Problem: No panels

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Problem: No panels

Postby eishe » 2009-12-15 18:07

After some pondering on what operating system to install on my recently acquired laptop, my eyes landed on Debian. I have only a minor experience with Linux from using Ubuntu for a while, so please don't be mad if the problem is extremely mundane.

The first boot of freshly installed Debian presented me with an interesting problem - there were no panels visible. Otherwise the desktop seems perfectly normal - wallpaper and computer, home and trash icons. Right-clicking at the top and bottom of the screen bore no results as no options on the lines of "Add new panel" were present.

For now I have two theories about why everything's that way:
1 - the less believable one. The panels have mysteriously vanished and for some even more mysterious reason they can't be remade.
2 - the screen resolution is set for a 4:3 display because of some default settings, but I have a widescreen and the panels just aren't shown because they can't fit in the screen.
The problem with checking the second theory lies withing the fact that I haven't been able to find a way how to change the resolution or open the terminal come to think about it, in the GUI without the usage of panels. When I tried bringing up the command prompt with Ctrl+Alt+F1 it bought up the text screen, but typing in any of the "xrandr" commands both with and without root returned: "Can't open display".

Any help/advice would be really great.

As for the OS, it's Debian 5.03, i386, Gnome GUI. Computer is HP Pavilion dv6000.

Edit:

Alt+f2 brings up nothing and RMB+Create Launcher does nothing as well.

Edit2:
I'm not so sure about the wrong screen resolution theory right now anymore.
After some further reading I wrote and tried to run scripts to launch gnome panel and terminal in gnome with no success.
Code: Select all
#!/bin/bash
gnome-panel

&&
Code: Select all
#!/bin/bash
gnome-terminal
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Re: Problem: No panels

Postby mzilikazi » 2009-12-15 23:06

For the fun of it, try:
Code: Select all
CTRL+ALT+F1
root
<password.
apt-get update;apt-get install fluxbox

Now restart your login manager:
Code: Select all
/etc/init.d/gdm restart

Choose fluxbox and see what it looks like.
Are you able to get anything to run while in the Gnome desktop like a terminal? (Not a Gnome user myself - don't really know anything about it).
Debian Sid Laptops:
AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor TK-55 / 1.5G
Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual CPU T2390 @ 1.86GHz / 3G
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Re: Problem: No panels

Postby mdevour » 2009-12-16 01:00

mzilikazi wrote:Are you able to get anything to run while in the Gnome desktop like a terminal? (Not a Gnome user myself - don't really know anything about it).

That's the problem. Without the panels, none of the menus are accessible.

Eishe,

To learn more, does clicking on the Computer icon open up a file browser? (Nautilus) You really have no grey bands across the top and bottom, they're not just empty? Also, just to be sure, nudge all the edges of the screen with your mouse pointer. Nothing should happen. It's possible to have your panels auto-hide themselves, but that should not be the case out of the box. :roll:

Just in general, what does the screen resolution look like? Are things like the icons and text of a reasonable (smallish) size? Also, what sort of video hardware does a HP Pavilion dv6000 have in it?

I just tried, and you should be able to right-click on the desktop and click Create Launcher. That brings up a dialog box where you can select Application for the type and fill in gnome-terminal as the command. That would let you open a terminal window. That doesn't work, you say?

If that's the case I'm sure it tells us something, but I'm not the one to read the tea-leaves! :oops:

Mike D.
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Re: Problem: No panels

Postby refracta » 2009-12-16 02:15

aptitude install gnome-panel
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Re: Problem: No panels

Postby eishe » 2009-12-16 15:20

mzilikazi wrote:For the fun of it, try:
Code: Select all
CTRL+ALT+F1
root
<password.
apt-get update;apt-get install fluxbox

Now restart your login manager:
Code: Select all
/etc/init.d/gdm restart

Choose fluxbox and see what it looks like.
Are you able to get anything to run while in the Gnome desktop like a terminal? (Not a Gnome user myself - don't really know anything about it).

Did so. I was able to see the fluxbox launcher, but I did not see any useful options after right-clicking it. I guess it takes out the resolution problems and leaves me with missing gnome-panel software?
I already had made sure that the panels aren't autohiding themselves and Nautilus worked just fine and the icons seemed fine as well, but I couldn't create a launcher so another point towards not having the panel software installed..

When I tried installing gnome-panel (which apparently I was missing), I found out that some blocks on my installation disk were bad and this was probably the reason why there were no panels installed. Tried to find the .deb package on the internet, but the first package I came was gnome-panel-data which I, sleep deprived as I then was, installed.

This action bought up another problem - inability to start the GUI. Pressing Ctrl+Alt+F7/F9 doesn't work, neither does typing /etc/init.d/gdm start in as root. At the moment I'm leaning towards the safest bet - doing a fresh install with a freshly burned CD (due to the fact that some other important packages might be missing), but if anyone has another ideas, I'm open to them.
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Re: Problem: No panels

Postby refracta » 2009-12-16 18:29

You shouldn't install single packages from the web, if that is what did. You will probably need to manually remove the package or use apt-get -f install to try and correct the situation, if that package is causing problems.

You should use a package manager like apt or aptitude and edit your /etc/apt/sources.list file to contain the proper repos for your version of debian. Then you could apt-get update and aptitude install gnome-core gdm
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Re: Problem: No panels

Postby mzilikazi » 2009-12-16 21:21

eishe wrote:
When I tried installing gnome-panel (which apparently I was missing), I found out that some blocks on my installation disk were bad and this was probably the reason why there were no panels installed.


At the moment I'm leaning towards the safest bet - doing a fresh install with a freshly burned CD (due to the fact that some other important packages might be missing), but if anyone has another ideas, I'm open to them.

Good idea. If you know that your installation disc is corrupted throw it away and burn another. Be sure to check the md5sum of the image prior to burning and burn at a slower speed. Just because you can burn @ 18x doesn't mean you should. ;) Try a safe 4x or 8x
Debian Sid Laptops:
AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual-Core Processor TK-55 / 1.5G
Intel(R) Pentium(R) Dual CPU T2390 @ 1.86GHz / 3G
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