point 2 (mate 1.4) all settings are in menu > system tools > configuration editor > apps > panel. there is no problem with up to two panels (top and bottom) but I had a problem with vertical one (right). have you installed with backports option? cheers,


With no panels on this acct, there is no menu, no system tools, no configuration editor, no apps, no panels. So it's pretty useless to tell me to access stuff that's in the non-existent panels as a fix for the fact that the panels don't exist, no? (Seeing as how if I *could* get to the panels, then we wouldn't be having this conversation in the first place.)

I could access the configuration from another acct, yes; but that would change the config for THAT acct, not for THIS acct.

So what I need isn't instructions on how to use the GUI. Firstly, I *already* know how to use the GUI. Secondly, THERE IS NO GUI, which was the problem in the first place.

No, what I need is what I asked (which you didn't answer): WHERE are the configuration files for the Mate panels? NOT the GUI facilities for accessing the files; but the files themselves?

Let me put this another way:

Where, in the file system under root ("/"), are the per-account Mate panel configuration files located? I'm guessing it has to be somewhere under /home/user_name but I don't know where. Nor do I know what the files are named, so that makes it rather difficult to search for them.

As for versions, as I said, this install was about 1 week ago, so the versions of Point Linux and Mate are whatever versions were being pushed at that time. (Downloaded, burned onto a DVD, booted system from DVD, installed Point Linux from DVD.) I can't see the version info because that's on the panels and THERE ARE NO panels. Nor can I switch accounts to an account which has panels because the "switch account" button is on the lower panel and THERE ARE NO panels.

Let me put this yet another way: My entire GUI now consists only of these 3 things:

1. Desktop background picture.
2. caja icon marked "home".
3. Trash can.

NO panels, NO toolbars, NO menus, NO application launchers, NO shortcuts. If I want to launch an app, I either have to make a new launcher manually on the desktop (*if* I can find the executable file in the file system), or use caja to navigate to any random data file, right-click, and select "choose app to open this file with". I hope that gives you a clearer picture of the situation.
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Re: All panels are missing on one account.

Postby Maroman » 17 Nov 2014, 11:35

you can run all apps here /usr/share/applications/. and there is mateconf-editor.desktop. double click. think. men don't cry.

cheers,
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Re: All panels are missing on one account.

Postby LoneWolfiNTj » 17 Nov 2014, 12:33

Maroman wrote:you can run all apps here /usr/share/applications/. and there is mateconf-editor.desktop. double click. think. men don't cry. cheers,


Ah. Thanks, I was unaware of that directory. OK, here's what happened, which you may find interesting: Nope, no "mateconf-editor.desktop", but there *was* an icon labeled "configuration editor", so I got into that, got into the panel settings, looked at the "default settings" and "current settings", set current back to default (turned off auto-hiding, set some suspicious (x,y) position coordinates back to defalts. Results: No change. No panels.

So, I looked around in /usr/share/applications for anything else that may pertain to panels, and I found an icon labeled "panel". I double-clicked that, and voila, all my panels came back on line. :-)

Problem solved. Apparently, I had somehow got the entire panel system turned OFF, and it needed to be turned back ON, which is apparently what that "panel" icon in /usr/share/applications is for.

Anyway, problems solved, and my thanks to Maroman for pointing me to the /usr/share/applications folder. (I'm rather new to the Linux world, having spent most of my life in Windows land, so I'm still learning where stuff is. Some things are similar to how they're done in Windows, others not similar at all. But I'm learning.)
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Re: All panels are missing on one account.

Postby Maroman » 17 Nov 2014, 21:32

LoneWolfiNTj wrote: Nope, no "mateconf-editor.desktop", but there *was* an icon labeled "configuration editor",

nice you solved the problem. but as you may notice I used if then construction. I'm using Point 2 with mate 1.4. the newer version is completely different. for future use - more technical details, less emotions.

LoneWolfiNTj wrote:I looked around in /usr/share/applications for anything else that may pertain to panels, and I found an icon labeled "panel". I double-clicked that, and voila, all my panels came back on line. :-)

and also must say that the panel application is a bit mysterious for me. in my case it doesn't work at all.

cheers,
ride my bike,
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Re: All panels are missing on one account.

Postby LoneWolfiNTj » 18 Nov 2014, 01:16

Maroman wrote: ... for future use - more technical details, less emotions....


It is unwise to infer emotional status from circumstantial evidence. Different personality types (eg, INTJ vs ENFP vs ESTJ) will have very different correlations between *apparent* emotion and *actual* emotion.

Also, emotion is a side effect of perceived efficacy vs futility, and will be dependent on that, especially in T types as opposed to F types.

Nor will telling persons of any type to have less, more, or different emotions tend to work. Human emotions do not work that way, and indeed are mostly not under conscious control at all. So that approach is usually futile.

However, that's a topic better discussed in a psychology forum.

Getting back to Point Linux...

Maroman wrote: ... I'm using Point 2 with mate 1.4. the newer version is completely different ...


Sorry I couldn't offer that info before; it was not readily available to me at the time. Now I can offer more details:
Point Linux: 2.3.1 (taya)
Kernel: 3.2.0-4-686-pae
Mate: 1.4.2

Maroman wrote: ... the panel application is a bit mysterious for me. in my case it doesn't work at all ...


Now that my panels are turned back "on", clicking the "panel" icon in /usr/share/applications doesn't do anything for me either. It apparently "installs" the "panels" feature into the desktop. Or if the desktop already has one or more panels, it does nothing. As to how my panels got turned "off", I don't know. Possibly when I was removing things from a panel I inadvertently clicked "remove" on the panel itself and "removed" the whole panel system from the desktop.

But at least I learned from this fiasco that if the panels all disappear from an account, navigating to /usr/share/applications in caja and double-clicking "panel" will fix the problem. (Though it would be better if this setting was on the menu that pops up when one right-clicks the Mate desktop, rather than being hidden in /usr/share/applications where many users, especially those new to Linux, will not know to look for it.)
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Re: All panels are missing on one account.

Postby LoneWolfiNTj » 18 Nov 2014, 02:14

Update:

After restarting again, panels were missing again.
Again I navigated with caja to /usr/share/applications and double-clicked "panel".
Again the panels were restored.

Restarted AGAIN, panels were missing AGAIN.
Again I navigated with caja to /usr/share/applications and double-clicked "panel". Again.
Again the panels were restored. Again.

Hmmm. Ongoing problem. Probably some setting somewhere is not quite right, though I don't know what it is.

Maroman: I also found our why I wasn't seeing any of the contents you were describing in /usr/share/applications . The reason is, caja gives all files in that folder "user friendly" names and cute icons:
"mateconf-editor.desktop" -> "configuration editor"
"mate-panel.desktop" -> "panel"

Also, I can't access either by making "application launchers" on the desktop (I get "permission denied"), but navigating directly too them in caja and double-clicking works. Odd.

So I made a copy (not a link) of mate-panel.desktop on my desktop, labeled it "restore panels". Double-clicking that also restores the panels.

I still don't know why they keep disappearing, though. Puzzling.
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Re: All panels are missing on one account.

Postby Maroman » 18 Nov 2014, 06:25

if you want edit files in other than home directory you should be root and start pluma from the terminal with gksu command, for example
Code: Select all
gksu pluma /usr/share/applications/mateconf-editor.desktop

in case of desktop files the visible name might be different (this files are text files of specific structure).

but going back to your problem. I do not know the reasons - I'm working with Point for one and half year but haven't seen similar problem. it seems all work with standard settings (the vertical panel is problematic??). try to go back to standard configuration. firstly switch off vertical panel. go to configuration editor to apps > panel > general and edit the last line (/apps/panel/general/toplevel_id_list) keeping only top and bottom panels. I also suggest not to hide the panels (try to edit /apps/panel/toplevels/top_panel_screen0/auto_hide and /apps/panel/toplevels/bottom_panel_screen0/auto_hide).

I'm always using just one (top) panel. it's possible to keep all you want and have to just in one.

cheers,
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Re: All panels are missing on one account.

Postby LoneWolfiNTj » 19 Nov 2014, 08:22

Maroman wrote:if you want edit files in other than home directory you should be root and start pluma from the terminal with gksu command, for example
Code: Select all
gksu pluma /usr/share/applications/mateconf-editor.desktop

in case of desktop files the visible name might be different (this files are text files of specific structure).


Well, that did produce some rather spectacular results! But not what you or I expected. I got:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Configuration Editor
Name[am]=የማስተካከያው አራሚ
Name[ar]=محرّر الإعدادات
Name[as]=বিন্যাস সম্পাদক
Name[be]=Рэдактар наладак
Name[bg]=Настройки на програмите
Name[bn]=কনফিগারেশন সম্পাদক
Name[bn_IN]=কনফিগারেশন সম্পাদন ব্যবস্থা
Name[el]=Επεξεργαστής ρυθμίσεων
Name[fa]=ویراستار پیکربندی
Name[gu]=રુપરેખા સંપાદક
Name[he]=עורך הגדרות
Name[hi]=कॉन्फ़िगरेशन संपादक
Name[ja]=設定エディタ
... (etc, for many more lines, different language each line) ...


Apparently the *.desktop files are not very compatible with Pluma. They appear not to be straight text files, so what happens when one "opens" them is very dependent on what app is used

Maroman wrote: ... try to go back to standard configuration ... firstly switch off vertical panel ...


Ok. I'll do some experimenting and see what I can come up with.

I'm guessing, though, that this isn't an issue with one particular panel, or with panel contents, for several reasons:

1. The entire panel system is off-line on startup, not just one panel or part thereof.
2. Once the panel system is turned "on" manually, it works fine, which seems to indicate no problem with panels or contents.
3. Similar sets of 3 panels are working fine on 2 other accounts in same installation.

I'm guessing the issue has more to do with the "panel" feature just not being loaded at startup on this one acct. I don't know where the setting for that would be, though.
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