Sawfish - Windows disappear from desktop, but continue to run

Bug #49740 reported by John Florian
30
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Metacity
Incomplete
Undecided
Unassigned
sawfish (Ubuntu)
Confirmed
Medium
Unassigned

Bug Description

Binary package hint: sawfish

Regularly throughout the day, I experience windows disappearing from the desktop. The problem seems to only occur when I'm opening a new window or changing workspaces. It seems that Xinerama is also necessary for this bug to manifest.

Most often it is the gnome-panel that gets affected. I actually have 3 gnome-panels normally, and it always seems to be the same one of the three that is affected.

Note that although the affected applications disappear from the desktop and gnome window selector, the applications continue to run (i.e., they are visible via 'ps').

$ COLUMNS=120 dpkg -l sawfish gnome-panel libxinerama1
Desired=Unknown/Install/Remove/Purge/Hold
| Status=Not/Installed/Config-files/Unpacked/Failed-config/Half-installed
|/ Err?=(none)/Hold/Reinst-required/X=both-problems (Status,Err: uppercase=bad)
||/ Name Version Description
+++-========================-========================-================================================================
ii gnome-panel 2.14.1-0ubuntu16 launcher and docking facility for GNOME 2
ii libxinerama1 1.0.1-0ubuntu2 X11 Xinerama extension library
ii sawfish 1.3+cvs20050709-6 a window manager for X11

Revision history for this message
John Florian (j100) wrote :

The above report was under Dapper. The problem still exists in Edgy and in fact seems worse. The gnome-panel still seems to be affected the most often, however the old work around of killing gnome-panel (so that it could restart and be visible) tends to make nearly all other windows disappear. Like before, the windows that disappear still have their process running, but there is no way to make the window visible. Affected windows disappear from the desktop and the window list applet. In short, sawfish is almost completely unusable with Edgy using Xinerama.

Revision history for this message
Rimas Kudelis (rq) wrote :

I get similar behaviour with the window of "gdmflexiserver -n" disapearing each time I switch workspaces...

Revision history for this message
John Florian (j100) wrote :

Sadly this bug still exists in Ubuntu 7.04 beta. Sawfish is simply unusable with Xinerama enabled -- one cannot tolerate windows being lost simply for having changed workspaces. I sure wish this could be fixed (or someone could offer a work around) as I have yet to find a window manager that has a window placement policy as ideal as sawfish's first-fit method. kwin comes close, but I really prefer a GNOME desktop.

Revision history for this message
Johnathon (kirrus) wrote :

Confirming due to multiple reporters

Changed in sawfish:
status: Unconfirmed → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
era (era) wrote :

Are your screens different size? http://www.nabble.com/Sawfish-Gnome-Xinerama-dropping-windows-t4652994.html seems to be about this problem, too; alas, no actual fix in sight yet.

If the windows are simply placed outside the screen (a plausible hypothesis given the symptoms), can you use sawfish-client to move them back where you want them?

(I'm not on a Sawfish machine at the moment, but I'll happily post some Lisp snippets when I am.)

Revision history for this message
John Florian (j100) wrote :

My two screens were both 1600x1200. I never tried using sawfish-client as I'm unfamiliar with its use. The problem was so prevalent for me (at least 5 times during 8 hour work day) that I was forced to change over to KDE. I hadn't realized until this change that kwin offers nearly all of the features that I had grown dependent upon with sawfish. As much as I saw this problem, I had never pinned it down to a specific cause. Changing workspaces with the GNOME pager did seem to cause it more so than any other event, although other events indeed also caused the problem.

Revision history for this message
era (era) wrote :

KDE? Ugh, I feel for you.

I posted some quick Lisp snippets to http://tinyurl.com/ypoju2 in case you or somebody else wants to try them out.

Revision history for this message
Johnathon (kirrus) wrote :

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better. This bug was reported a while ago and there hasn't been any activity in it recently. We were wondering is this still an issue for you? Thanks in advance.

Changed in sawfish:
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Revision history for this message
era (era) wrote :

For the record, there were some follow-ups in the mailing list thread on Gmane which I link to above with the TinyURL redirector http://tinyurl.com/ypoju2 -- I think there's a real bug in Sawfish, but whether it can or needs to be tackled by Ubuntu I can't say.

Revision history for this message
John Florian (j100) wrote : Re: [Bug 49740] Re: Windows disappear from desktop, but continue to run

Johnathon wrote:
> Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make
> Ubuntu better. This bug was reported a while ago and there hasn't been
> any activity in it recently. We were wondering is this still an issue
> for you? Thanks in advance.
>
> ** Changed in: sawfish (Ubuntu)
> Status: Confirmed => Incomplete
>
As stated in an earlier post, the bug in sawfish made GNOME so unusable
I had to switch to KDE. And no, metacity was not an option for me. It
is so lacking in advanced window placement features that it reminds me
of working in Windoze. I'd be happy to test it again, but the only
xinerama setup at my disposal now is under Fedora 8 (where I'm presently
running KDE as well).

--
JohnF_

Revision history for this message
Rohaq (rohaq) wrote : Re: Windows disappear from desktop, but continue to run

I'm getting similar behaviour here in Gutsy 64 bit: I'll hit Super + D (my defined 'Show Desktop' shortcut), compiz throws my windows to the corners, and then they'll disappear from the desktop and the window bar, but they still appear to be running under ps -A, requiring me to kill them and reopen them to bring them back.

Revision history for this message
Rohaq (rohaq) wrote :

Sorry, I should add to that, this doesn't happen 100% of the time, making reproducing it difficult.

Revision history for this message
Daniel T Chen (crimsun) wrote :

Is this symptom still reproducible in 8.10 alpha?

Revision history for this message
John Florian (j100) wrote : Re: [Bug 49740] Re: Windows disappear from desktop, but continue to run

As mentioned earlier, the bug was painful enough I had to resort to using
KDE instead. If there's reason to believe that it may now be resolved, I
certainly could give it a try again. However, if this is just a general
inquiry, I don't have an answer at hand or really the time to find out.
Has anything changed that might bring resolution?
--
JohnF_

On Wed, September 17, 2008 19:28, Daniel T Chen wrote:
> Is this symptom still reproducible in 8.10 alpha?
>
> --
> Windows disappear from desktop, but continue to run
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/49740
> You received this bug notification because you are a direct subscriber
> of the bug.
>

Revision history for this message
Bobby D. Bryant (bdbryant) wrote : Re: Windows disappear from desktop, but continue to run

> Is this symptom still reproducible in 8.10 alpha?

Yes, big problem for me on two systems now at 8.10. (Had the problems before the upgrade too.)

I see:

1) Apparently random loss of one or more windows or GNOME panels, with ps x showing the application still running.

2) When I use 'kill' to kill a process, one or more unrelated windows usually die.

3) Often when I unlock a locked terminal I get nothing at all other than my wallpaper, though I can log in again via a virtual console and ps x shows everything still running.

4) Occasionally Sawfish stops rending the window "decorations" correctly, so that I lose all the controls on the bar across the top. (This seems to happen most often with pop-up windows.)

5) Using the Workspace Switcher and the Sawfish desktop menu makes Sawfish go completely nutty. E.g., I'll switch to another workspace and then can't get back, or Sawfish will quit working altogether.

Revision history for this message
Bobby D. Bryant (bdbryant) wrote :

Ooops - I apologize, but the systems I was testing on weren't actually 8.10.

I have now installed 8.10 beta for testing, but have not figured out how to make sawfish automatically start. All the usual configuration tricks don't work any more (though you can still force it from the prompt each time you log in).

I'll post back when I've been able to test the behavior described in this bug report.

Revision history for this message
ThomasN (tnetter) wrote :

I think I'm experiencing the same bug in Ubuntu 8.10, HP 2510p, custom kernel 2.6.27.7:
sometimes, when recovering from a blank screen because of not using the laptop for a few minutes, I see the desktop's Ibex background but all windows, desktop icons, and panel have disappeared.
The mouse pointer still moves. No menus can be opened because all events (keyboard, mouse click) are unresponsive.
Cannot alt-ctrl-F1.
All I can do is press the power switch and keep it pressed to force a hard power off.

This bug seems to happen when I have several windows open, e.g. 2 firefox windows, emacs, terminal, rhythmbox.

Revision history for this message
NightHorse (sheri-side) wrote :

I just had the same problem on 9.04. After clicking on show desktop, firefox and one of vbox windows disappeared from the screen and taskbar.

Revision history for this message
Tom (tom-ducbase) wrote :

Affects me too, I'm on 9.10. Sometimes windows disappear while the apps continue to run. It also happens windows get an (x,y) offset. When I move my mouse, I see tooltips pop up in the offset windows while I have my mouse where the window SHOULD be.

Very annoying. Let me know what I can do to provide debug information.

Revision history for this message
Michael Doube (michael-doube) wrote :

I am seeing this for the first time in 9.10 - program windows disappear but the program keeps running and has an icon in AWN, which I can use to close the program safely. All apps appear to be affected, including Thunderbird, Firefox and OpenOffice, which severely impacts on usability. I have already reported this as a separate bug: bug #474146

Revision history for this message
Matt (matthewjtomlinson) wrote :

I am also experiencing this issue and on 9.10, apps disappear while they continue to run.
Especially intellij it seems to disappear without fail.
If I select "Always on visible workspace" it does return, however it has on occasion disappeared again after this.
I have ended up simply using the keyboard to switch apps

Revision history for this message
Michael Doube (michael-doube) wrote :

I tried deleting my Gnome settings directories according to these instructions:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=3585306&postcount=6

Which seems to have fixed this for me (for now...)

Revision history for this message
Christopher Bratusek (zanghar) wrote :

The `random window dissaperance'-bug has been fixed in 1.6.0, atleast what's fixable in Sawfish, buggy xorg-drivers sitll may trigger the issue.

Revision history for this message
tealex (tealex) wrote :

intellij disappear without fail.
ubuntu 10.04

Revision history for this message
rusivi2 (rusivi2-deactivatedaccount) wrote :

Thank you for reporting this bug.

Is this an issue in Maverick?

Changed in metacity:
status: New → Incomplete
Revision history for this message
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

[Expired for sawfish (Ubuntu) because there has been no activity for 60 days.]

Changed in sawfish (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Expired
Revision history for this message
Leigh Honeywell (hypatia) wrote :

I'm still seeing this behavior when I do super + D in Maverick, so I've reopened the bug.

Changed in sawfish (Ubuntu):
status: Expired → New
David Conner (dlbike76)
summary: - Windows disappear from desktop, but continue to run
+ Sawfish - Windows disappear from desktop, but continue to run
Revision history for this message
David Conner (dlbike76) wrote :

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug and helping to make Ubuntu better. Please execute the following command, as it will automatically gather debugging information, in a terminal:
apport-collect 49740
When reporting bugs in the future please use apport by using 'ubuntu-bug' and the name of the package affected. You can learn more about this functionality at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ReportingBugs.

Revision history for this message
Dave Gilbert (ubuntu-treblig) wrote :

In the 1.6.0 sawfish release notes is the comment below; since we're still on 1.5.3 this looks like an upstream bug with an upstream fix - and our sawfish packages are ancient.

Dave

From http://sawfish.wikia.com/wiki/News
  - Random window disapperance prevention

          There're reports of sudden, random window disapperance, under
          Xinerama and some other drivers. It is partly prevented, but
          not completely, as this may also be caused by other libraries
          or buggy video drivers.

          Now in error_handler() in src/display.c, when a window sends
          request_code 12 (X_ConfigureWindow), don't auto-assume it to
          be unmapped. [Janek Kozicki]

Changed in sawfish (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
chris (chris-connell) wrote :

This happens also on 11.10. Happens with terminal, skype, virtual box machines.

Not sure if its related but I noticed this problem when I switched to a new hardware (lenovo t420 and running 16:9 screen resolution)

Revision history for this message
Dave Gilbert (ubuntu-treblig) wrote :

Medium -> 'A bug that has a severe impact on a non-core application.'

(What's really needed here is a sawfish package update to something newer - although I see debian hasn't updated in years either).

Changed in sawfish (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Medium
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