FAQ
Hello all,

After issuing the reboot command on my CentOS server while being logged in
through VNC and after the machine has actually rebooted, I get a blank
desktop (no icons and not my default wall paper) when logging into X,
whether I'm on the console or logging in through VNC.

If I go into my Desktop folder in my home directory, I see all the
appropriate .desktop files (but I don't see the icons on my actual desktop).
When I go to the Preferences->Desktop menu, the desktop preferences
application hangs. My toolbars, and default xclock at startup are all
there, it's just that my desktop is a solid blue wallpaper (not my default
CentOS wallpaper) and I have no icons on it.

I guess I corrupted the desktop when I rebooted through VNC but I don't know
how to get it back.

Is there a way of retrieving this without having to delete this user and
creating a new one?

Thanks,
Michael

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  • Benjamin Smith at Nov 7, 2006 at 5:01 pm

    On Tuesday 07 November 2006 03:18, Michael Velez wrote:
    I guess I corrupted the desktop when I rebooted through VNC but I don't know
    how to get it back.

    Is there a way of retrieving this without having to delete this user and
    creating a new one?
    Guessing sucks. Always try to figure out what's going on! Leaving this unknown
    can only lead to trouble down the road - it's always better to spend some
    time and find out whassup. You'll find out something bad has happened, or
    you'll learn how to better identify if something bad is happening later.
    Either way, you're ahead!

    Different WM have different locations for Desktop. KDE's desktop is usually in
    ~/Desktop. Check out that folder.

    If you really think corruption is in order, you might want to check your
    entire f/s with e2fsck:

    # shutdown -Fr now;

    Otherwise, you might have to recover from backups. (you DO have backups,
    right?)

    -Ben
    --
    "The best way to predict the future is to invent it."
    - XEROX PARC slogan, circa 1978
  • Michael Velez at Nov 7, 2006 at 6:58 pm

    On Tuesday 07 November 2006 03:18, Michael Velez wrote:
    I guess I corrupted the desktop when I rebooted through VNC
    but I don't know
    how to get it back.

    Is there a way of retrieving this without having to delete
    this user and
    creating a new one?
    Guessing sucks. Always try to figure out what's going on!
    Leaving this unknown
    can only lead to trouble down the road - it's always better
    to spend some
    time and find out whassup. You'll find out something bad has
    happened, or
    you'll learn how to better identify if something bad is
    happening later.
    Either way, you're ahead!

    Different WM have different locations for Desktop. KDE's
    desktop is usually in
    ~/Desktop. Check out that folder.

    If you really think corruption is in order, you might want to
    check your
    entire f/s with e2fsck:

    # shutdown -Fr now;

    Otherwise, you might have to recover from backups. (you DO
    have backups,
    right?)
    Actually, when I meant I corrupted the desktop, I didn't mean at a disk
    level. I doubt e2fsck will fix this (although I'll run it anyway, you never
    know). The reboot was proper; however, it was done through VNC which seems
    to have caused a different chain of events when closing the gnome-session.
    This is what I'm trying to figure out.

    As I mentioned in my previous e-mail all my *.desktop files are in my
    ~/Desktop directory. They just do not appear on the desktop when I open my
    gnome session. The session starts everything else (start menus, taskbar,
    startup applications - i.e. xclock) it's just my desktop that has become one
    solid color (dark blue) with no icons. I can log in fine with other
    userid's and receive a good desktop, so this really has something to do with
    my user profile.

    At this point, I'm trying to figure out how a reboot through VNC could have
    made my gnome-session close improperly.

    I don't know enough about gnome-sessions to figure this out myself. Is
    there a file in the gnome profile that has desktop information (other than
    ~/Desktop)?

    I've had to use VNC a lot lately so I have seen this once before. I
    couldn't figure it out and I just deleted the user, created a new one, and
    re-installed user files from backup (which I have a wazoo of; I have more
    automated backup than a home environment actually needs). My next e2fsck
    after that did not mention a corruption so it really has to be something in
    my profile files.

    Michael
  • Craig White at Nov 7, 2006 at 7:53 pm

    On Tue, 2006-11-07 at 13:58 -0500, Michael Velez wrote:
    On Tuesday 07 November 2006 03:18, Michael Velez wrote:
    I guess I corrupted the desktop when I rebooted through VNC
    but I don't know
    how to get it back.

    Is there a way of retrieving this without having to delete
    this user and
    creating a new one?
    Guessing sucks. Always try to figure out what's going on!
    Leaving this unknown
    can only lead to trouble down the road - it's always better
    to spend some
    time and find out whassup. You'll find out something bad has
    happened, or
    you'll learn how to better identify if something bad is
    happening later.
    Either way, you're ahead!

    Different WM have different locations for Desktop. KDE's
    desktop is usually in
    ~/Desktop. Check out that folder.

    If you really think corruption is in order, you might want to
    check your
    entire f/s with e2fsck:

    # shutdown -Fr now;

    Otherwise, you might have to recover from backups. (you DO
    have backups,
    right?)
    Actually, when I meant I corrupted the desktop, I didn't mean at a disk
    level. I doubt e2fsck will fix this (although I'll run it anyway, you never
    know). The reboot was proper; however, it was done through VNC which seems
    to have caused a different chain of events when closing the gnome-session.
    This is what I'm trying to figure out.

    As I mentioned in my previous e-mail all my *.desktop files are in my
    ~/Desktop directory. They just do not appear on the desktop when I open my
    gnome session. The session starts everything else (start menus, taskbar,
    startup applications - i.e. xclock) it's just my desktop that has become one
    solid color (dark blue) with no icons. I can log in fine with other
    userid's and receive a good desktop, so this really has something to do with
    my user profile.

    At this point, I'm trying to figure out how a reboot through VNC could have
    made my gnome-session close improperly.

    I don't know enough about gnome-sessions to figure this out myself. Is
    there a file in the gnome profile that has desktop information (other than
    ~/Desktop)?

    I've had to use VNC a lot lately so I have seen this once before. I
    couldn't figure it out and I just deleted the user, created a new one, and
    re-installed user files from backup (which I have a wazoo of; I have more
    automated backup than a home environment actually needs). My next e2fsck
    after that did not mention a corruption so it really has to be something in
    my profile files.
    ----
    ~/Desktop is the objects on your desktop (files / folders / etc.)

    your settings are typically stored in ~/.gnome or ~/.gnome2 or ~/.gconf

    try moving them... mv .gnome .gnome-bak one at a time and then log in
    again and see what works. Moving them rather than deleting them allows
    you to recover settings that you might want to keep

    Craig
  • Michael Velez at Nov 7, 2006 at 9:40 pm

    ~/Desktop is the objects on your desktop (files / folders / etc.)

    your settings are typically stored in ~/.gnome or ~/.gnome2
    or ~/.gconf

    try moving them... mv .gnome .gnome-bak one at a time and then log in
    again and see what works. Moving them rather than deleting them allows
    you to recover settings that you might want to keep

    Craig
    Thanks Craig for the idea. I'll try that out. I may try it at a file-level
    as well and see what happens. If not, I guess I'll just re-create the user
    because I'm stumped.

    Michael

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