4.6.2 early report

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Sat Apr 9 01:20:18 BST 2011

gene heskett posted on Fri, 08 Apr 2011 12:58:46 -0400 as excerpted:

> Well, apparently the fsck worked, but the invocation is silent, all one
> sees at boot time is a stalled boot, with the drive activity led stuck
> on.

So I take it you got that working, and the earlier post to the effect that 
the /.autofsck didn't work can be ignored?

> No invocation line, no progress indication on screen.  So, not feeling
> that well, I went back to bed,

I've been sick before and recognize /that/ behavior.  =:^\  Last time I 
was sick, it was partly due to lack of getting the rest when I should 
have.  But I had a fever and the faster metabolism to keep that up plus 
the other bits associated with being sick meant that I couldn't sleep for 
more than a couple hours at a time.  So I'd sleep 1-3 hours, be up for 45 
minutes to 2 hours, sleep a few more, up again, sleep again, up again...

After about 16 hours of that, the problems eased a bit and the periods 
started getting longer.  But for awhile, I was up and sleeping again so 
often I pretty much lost all track of day/night orientation.

> and when I woke up again I had a login screen. So I did.

Did all those root-can't-read files get fixed by the fsck?  If so, that's 

> I had made sure the widgits were locked before the
> reboot.  I am back to a totally fscked up kde.  My background of choice
> is on workspace 1, as is a cachew in the upper right corner.  All the
> apps, like a couple of konsoles with multiple tabs, a copy of firefox,
> were all opened on workspace one on top of each other.  And no task
> manager bar. So I moved them to the worklspaces they normally lived on.
> Rolling the mouse wheel got me to workspace 2, where I find I have no
> cashew, but perhaps 9 or so task manager panels all stacked up on each
> other, and at slightly different size scales.  So I unlock the widgets,
> start scaling then up so I can select the top one easily, and delete
> them one by one till I am down to just one.  So I come to the conclusion
> that a casahew and the task manager bar are mutually exclusive, so on
> workspace 1 I have added the icons to the screen at random locations, so
> I can launch an app, or click on the pager and have those function
> available.  On the other 9 workspaces, I have a task manager bar, but no
> cashew, so I cannot select a screen background.
> Back in my salad years, we used to have an insecticide called "Cook's
> Real Kill" that came in quart bottle with a finger press spray pump. 
> The point I'm leading up is that methinks kde needs a liberal
> application of this, say about a gallon...  Obviously there is a
> contaminated file, maybe more, that is creating all this havoc-hate
> & discontent, but no one close enough to the kde camp to know what
> needs to be fixed is actually reading this list.

That insecticide analogy is apropos.

Assuming the fsck got rid of the root-can't-read issue, I think I may have 
the name of the file to delete (now that you hopefully can) to delete to 
get plasma sane again.  I had a FAR less drastic but similar issue back 
with kde 4.5, after experimenting with different activities.  Somehow that 
screwed plasma up and the problem just got worse and worse.  There was no 
way I could find to cure it using the GUI, only multiply the problems even 
more!  I had to ultimately resort to config file hacking to get things 
straightened out, again.

I had hoped they'd fixed that for 4.6.  I've not seen the problem again, 
but after that experience, especially since I already have my desktop 
quite heavily customized to the point it's working well for me already, I 
have been a bit hesitant to try too much experimentation or try to provoke 
it again and see, when the risk is my currently working heavy 
customizations and the potential gain relatively little.

It would seem the problem is still there, tho it's possible that whatever 
provoked it for me is gone and you only got it due to the corrupted files 
as evidenced by the root-can't-read stuff.  Hopefully your fsck fixed that 
now and cleaning out the config files in question will now both actually 
work and solve your problem.

The specific problem file for me was
$KDEHOME/share/config/plasma-desktop-appletsrc .

There are however a handful of other plasma* config files in that dir, 
that could be problematic as well.  You may wish to either kill or backup 
and selectively restore all of them.  Of course, do this with kde (or at 
least plasma, killall plasma-desktop, run from a konsole window, works 
here) not running.

As I mentioned, I'm a heavy customizer, and I didn't particularly relish 
re-configuring my entire plasma desktop from scratch, so I actually text-
edited the above file.  However, while the file is arranged in the typical 
ini-file format, [sections], key=value pairs one per line in each section, 
blank lines between sections, the logical relationship between the 
sections is rather complex, and if you don't already have a headache from 
being sick, you very well might have one by the time you're thru figuring 
out and hand-editing that file!

Really, that's far too complex a config and far too much valuable config 
info to be properly stored in a single file.  They /should/ have split it 
up, one file per activity, one per panel, and a last one that describes 
how they all fit together, instead of the one big file with nearly 100 
different sections in a complex hierarchial logical relationship, that the 
file is here. (grep -c '\[.*\]' plasma-desktop-appletsrc returns 99, 99 
sections!)  Such a split into several files would have made for a FAR more 
robust and easy to hand-edit if necessary, layout.

So for most people it's likely to be vastly simpler to simply rm the file 
then to correctly edit it, but if you're the heavy customizer I am and do 
want to try to recover a reasonable config by hand-editing, it /is/ 
possible, given enough time and patience.

As I said, that was the problem file for me, but there's a handful of 
other plasma* files in the same directory that may or may not also be 
corrupted.  You may wish to move them out of the way for testing, too, or 
simply delete them, if you're not so heavily customized that recustomizing 
from the defaults is something you prefer to avoid if at all possible.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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