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I am running Debian Lenny (5.0) with Gnome 2.22, and after I restart X a few times the panel eventually stops responding. Here is the panel-related message from .xsession-errors:
(gnome-panel:20435): Gtk-WARNING **: gtk_widget_size_allocate(): attempt to allocate widget with width -9 and height 24
What happens is that the top and bottom panels load, but the top panel does not display the network/clock/audio widgets. Typically these are found on the far right of the top panel, but only small square icon is there. Neither panels are responsive to interaction.
I started off by completely removing gnome and purging it's configuration files. I then reinstalled gnome, and configured gnome to start when a user logs in via VNC (using ~/.vnc/xstartup). I also ensured all installed packages are up to date.
I have tried killing / restarting gnome-panel, as well as renaming ~/.gnome2/panel2.d/ which was recreated when restarting gnome. I also ran 'debconf gnome-panel', but had no change in behavior.
The only solution I have is to completely uninstall gnome and purge it's configuration files. Even then, the panel locks up again after a few reboots.
Currently, I am required to run gnome as root (not my idea, but required) but this issue persists with other users as well.
Any suggestions? Should I be concerned that the GTK-Warning uses a negative number (-9) for it's width?