Unity starts without panels

Bug #1128348 reported by Israel Dahl on 2013-02-17
46
This bug affects 10 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Unity
Expired
Undecided
Unassigned
unity (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

Unity version 6.12.0daily13.02.08-0ubuntu1
Ubuntu version 13.04 (developmental) 3.8.0-6-generic i686

Ubuntu boots and logs in automatically to the Unity interface, however there are no panels and no window decorations.
I installed Lubuntu alongside Unity when this bug first occurred. I also installed xcompmgr to get compositing effects in Lubuntu (because semi-transparent terminals are very useful!!). So I am not entirely sure if Unity broke in an update, or because I installed Lxde next to it.
If I Ctrl + Alt + T to open a terminal and run
$ unity --replace || $ compiz --replace

I can click where the cog in the upper right corner should be to Logout of Unity and log into Lubuntu where things work fine.

This bug is not present in 12.04.1 on an old slow amd64 machine

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 13.04
Package: unity 6.12.0daily13.02.08-0ubuntu1
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.8.0-6.13-generic 3.8.0-rc7
Uname: Linux 3.8.0-6-generic i686
.tmp.unity.support.test.0:

ApportVersion: 2.8-0ubuntu4
Architecture: i386
CheckboxSubmission: 3ad1dfd6a8b25ab94543d818691eb51f
CheckboxSystem: b633b4f40868d491c2ae5b50030ce6f3
CompizPlugins: [core,composite,opengl,compiztoolbox,decor,grid,move,vpswitch,resize,place,regex,session,mousepoll,gnomecompat,animation,imgpng,snap,wall,fade,workarounds,unitymtgrabhandles,expo,scale,ezoom,unityshell]
CompositorRunning: None
Date: Sun Feb 17 13:21:34 2013
DistUpgraded: Fresh install
DistroCodename: raring
DistroVariant: ubuntu
GraphicsCard:
 Intel Corporation Mobile 4 Series Chipset Integrated Graphics Controller [8086:2a42] (rev 07) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
   Subsystem: Sony Corporation Device [104d:9035]
   Subsystem: Sony Corporation Device [104d:9035]
InstallationDate: Installed on 2013-02-10 (6 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 13.04 "Raring Ringtail" - Alpha i386 (20130205)
MachineType: Sony Corporation VGN-FW275J
MarkForUpload: True
ProcEnviron:
 TERM=xterm
 PATH=(custom, no user)
 XDG_RUNTIME_DIR=<set>
 LANG=en_US.UTF-8
 SHELL=/bin/bash
ProcKernelCmdLine: BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-3.8.0-6-generic root=UUID=5c022e18-22f9-45ee-860c-5f4c8ec84d2e ro quiet splash acpi_sleep=nonvs vt.handoff=7
SourcePackage: unity
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)
dmi.bios.date: 07/25/2008
dmi.bios.vendor: American Megatrends Inc.
dmi.bios.version: R1090Y0
dmi.board.asset.tag: N/A
dmi.board.name: VAIO
dmi.board.vendor: Sony Corporation
dmi.board.version: N/A
dmi.chassis.asset.tag: N/A
dmi.chassis.type: 10
dmi.chassis.vendor: Sony Corporation
dmi.chassis.version: N/A
dmi.modalias: dmi:bvnAmericanMegatrendsInc.:bvrR1090Y0:bd07/25/2008:svnSonyCorporation:pnVGN-FW275J:pvrC600YJT2:rvnSonyCorporation:rnVAIO:rvrN/A:cvnSonyCorporation:ct10:cvrN/A:
dmi.product.name: VGN-FW275J
dmi.product.version: C600YJT2
dmi.sys.vendor: Sony Corporation
version.compiz: compiz 1:0.9.9~daily13.02.08-0ubuntu1
version.libdrm2: libdrm2 2.4.42-0ubuntu1
version.libgl1-mesa-dri: libgl1-mesa-dri 9.0.2-0ubuntu1
version.libgl1-mesa-dri-experimental: libgl1-mesa-dri-experimental N/A
version.libgl1-mesa-glx: libgl1-mesa-glx 9.0.2-0ubuntu1
version.xserver-xorg-core: xserver-xorg-core 2:1.13.2-0ubuntu2
version.xserver-xorg-input-evdev: xserver-xorg-input-evdev 1:2.7.3-0ubuntu2
version.xserver-xorg-video-ati: xserver-xorg-video-ati 1:7.1.0-0ubuntu1
version.xserver-xorg-video-intel: xserver-xorg-video-intel 2:2.21.2-0ubuntu1
version.xserver-xorg-video-nouveau: xserver-xorg-video-nouveau 1:1.0.6-0ubuntu2
xserver.bootTime: Sun Feb 17 13:11:58 2013
xserver.configfile: default
xserver.errors:

xserver.logfile: /var/log/Xorg.0.log
xserver.outputs: Output DP1 DP2 HDMI1 LVDS1 VGA1
xserver.version: 2:1.13.2-0ubuntu2
xserver.video_driver: intel

Israel Dahl (israeldahl) wrote :
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Jacob Taylor (orangewinds) wrote :

This is a show stopper. You cannot deal with the UI. I just updated to the latest nightly (package says bzr3163) and I now have no panels. I tried to manually launch unity (sudo and not, via ctrl-alt-t to get terminal) and it spits out "unity-panel-service: no process found".

What else can I do to help?

Jacob Taylor (orangewinds) wrote :

Just pulled in bzr 3164. It exits more cleanly when I try to launch unity on top if itself, but unity-panel-service is still missing.

Gruntzen (gruntzen) wrote :

This is a serious bug - I had to install gnome-shell in order to use my system at all. Unity used to load without the indicators or global menu, which was bad, but sort of workable - now, compiz itself will not open.

Israel Dahl (israeldahl) wrote :

well, I created a second user and now I can test Unity again. Something got extremely borked in the config. I will keep the two users to see if the original one eventually get fixed through a new update. I recently tested cinnamon from the repos which had its own oddity (you need to install caribou). This is the fun of the developmental releases thing are working... then they break. Then... hopefully they start working again!

Israel Dahl (israeldahl) wrote :

I'm adding my xsession-errors log.

Daniel van Vugt (vanvugt) wrote :

If that log file really came from raring then the problem seems to be that it's still using gconf:
Backend : gconf
Integration : true
Profile : unity

I have no idea why it's using gconf. It should always be gsettings from 12.10 onward.

To remove the customization that is telling compiz to use gconf you need to:
    rm -rf ~/.config/compiz-1
then re-run for good measure:
    dconf reset -f /org/compiz/
and log out/in again.

Israel Dahl (israeldahl) wrote :

Here's another one.... it doesn't have that at the beginning. So I might have grabbed the wrong one initially. I am pretty certain this is the right one. I logged into Unity... and moved the file into a different directory and then logged out.

I have tried removing that folder (~/.config/compiz* there are two that I removed), and AFAIK it worked for a litte. I think booting into 12.04 would break 13.04.... but I am not sure sometimes the updates break things (eg. lightdm broke for an update, and then fixed a few updates later).

Omk (ossi-viljakainen) wrote :

I had fresh install of Ubuntu 13.04, but was not happy with the Unity desktop, with the dock, with the commercial crap in the menus, with so many annoyances that I was getting mad. So decided to try Kubuntu, which worked fine, but I was not feeling at home there even after a few weeks of trying to use it.

After I tried to log in to Unity, it starts without panels and window controls. The workaround of
metacity --replace &

worked - got the window controls. But still I'm without panels.

Will install now gnome-session-fallback to get my system usable.
Is there any way to get the panels running in Unity?

Israel Dahl (israeldahl) wrote :

I had issues with unity, gnome-session-fallback and cinnamon (all are gnome3 based). Lubuntu (LXDE) worked fine as my fallback session. I didn't try for too long. I simply gave up and fell back to my 12.04 installation. The interim releases aren't supposed to be as stable as the LTS. No one took notice of this bug, but now that you have confirmed it... maybe it will get some notice?

Gary Taverner (gt-boltav) wrote :

As of 15th June 2013 it looks like this bug is back or something very similar. After installing an update for Ubuntu base today unity is broken. There is no left panel or top panel. Have tried reinstalling unity, compiz and video drivers (using amd-catalyst-13.4-linux-x86.x86_64.run) to no avail. Installed Gnome and everything works fine.

Israel Dahl (israeldahl) wrote :

Hi Gary, since you are the second person to comment in recent days could you tell us what was updated?
/var/log/dpkg.log has the info in it.
find /var/lib/dpkg/info/ -name \*.list -mtime -3 | sed 's#.list$##;s#.*/##'
will print out the commands from the last day.
Could you post the output?
I think this may help to see if everyone has updated to a certain version of Unity/Compiz, etc...

Gary Taverner (gt-boltav) wrote :
Download full text (4.8 KiB)

Thanks for getting back to me - fyi unity_panel_service was not running when I treid to run Unity from a terminal window. Running find /var/lib/dpkg/info/ -name \*.list -mtime -3 | sed 's#.list$##;s#.*/##' gives the following output:

libatk-wrapper-java-jni:amd64
gnome-update-viewer
gnome-nibbles
libgtkspell0
libsofia-sip-ua0
libhsqldb-java
libgdict-1.0-6
liblinear1
librygel-renderer-2.0-1
libgnome2-0:amd64
libevolution
swell-foop
gir1.2-gnomedesktop-3.0
telepathy-gabble
gimp
ttf-dejavu
perlmagick
fonts-cantarell
gnome-software-manager
gir1.2-mutter-3.0
libservlet3.0-java
dbus-x11
gnome-themes-standard:amd64
libgnomeui-common
icedtea-7-jre-jamvm:amd64
java-common
librygel-server-2.0-1
gnome-media
libgconf2-4:amd64
dbus
tracker-gui
gnome-packagekit-data
libtracker-sparql-0.14-0
gnome-themes-standard-data
gir1.2-gkbd-3.0
libgnome2-common
caribou
libwebkitgtk-1.0-common
liblinear-tools
libgtk-vnc-2.0-0
gnome-backgrounds
spamassassin
compiz-plugins-default
libatk-wrapper-java
libsdl1.2debian:amd64
lightsoff
cheese
python-packagekit
gir1.2-polkit-1.0
libgjs0c
gir1.2-gdesktopenums-3.0
python-gnome2
gnome-video-effects
libgnomeui-0:amd64
cheese-common
gtk2-engines-pixbuf:amd64
libreoffice-base
linux-image-generic
libamd2.2.0
gnome-color-manager
libmagick++5:amd64
libjavascriptcoregtk-1.0-0
alacarte
gir1.2-xkl-1.0
gir1.2-gtop-2.0
tracker-utils
gnome-nettool
gnuchess
rygel-tracker
libsys-hostname-long-perl
gnome-shell-common
telepathy-rakia
metacity
xserver-xephyr
gnash
gnome-icon-theme-full
libnetpbm10
gir1.2-clutter-1.0
libgksu2-0
packagekit
gnome-sushi
gedit-plugins
tracker-extract
iagno
libcolord-gtk1:amd64
gnome-documents
libcaribou-common
libgee-0.8-2:amd64
gksu
evolution-plugins
libbonobo2-common
gnome-panel-data
gnome-tweak-tool
browser-plugin-gnash
libgnomevfs2-extra:amd64
gir1.2-clutter-gst-2.0
quadrapassel
python-pyatspi
linux-generic
libbonobo2-0:amd64
gimp-data
five-or-more
gdebi
notification-daemon
python-pyorbit
libedataserverui-3.0-4
libidl0:amd64
libreoffice
gir1.2-ibus-1.0
gir1.2-telepathyglib-0.12
compiz-core
libgnomevfs2-0:amd64
liberror-perl
gir1.2-gucharmap-2.90
gnome
libmozjs185-1.0
libgupnp-dlna-2.0-3
gnome-shell
libytnef0
librygel-core-2.0-1
libgfortran3:amd64
libpanel-applet-4-0
libcaribou-gtk3-module:amd64
fonts-sil-gentium
imagemagick-common
default-jre-headless
libcheese7:amd64
unity-webapps-launchpad
packagekit-backend-aptcc
libgegl-0.2-0:amd64
libgnomevfs2-common
libgvnc-1.0-0
libtracker-miner-0.14-0
libgupnp-av-1.0-2
python-uniconvertor
libcaribou0:amd64
argyll
libtracker-extract-0.14-0
gir1.2-coglpango-1.0
libgsf-1-114
python-pyatspi2
gir1.2-gconf-2.0
gnome-chess
librygel-renderer-gst-2.0-1
libpst4:amd64
libbonoboui2-0:amd64
libzapojit-0.0-0
tzdata-java
libgtkhtml-4.0-0
libcheese-gtk23:amd64
imagemagick
libreoffice-java-common
gnome-robots
gir1.2-accountsservice-1.0
libnetaddr-ip-perl
tracker
libsofia-sip-ua-glib3
libgsl0ldbl
libumfpack5.4.0
ttf-dejavu-extra
indicator-applet-complete
gjs
gir1.2-gck-1
default-jre
libimdi0:amd64
libdiscid0:amd64
liborbit2:amd64
gtk2-engines:amd64
libmutter0a
tracker-miner-fs
libwebkitgtk-1.0-0
libgnome-media-profiles-3.0-0
libmagickcore5-extra:amd64
gnome-session-fallback
libgtkmm-2.4-...

Read more...

Gary Taverner (gt-boltav) wrote :

I just applied the latest updates from Ubuntu today 28th June and once again the rendering is screwed. It seems that every ubuntu base update is changing my set up so that direct rendering becomes broken and I have to reinstall the catalyst video driver and run an initial aticonfig command.

Israel Dahl (israeldahl) wrote :

So you have to use proprietary binaries for your graphics.... hmmm... mine is an intel chip and I can use the open source drivers. I have rolled back to the LTS, though I am interested in seeing how Mir will work, so I will probably start testing 13.10 when Mir is implemented as default soon.
You might hang-out on an IRC channel and try to get some feedback there.

It seems some sort of config file (maybe in ~/.config) is being overwritten....

I am wondering if you did a fresh install of this, or if this is an update from 12.10.
I think something switched between the two (something like untiy moved from gconf to dconf.... can't really remember). And if you upgraded you might have some gremlins from the old config files crufting up your system. You might back up some of your config folders (if you don't know what that means, I wouldn't mind elaborating, though you seem to know your way around :) and then deleting the originals to see if that helps. Of course you may have to re set-up some things to get your desktop reconfigured the way you like.... but that helped me to get a usable desktop again.

Chris O'Donnell (codonnel) wrote :

I had a similar problem, though I have an nVidia card. I backed up my entire .config directory and deleted the original. When I logged in again, unity loaded properly.

Israel Dahl (israeldahl) wrote :

I recently had a similar problem again with Lubuntu (LXDE) and
Unity.... I fixed it by using Compiz Config Settings Manager to re
add the Unity plugin again.
Not sure why this odd bug exists.... I tried simply deleting all my
.config files, and resetting dconf (and gconf... since I upgraded from
12.04 -> 12.10 -> 13.04, & AFAIK they switched from gconf to dconf).
But the only thing that worked was tweaking in ccsm (restarting the
Unity plugin) and then restarting lightdm `sudo service lightdm
restart` I did install some extra files (one of the libcanberra
libraries... i can't rememeber which one) But my bug this time might be
related to `sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop` rather than Unity...
though I was missing my panels and window decorations.

Angel Guzman Maeso (shakaran) wrote :

I have the same behaviour than comment #19. For some weird reason unity plugin is being disabled from config in some updates (for me it happens from libunity6 to libunity7 in Ubuntu Saucy Salamander).

I can enable again the unity panels installing compizconfig-settings-manager (ccsm), but I try to figure out what exact files changes ccsm for maybe use the right commands and avoid the GUI for do this each time. So I fired with:

strace -eopen cssm

Then I see that the config files being touched after enable Unity plugin are:

/run/user/1000/dconf/user
/home/username/.config/dconf/user
/home/username/.cache/compizconfig-1/unityshell.pb
/usr/share/compiz/unityshell.xml

So likely one of that files is being overwritten in package updating. Also it makes sense the dconf trick because it maybes reset one of that files.

Changed in unity:
status: New → Confirmed
Alex Baggott (alex-baggott) wrote :

Thank you for taking the time to report this bug. Unfortunately we can’t work out how to recreate this bug from your description. Please describe the process you go through to trigger this bug and then change the bug status to NEW. See this page for more information. https://wiki.ubuntu.com/BigDesktopBugScrub

Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Changed in unity:
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

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

Changed in unity (Ubuntu):
status: Incomplete → Expired
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

[Expired for Unity because there has been no activity for 60 days.]

Changed in unity:
status: Incomplete → Expired
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