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Restoring Default Gnome Panel

Posted on 2003-10-22
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
In an attempt to remove an icon from the default panel at the bottom of the gdm screen, I inadvertently removed the entire panel.  The menu panel is still at the top of the screen, but I would like to restore the default Gnome panel that normally resides at the bottom of the screen...the one with the footprint icon, the terminal icon, and others.  I feel really foolish having to ask this question, but I would really appreciate your help.  And I thank you in advance.
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Question by:Gnustome
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by:Gns
ID: 9605153
Restarting your session doesn't "revive" the panel? If nothing else, you can <Ctrl>-<Alt>-<Backspace> to exit X in hurry (by "zaping the server":).

If you can get a teminal window to open (perhaps by right-clicking the background (root-window) and choosing "New terminal" or something similar... Come to think of it, you might be able to launch a panel from there too:-) you can very well just run
gnome-panel &
and it should reappear.
You can check whether you have it running (prior to starting a new one) by the command
ps auxww | grep panel | grep -v grep
If that returns nothing (just a new prompt, no output) then you would need to restart it...

You haven't just "minimized" it in some way (cf the ps command above)? Some like to have "slider arrows" that will hide the panel by sliding it to the side where the arrow is at... Just clicking it again will reveal it (most modern distros don't use this by default anymore).

-- Glenn
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by:Gnustome
ID: 9605367
Right clicking the background had no effect.  I don't think I just minimized the panel.  Executing the ps command (in real terminal F3) yielded the following return:
steve 1567 0.2 1.8 8824 4788 ?     S 02:35 0:00 panel --sm-config -prefix /panel.d/default-pVI9mV/ --sm-client-id 117f0000010001059356400000002510006

I don't think I had a slider panel.  It covered the entire width of the screen at the bottom, and now there is nothing at the bottom.
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by:Gnustome
ID: 9605402
I was able to open a Konsole via a menu in the panel at the top.  Executing gnome-panel returned:
bash: gnome-panel: command not found
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by:Gns
ID: 9605612
Right. panel it is, in some versions... Sorry for the slight "missdirection". What distro/version do you use? Something slightly old perhaps?
You do have a panel running, which pehaps correspond to the "top panel" you see...
The "slider thing" works with small "buttons" (with little arrows) at the left and right side of the panel. Clicking one of them once will "slide" the panel to "hide behind" the button. Clicking the button again will reveal the panel again.

Did you try logging out then back in? If you cannot find any means to do so, use <Ctrl>-<Altr>-<Backspace>...

If you right-click on the background _of the top panel_ you should get a menu including the choice to add a new panel.

By real panel F3 I assume you mean the virtual console reached via <Ctrl>-<Alt>-<F3>. You probably can't start a new panel from that (unfortunately) since (even if you set DISPLAY=:0) wont be allowed to connect to the X server... And you need change that from a terminal emulator (or similar) on an allowed client. The konsole you opened would do nicely though.

-- Glenn
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by:Gns
ID: 9605623
"By real panel F3..." -> "By real console F3..."

-- Glenn (a.k.a. Le Grand Typo)
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by:Gnustome
ID: 9618543
I have created a new edge panel and moved it to the bottom of the screen.  I have added Wanda, the Gnome Programs footprint, and a launcher for Debian KCalc.  I think I can see now how to add icons to the panel and how to change the icons.  I am running Debian 2.14-18.  I've also started Debian KCalc, but I see no way to stop the program from running, since it has no X in the upper left corner.  How do I get rid of it?
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by:Gnustome
ID: 9618590
Before I inadvertently removed the lower edge panel that was the default following installation of the OS, there was a panel within the panel.  It was like the Task Bar in Windows.  Whenever I added an item to the desktop a text descriptive icon would appear in this panel withing a panel, at least when I minimized the item by clicking on the - in the upper right corner.  Now, my only way to access minimized items is to right click on a small icon in the upper right corner of the desktop, then left click on the desired item from the menu that appears.
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by:Gnustome
ID: 9618742
Correction: I'm running Debian 2.4-18
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by:Gns
ID: 9625721
> I've also started Debian KCalc, but I see no way to stop the program from running, since it has no X in the upper left corner.  How do I get rid of it?
Sounds like you're not only short a panel, but perhaps a window manager too (or have some ... other window manager running). The decoration and placement of windows is the job of the window manager, so if you don't see any decoration on a window, it might mean that a) there is no window manager running, or b) there is one running, but it doesn't decorate the window (if it is a "transient dialog" for instance) or c) you've switched to a window manager that doesn't decorate that much;-).

One reason I've seen for the window manager (and most any app) to suddenly die is if the localization/internationalization (l10n/i18n to us lazy bums:-) information is wrong ... mostly for KDE though. One might check in the Control Center ... but I doubt this is it.
There are numerous reasons why it might die.

The "panel within the panel" is a windowlist applet, and you can add it the same way as any applet by right-click on the background->Utility->windowlist, then move it (on the panel) by right-clicking the little ^symbol to the right, choose move, then drag to place, and place with click.
You might also like to have a workspace changer applet somewhere near the windowlist.

If you'd like to restore the "default session", one stopgap thing to do is to move/remove all the personal settings files for gnome.
These will the be recreated the next time you start gnome.
It is a good idea to not be running a gnome session for the user when one does this:-).
logged on as the user in question, do
cd
rm -rf .gnome*
... then log in (if you use a graphical login, else "startx" as usual) and all should be back to normal.

-- Glenn
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by:Gns
ID: 9625738
"logged on as the user in question, do" .... but not running X. On a virtual console (F3 perhaps:-).

-- Glenn
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by:Gnustome
ID: 9627463
I shut down gnome, then executed rm -rf .gnome* on F2.  But when I logged into gnome again (graphical login), the same panel with the icons I had placed there came back, not the default panel.
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by:Gns
ID: 9627710
Strange. That should have been saved to your "local" .gnome/panel config file... Are you sure you did it as the "correct user"?
What files do you have in your $HOME directory?
cd
ls -a
would show.

-- Glenn
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by:Gnustome
ID: 9628223
This is what is revealed when I execute
cd
ls -a:
. .. .DCOPserver_dagwood .Xauthority .bashrc .kde .profile .ICEauthority .bash_history .fullcircle .mozilla
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by:Gns
ID: 9628394
Do you log in via a display manager? ... On my Debian 3.0r1 (gnome 1.4) this works as expected...
Without being insulting, are you logged on as the same user here?
id
will tell.

-- Glenn
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by:Gnustome
ID: 9629301
id yields the following:
uid=0(root) gid=0(root) groups=0(root)

I use the same login id and password as I do with the consoles.  When the system boots I am presented with a colored box that says Debian, and asks for my user name.
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by:Gns
ID: 9629344
OK... (I might be a bit slow, mainly because I've been keeping very long workhours today) and at the "colored box" (your display managers greeter applet) you log in as "root" too?

-- Glenn
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by:Gnustome
ID: 9631152
I apologize.  I executed id on a console on which I had root priveleges.  When I execute id on a regular console I get:
uid=1000(steve) gid=1000(steve) groups=1000(steve),24(cdrom)
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by:Gns
ID: 9632338
Ah yes, and was these run as steve or root?
> cd
> ls -a:
> . .. .DCOPserver_dagwood .Xauthority .bashrc .kde .profile .ICEauthority .bash_history .fullcircle .mozilla

Same question goes for the rm command too, of course.

-- Glenn
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Author Comment

by:Gnustome
ID: 9633460
When I execute, as a regular user, uid=1000 etc
cd
ls -a
I get the following:
. .. .AbiSuite .DCOPserver_dagwood .ICEauthority .Xauthority .bash_history .bash_profile .esd_auth .fullcircle .gconf .gconfd .gnome .gnome-errors .gnome-help-browser .gnome_private .kde .mozilla .sawfish
and a bunch of personal files.
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Author Comment

by:Gnustome
ID: 9633564
When I ran rm -rf gnome* before I was logged in as root.  But I just executed the same command while logged in as steve (and gnome was not running).  When I then logged into X as steve there was no change in the desktop.

When I started all this the warning message was that not only was I about to remove the panel, but all the settings.  Could it be that it is now impossible to restore the default panel?  Right now I think if I could get the windowlist applet back that would be satisfactory.  I know how to put icons to the programs I use on the panel.  On the default panel there were icons I never used, anyway.
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Gns earned 500 total points
ID: 9634902
Hmm, I wonder what you did there...
Further things to remove (for steve) would be .gconf* .sawfish so that the complete rm command would be
rm -rf .gnome* .gconf* .sawfish

If you create (as root) a completely new user (just for testing) like this
useradd -m stevetest
... what happens when you log on as that user (with a gnome session)?

-- Glenn
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Author Comment

by:Gnustome
ID: 9635521
I created user stevetest, but I couldn't logon to gnome.  How do I define a password for stevetest?

I don't have .gnome* and .gconf* in /home.  Just the files without the *.
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by:Gns
ID: 9635543
As root do
passwd stevetest
<enter a password>
<retype it>

> rm -rf .gnome* .gconf* .sawfish
In the above, the "*" characters are wildcards that match anything... It's just to easy the typing effort:-). Enter the command exactly as stated.

Good Luck (I'll be going home for some R&R  now, see you tomorrow:-).

-- Glenn
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by:Gnustome
ID: 9639314
When I logged in as stevetest the default Gnome desktop was back!

Do you still want me to remove .gnome* and .gconf* from /home?
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by:Gns
ID: 9640794
If you want to use the steve user... Actually a variant on restoring that user is to backup/move/cp all relevant user data (if you have anything you'd care to keep), then
userdel -r steve
useradd -m steve
passwd steve

Thank you for your persistance. We've just proved that I was right on the money, all along:-).

-- Glenn
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by:Gns
ID: 9640802
> Do you still want me to remove .gnome* and .gconf* from /home?
... That should be "... from /home/steve?".

-- Glenn
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by:Gnustome
ID: 9646250
Sorry, I've been busy all day.  .gnome* and .gconf* are directories.  You want me to remove them and their contents?  Also, would you kindly explain something to me: When I do cd /home/steve, then ls -a, I see all those directories.  But if instead of ls -a I do dir, I only see my personal files.  Why?
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by:Gns
ID: 9649751
I'll repeat this:
> If you want to use the steve user (new addition: you should rm -rf those directories, yes;)...  Actually a variant on restoring that user is to
> backup/move/cp all relevant user data (if you have anything you'd care to keep), then
> userdel -r steve
> useradd -m steve
> passwd steve
So you have more than one way of doing the removal:-) This is "the Unix way"... there is always one more way to do it;-)

To answer you second question:
ls and dir are more or less the same command ( if one does "ls -li /bin/ls /usr/bin/dir" one can see that they are different inodes (the first colums numbers differ), but they are the exact same size. Further, looking at the man pages and info pages, one can see that the only discernible difference is the name. Do
man ls
man dir
and you'll see what I mean. The command above could as well have been written "dir -li /bin/ls /usr/bin/dir".
When you do a plain
ls
or an equally plain
dir
you will only see the files and directories in the current directory that aren't "hidden" by a prepended ".", but if you do
ls -a
or
dir -a
all files/directories will be shown. There's more to ls than that... Read the man page:-).

-- Glenn
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Author Comment

by:Gnustome
ID: 9650505
Sorry about being so anal, but I have one last question before I do the rm -rf: My email is handled by Netscape in X.  I'm not going to lose my email, am I?
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by:Gns
ID: 9650600
You're not anal, just prudent. An admirably sensible prudence too;-).

You wouldn't loose mails by removing the gnome stuff, no.
And I'd guess you use Mozilla, not Netscape:-). That stores it's "per user stuff" in the .mozilla folder (netscape would perhaps use the .netscape folder;-).

That is an excellent example of "user data" that one would need backup "some way, somewhere" if one was to use the more agressive "remove user and homedir, add user and homedir" approach outlined above.

-- Glenn
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Author Comment

by:Gnustome
ID: 9650832
The problem has gone away!  You've been great, Glenn.  You've definitely earned  500 points.  Before I close out this question, tell me this: I'm an unemployed chemist and health physicist.  Computing is only my hobby.  I spent six years teaching myself how to solve Windows problems.  Given that I have no formal education in IT, what would I have to do to become certified on Linux or Unix?
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by:Gns
ID: 9651302
Oh, just keep at it:-).

The only certification program I know of for linux/unix is RedHats RHCE (RedHat Certified Expert). The cerification process is kind of speeply priced (approximately $2000USD (c:a 20000 SEK) here in sweden at least...

I do have a univeristy degree, in CE->programming, which have very little to do with administration of unix or linux hosts...
I've picked up most of what I know by ... trying things:-). And "Reading The Fine Manual". There are some really great resources freely available on the net. Start looking at http://www.tldp.org ... It has free books (guides), HOWTOs (anything from "I did this, and it worked" to indepth explanations of complex systems), html versions of the info and man pages ... And google is your friend too:-).
Sure I've taken some courses too ("Admin solaris", "Admin AIX" etc), but they have consistently ended in me teaching the teacher. Sigh. Might be better for someone new to unix though:-).

I've always been a bit sceptical to the certification programs (mcse, rhce etc) since their main goal is to make the company keepuing the requisite courses rich;-). And I've seen some mcses that could do less with windows systems (!) than I... and I profess very little expertise in that field;-).
Some certification programs are really good though (Ciscos come to mind... One is not going to "buy all the correct answers on the net" to their tests:-). They're just not about linux (apart from RHCE:-). I haven't actually taken RHCE... It might be really good:-).

But persitance, good RTFMed docs and time will be the best teacher. And collaborative sites like this;-).

Great that we finally got gnome straight!

-- Glenn
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by:Gns
ID: 9651330
speeply -> steeply
univeristy degree -> university degree (one could doubt that from all the typos:-).
keepuing -> keeping
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by:Gnustome
ID: 9652505
Thanks for all the info.  But I really don't understand what "Reading The Fine Manual" refers to.
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Author Comment

by:Gnustome
ID: 9653087
I thought I got an email re Comment Added, but there was no additional comment.  So, I'll ask again: What did you mean by "Reading The Fine Manual"?

I'm glad I'm not the only person that makes typos.  If you haven't seen many, it's because I've slowed my typing rate considerably.
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by:Gns
ID: 9656570
Typos... The scourge of the millenium:-):-)

A common answer to computer-related questions is RTFM! ... Which (depending on your civility) can be read as "read the fine manual" or (slightly censored:) "read the f***ing manual". So that part of the comment was partly an attempt at humour. But partly not, since my complete recommendation is to read and try, try and read ... and ask!

There is no "one true manual", although the man pages are great (you know about these right? type "man <commandname>" at a prompt), equally good, but perhaps a bit less easy to navigate are the info-pages (type "info" at a command line prompt). Sure they're not that easy to understand always, and they don't tell you everything, but they do tell (in a terse way) what the command(s) do, and what effect all option modifiers have.
And the site (The Linux Documentation Project) has all these free resources (and then some) that are truly great to get to knowing things that "transcend" the man/info pages (like how to build a Beowulf cluster:-).

There are several books one can buy/read. It's been ages since I even looked at anything basic... Look in your local computer-press shop:-).
O'Rielly has over the years published very many good books that concern themselves with perhaps just a language (like the camel book (they have pictures of critters on all their books:) which is about perl) or something broad like system performance tuning (the swordfish book, really good if you have/run Solaris 8 or some form of RedHat Linux:-).

Just keep exploring!

-- Glenn
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by:Gnustome
ID: 9658372
Thanks again.  I'll close out the question now.
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