Plasma-desktop bug, desktop completely black but still able to open windows
1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Thu Mar 21 20:45:03 GMT 2013
Britt Mathis posted on Thu, 21 Mar 2013 13:29:20 -0400 as excerpted:
> This is my first post to a mailing list ever, so I apologize in advance
> if this has already been resolved or I am in violation of post etiquette
> in some way.
FWIW, your post was quite good, with one exception. Good: You included
the kde version, a reasonable description of the problem, and what you'd
done to narrow it down and/or try to fix it yourself (start plasma from
the command line, etc). You'd be surprised at the number of people who
include no version information at all, or if they do, it's for some
distribution (not for kde) that others may or may not be at all familiar
with. That's always frustrating as it's so simple to include, but takes
another round of question and reply to get when it's not included, and
there's often several rounds of that as it is.
Single bad point: Many list regulars have been working with computers
for quite some time, and are traditional enough to consider HTML messages
bad form, at minimum. I do, but also realize that a lot of people don't
even know they're posting in HTML in the first place, until someone
requests they don't. (Sometimes people who don't even like HTML
themselves end up posting in it themselves, if they're running a mailer
that defaults to HTML and "forgets" their preferences, and I get thanked
for pointing it out so they can fix it, so it's easy enough to do.) From
this perspective, if it has to be dressed up in HTML to be worth reading,
it's not worth reading at all, and the people who post in HTML can be
broken down into four camps: The spammers, who often use HTML to hide
some of their filter avoidance tricks, the malware folks (often a spammer
subtype), who use it to obfuscate links and try to trick people, and/or
to track readership without permission (web bugs), and/or to exploit a
known security vuln in some HTML parsing mail client or other, the people
who simply don't realize the problem or that they're doing it, and the
rude folks who simply don't care. Fortunately, many people are in the
third category and only need it pointed out and they stop. After all,
irritating the folks who might have your answer isn't generally a good
(FWIW, your post had two portions, an HTML and a plain text portion. But
had I been kill-filing all HTML messages as some do, I'd have never seen
the message and thus would have never replied...)
> I am running KDE 4.10.1. Every time I customize the desktop and reboot,
> I still get the splash animation, but I am booted into a completely
> black screen. I am then able to use kRunner to open any application and
> the applications function normally. As far as I can tell this is
> specifically affecting plasma.
Yes. KDE is deliberately modularized enough so that barring either two
different bugs or a single bug so bad it affects both, you'll always have
either krunner or plasma available to launch other apps with, even if the
other one has crashed, as plasma seems to be doing in your case.
> When I try starting plasma for the command line, I get a lengthy error
> message (I can replicate this bug and post an exact message if you all
> would like). The main error is an X error, BadPixMap invalid parameter -
Unfortunately, much of kde appears to be designed with the assumption
that nobody but the developers runs anything from the command line or
with STDOUT/STDERR redirected to a file in ordered to try to debug
problems. As a result, when run from the command line or with STD*
captured, kde apps routinely spit out a huge amount of alarming looking
but non-fatal "noise" that's arguably of interest to the devs themselves,
but is just that, noise, to a power user or admin trying to debug a
problem, but who now can't see the real problem due to the volume of
"normal" messages, now noise hiding the signal of worth that he's trying
> I googled this and didn't really get anything recent. I have managed to
> isolate this bug to when I resize my panel or when I add too many icons
> to my panel. Everything else survived rebooting several times.
> I appreciate any help you guys can give me. Again, I apologize if this
> has already been resolved.
Here's a few hints, anyway:
1) Important! Please backup your $KDEHOME/share/config/plasma-desktop-
appletsrc file. ($KDEHOME defaulting to ~/.kde or sometimes ~/.kde4,
depending on distro.) If this file gets corrupted, you lose all the
customizations you have and may need to start from the defaults, as while
it is a text-based file, it's too complex to /easily/ edit by hand. At
least having a backup will let you easily restore it if necessary. I've
had to do that a few times here.
2) With the backup made and plasma not running, try deleting the above
file and see if you can then successfully reconfigure plasma. If so,
it's a problem in the existing file.
3) Try temporarily turning off desktop effects. Sometimes they are the
problem, but can be reenabled after the desired adjustment has been made.
Gotta head to work now. Later!
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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