nm-applet stops displaying VPN connections

Bug #985028 reported by Dan Smith
This bug report is a duplicate of:  Bug #780602: nm-applet leaks memory. Edit Remove
This bug affects 50 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
network-manager-applet (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

At first boot, nm-applet shows my (openvpn) VPN connections just fine. After some number of hours of running, typically after suspending and resuming, the VPN Connections submenu appears empty. There is still a submenu, but it's only a few pixels tall, as if it's not populated with anything. This is a regression from 11.10.

Note that I can still initiate the vpn connection from nmcli without any trouble, so I'm sure this is nm-applet related.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 12.04
Package: network-manager-gnome
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.2.0-23.36-generic 3.2.14
Uname: Linux 3.2.0-23-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.0.1-0ubuntu4
Architecture: amd64
Date: Wed Apr 18 08:56:05 2012
 auto lo
 iface lo inet loopback

 #auto wlan0
 #iface wlan0 inet dhcp
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 10.04.3 LTS "Lucid Lynx" - Release amd64 (20110720.1)
 PATH=(custom, user)
SourcePackage: network-manager-applet
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to precise on 2012-03-22 (26 days ago)
 wlan0 802-11-wireless connected /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager/Devices/1
 eth0 802-3-ethernet unavailable /org/freedesktop/NetworkManager/Devices/0
 running connected enabled enabled enabled enabled disabled

Revision history for this message
Dan Smith (dansmith) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Mathieu Trudel-Lapierre (cyphermox) wrote :

Confirming, I've had other reports of this after a long time running, but it's unclear yet what causes it (there might be a leak, but where exactly?).

Adding likely-dup tag, since I'm pretty sure there's a master bug for this somewhere, I'll have to look again to find it.

Changed in network-manager-applet (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
importance: Undecided → Medium
tags: added: likely-dup
Revision history for this message
Eloy Paris (peloy-chapus) wrote :

I've seen this too since I upgraded from 11.10 to 12.04 (never experienced this prior to 12.04). I would add that it is not just the VPN Connections submenu that stops working; it's any entry in the applet's menu that stops working. When this happens, the workaround that I use is:

kill -1 `pidof nm-applet`
nm-applet &

I usually see this problem after several suspend-resume cycles while commuting between home and work. It could have something to do with new wireless networks being detected so it is probably not the suspend-resume cycles themselves but the constant scanning and discovery of wireless networks that is associated with suspending the machine in one place and then resuming in some other place. I can try to run with wireless disabled (via the nm-applet option for this) for a few days to see if the problem reoccurs.

I've read about previous memory leaks in nm-applet possibly causing this but I have been monitoring memory utilization of the nm-applet process and I have not noticed a huge utilization when the applet is in an unresponsive state.

If anyone finds the master bug please lets us know so we can subscribe to it.

p_g_ (g1nj0zuke)
security vulnerability: no → yes
visibility: public → private
security vulnerability: yes → no
visibility: private → public
Revision history for this message
Erigami (erigami) wrote :

I see the same behaviour without the suspend/resume. Instead, nm-applet has been running for ~30 hours and my VPN has gone down twice. Restarting the applet returns VPN items to the menu.

Revision history for this message
Mariano Draghi (chaghi) wrote :

It seems to be related to the network-manager-applet UI, and not the underlying service/infraestructure. Restarting network-manager service doesn't restore the VPN menu items.

And while the applet is "broken", you can still turn the VPN connections up and down with nmcli. In that case the applet will reflect the status in its icon (with/without the little padlock), but the VPN submenu will remain empty.

As mentioned before, killing and restarting nm-applet solves the issue... for a while.

Revision history for this message
Tony Espy (awe) wrote :

I also run into this problem quite frequently. See the attached screenshot.

As others have mentioned, re-starting nm-applet causes the problem to disappear, but this certainly not ideal for non-technical users.

Revision history for this message
John Vrbanac (john.vrbanac) wrote :

Also seen in 12.10.

Revision history for this message
Henning Kulander (hennikul) wrote :

I also experience this on 12.04 and 12.10. Usually happens after some time of use on a laptop I suspend frequently.

"More networks"-menu is also empty.

Revision history for this message
Andy Buckley (andy-insectnation) wrote :

I see the same on Xubuntu 12.04 and 12.10. Restarting the network-manager service has no effect, but explicitly "pkill nm-applet && nm-applet&" does the trick: thanks @chaghi et al

Restarting the applet also fixes an associated problem that the "Disconnect", "Enable Wireless" and "Enable Networking" menu tick items start having no effect at the same time as the VPN menu fails to display properly. Bugs #930563 and #1076999, and maybe #1069554, seem to be about that, so maybe a robustness fix of some sort to nm-applet will solve a whole bunch of reported problems.

Revision history for this message
Thomas Haederle (thomas-haederle) wrote :

I am experiencing the same problem in 12.04 64 bit. I never encountered the problem in any other version.
Eloy Paris' fix works for me.
kill -1 `pidof nm-applet`
nm-applet &

Revision history for this message
Michael Löffler (michaelloeffler) wrote :

I'm using nm-applet in a quite wifi polluted area, wifis going up down, loosing connection a lot ... I have to restart nm-applet somewhere between every half an hour and once per hour. It's so annoying, that I already thought of running restart as a cronjob ...

Revision history for this message
Curt Corum (curtcorum) wrote :

Also now in Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx

I just started experiencing as well after a system update. 0.8-0ubuntu3.1
Downgrading to 0.8-0ubuntu3 does not fix, so is not just nm-applet's fault but some sort of interaction...

kill -1 `pidof nm-applet`
nm-applet &

does work.

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