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Old 07-24-2009, 02:48 PM   #1
jccar
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Registered: Jun 2008
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I've crippled Gnome...


In my quest to learn new things (and in a fit of boredom yesterday), I decided that I wanted to try the newest version of KDE that everyone is raving about. I was preparing to just go ahead and install a system that uses KDE by default, but in doing a little research I read that it's easy to change desktop environments on existing systems. So, I tried that first.

I installed KDE and logged out, and back in. I was a little disappointed to see that nothing had really changed, except the new KDE log-in with the blue bubbles, and a lot of new apps with names starting with "k" in the applications menu.

I figured I needed to change some settings to get the full KDE desktop look. So I looked through the preferences menu for something to use to set up a KDE desktop, but saw nothing different from the options that had always been there.

So (and here's where I must put on my dunce cap and publicly confess to doing stupid things) I thought if I uninstalled Gnome, when Ubuntu restarted and didn't find Gnome anymore, it would use KDE by default...

Honest, it sort of made sense at the time...

However, after rebooting, the launch bars (task bars?), both top and bottom are gone. Everything else seems to work fine (a tribute to GNU/Linux systems in their amazing ability to withstand the workings of dimwits like me), however, I have no clue how to get those things back. My system seems to be in a "No Man's Land" somewhere between Gnome and KDE.

I got online by opening a PDF that had some weblinks in it, clicking on one of them opened up Firefox. (whew!) But I miss having the time and date, recycle bin, and most importantly a way to properly shut down the machine. (I know, I need to get past the habit of depending on buttons for everything)

I considered wiping the Ubu-Jaunty and installing a fresh Kubuntu. But, as much as I hate having to admit that I made such a mess on my computer, it seems better for me to learn how to repair the damage.

So, any suggestions on how I can begin sorting things out will be very welcome (is there hope?)

My computer is a Gigabyte board, with AMD64 processor, an Nvidia GeForce 9500GT card. 2GB Ram, two internal 250GB SATA drives. The hardware's pretty basic, and everything works well (so far) with Ubuntu, I've had no problems with upgrades from Hardy through Jaunty.

The only problems I've had, so far, have been self-inflicted.
 
Old 07-24-2009, 05:05 PM   #2
Tinkster
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Heh. Hi, and welcome to LQ!

All you really need to do is switch to a command-line
and do an
apt-get install <package> <package>
of some well-known Gnome things, and it should pull most if
not all of it back in as dependencies.

And what you found/used wasn't KDE, the way to get to KDE
would have been to choose it in the login manager (whether it's
kdm or gdm, both allow to choose a session type on login) :}



Cheers,
Tink

Last edited by Tinkster; 07-24-2009 at 05:07 PM.
 
Old 07-24-2009, 05:27 PM   #3
arizonagroovejet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinkster View Post
apt-get install <package> <package>

Code:
$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop gnome
should do it I think. I think specifying the gnome package is redundant, but it can't hurt.
 
Old 07-24-2009, 05:46 PM   #4
Tinkster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arizonagroovejet View Post
Code:
$ sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop gnome
should do it I think. I think specifying the gnome package is redundant, but it can't hurt.
Goes to show I don't use Ubuntu or Gnome, huh ;D



Cheers,
Tink
 
Old 07-24-2009, 06:04 PM   #5
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jccar View Post
I decided that I wanted to try the newest version of KDE that everyone is raving about.
Not everyone is exactly raving about it, well not in a good way, anyway. You'll mean kde4. some people love it because its (default) appearance is a bit more vista-ish and more dramatic, some people hate it because its (default) appearance is a bit more vista-ish and more dramatic.

Irrespective of the appearance, its not as bug-free and complete as the old kde3 series was, but I'm pretty sure that it will be good. Sometime. What is less clear is whether that sometime will be anytime soon, although there is a fast rate of improvement.

Quote:
...in doing a little research I read that it's easy to change desktop environments on existing systems. So, I tried that first.
This should indeed work, and you should get a 'chooser' to log in from (ie, a screen which gives you the standard username/password options, plus an option to choose which gui you want. Seemingly because they aren't expecting it, many people don't see the option for selecting the GUI.

Quote:
and a lot of new apps with names starting with "k" in the applications menu.
Err, yes, this will happen - at least the apps starting with a k part. The kde 3.x convention was that everything either started with, or featured, a 'k'. The new convention is less k heavy, but there are still many apps with a k in them.

You can run Gnome apps under kde and kde apps under Gnome, so menus can become a bit of a mess, cluttered with many apps.

Quote:
So (and here's where I must put on my dunce cap and publicly confess to doing stupid things) I thought if I uninstalled Gnome, when Ubuntu restarted and didn't find Gnome anymore, it would use KDE by default...

Honest, it sort of made sense at the time...
That should have worked (given you kde) but should have been unnecessary, as the 'chooser' should really have given you the choice that you wanted and there should have been no need to delete Gnome. I'm not clear what had gone wrong at that stage, but it sounds as if you ended up with X, plus maybe a small part of gnome, but with the rest of gnome gone.

Its odd how most of the best disasters can be accompanied by 'it seemed like a good idea at the time'.
 
Old 07-24-2009, 08:48 PM   #6
wabbalee
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Quote:
I considered wiping the Ubu-Jaunty and installing a fresh Kubuntu. But, as much as I hate having to admit that I made such a mess on my computer, it seems better for me to learn how to repair the damage.
I agree that it is better to repair than to reinstall, but especially in the beginning of my Linux journey I reinstalled a lot as for me that seemed to be the only way to get back to defaults 100% and the quickest. After you have done too many 'personalizations' than is good for you and your Linux install ;-) and you don't know half the stuff you have done, a reinstall is not such a bad choice. You learn from that as well. As you get more experience you will slowly start repairing and rectifying mostly, as you yourself so elegantly put it, your self-inflicted problems. Most of mine are like that too.

Welcome,
Ron
 
Old 07-25-2009, 12:32 PM   #7
jccar
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Registered: Jun 2008
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Original Poster
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The Gnome lives again...

I now have things working again.

The loss of the Gnome panels (both top and bottom) was a little like getting into my car and discovering that the steering wheel, gas & brake pedals had disappeared. Without the Gnome panels there were no applications, places, system or any shortcuts to useful tools.

My first impulse was to right-click and look for a "Please put all lost items back where they belong" option...(figured it was worth a try)

After I posted here I decided to try the "Fix broken packages" on the Ubuntu Live CD. I'm glad I tried it, I was very impressed at how easy it was to use. Unfortunately, it apparently didn't see my intentional uninstallation of Gnome as something "broken" to fix. But I now know it's there and how it works, for future reference.

arizonagroovejet: (hey, a fellow "zonie"!) thank you, your suggestion worked...

However, the only terminal I'd ever used before was the Gnome terminal which I'd always accessed from the shortcut, and which usually opened in a small (but resizable) window. I'd also always have a text file "cheat sheet" opened next to it, ready to copy/paste from.

Not being able to find the Gnome terminal, I tried Ctrl+Alt+F2. What a surprise to see a full screen terminal!

It was a little frustrating because, for some reason, I couldn't paste into it. Neither Ctrl+v worked, nor the right-click menu for "paste" (could the Gnome have taken the clipboard away with it?).

So, I actually (with great trepidation, I might add) typed it all out from memory. I'm so used to my copy/paste crutch that it made me quite nervous (it's okay to laugh, it made me laugh too), and it did take a couple of tries to get it right.

I also didn't know how to get out of that big terminal. But after poking a variety of keys and combinations I eventually found that Ctrl+Alt+F7 would take me back to the desktop. (whew...had a short panic attack with that one)

wabbalee: you are right about reinstalling. After getting Gnome back, things just weren't the same. I dreaded having to go through and sort it all out. So late last night I reinstalled, and had a clean Jaunty with everything looking neat and pretty again within an hour or so.

Tinkster: Yes, I *think* I understand the difference now. I wasn't given any choices at login between kde and gdm, so it's very possible I didn't install what I intended. Or maybe, like salasi said, the choices were there but I just didn't see them.

salasi: Of course, you're right, not everyone likes the new KDE. But many are quite impressed with the most recent version. I just wanted to see for myself. I'm still going to try Kubuntu, but I think I'll wait until after October.

And finally, here are some important lessons I learned yesterday:

- It's not good to impulsively chase after shiney stuff...(especially not in the middle of the work week)

- Lightning won't strike me if I actually manually type commands into the terminal...and typos won't cause the terminal to explode

- I learned how spoiled I've become by Ubuntu. Having to figure things out, with no easy access to the tools I'm used to, was uncomfortable, but I learned it wasn't impossible to do. For instance, by opening various files I could still get to apps that I needed. Like opening any PDF that contained a website link, allowed me to get Firefox to open so I could search for help online. The same with opening any text file to bring up gedit, and putting a blank CD in the drive still opened up the CD burner.

Which meant that the loss of Gnome (or large parts of it) didn't skunk the whole system. Nice.

- I learned a little more about the nice repair tools on the Live CD (for future reference)

And last, but not least, I learned about LinuxQuestions.org, and am very appreciative of the kind "welcomes" and the helpful comments here. Nice place!

 
Old 07-25-2009, 07:26 PM   #8
wabbalee
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I can just see you are liking Linux and its community, the invisible to outsiders world of Linux is larger than many think.. this site is a great contribution.

you have also already experienced the stability of this OS hands on in one way: I mean try running Windows without Explorer... and then repair it with the Windows disc, good luck to you. and yes, the virtual terminals are a bit of a shocker if you didn't know about them, I find myself very rarely in one of them. But I am sure there are quite a few guru's out there that don't shy away from them.

with your attitude and Linux' rapid development you'll be up to scratch in no time. That does not mean that you will never have (self-inflicted) problems anymore, but you will learn with patience that there is a solution for your needs and a fix for almost anything.
 
Old 07-26-2009, 07:55 AM   #9
salasi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jccar View Post
...I just wanted to see for myself. I'm still going to try Kubuntu, but I think I'll wait until after October.
No, it wasn't intended as critical; wanting to see for yourself and making up your own opinion is the way to go.

Trying kubuntu (well, adding kde to any of the other variants of the *buntu family, or vice versa, adding some other GUI to kubuntu) doesn't mean that you have to get rid of whatever GUI was previously installed.
Quote:
And finally, here are some important lessons I learned yesterday:

- It's not good to impulsively chase after shiney stuff...(especially not in the middle of the work week)
...if you are going to go and learn from your mistakes, why not learn from other peoples' mistakes or learn before you make the mistake and have a backup??

Quote:
- Lightning won't strike me if I actually manually type commands into the terminal...and typos won't cause the terminal to explode
True. But it is easier if you get some command line practice before you are in trouble and actually need it.

Quote:
- I learned how spoiled I've become by Ubuntu. Having to figure things out, with no easy access to the tools I'm used to, was uncomfortable, but I learned it wasn't impossible to do. For instance, by opening various files I could still get to apps that I needed. Like opening any PDF that contained a website link, allowed me to get Firefox to open so I could search for help online. The same with opening any text file to bring up gedit, and putting a blank CD in the drive still opened up the CD burner.
Ingenious, and good thinking under the circumstances!

I don't want to induluge in any zealotry, or promoting one distro over another, but this is one of the problems that comes with 'easy' distros; if you take the do-it-yourself, difficult distro, route, at least you know how everything fits together and you have an easier time if you need to fix it, because you've put all together youself in the first place. It seems that you have to take the pain sometime, and you can choose whether to take it up front or take it later.
 
Old 07-26-2009, 10:04 PM   #10
mrrangerman
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Congrats!!

You did the best thing, you worked through your problem.

If you want to have a little fun, install links2 it's a text web browser, use synaptic or apt then move into a terminal Ctrl+Alt+F2 log in and type links2 and the url you want to visit. To get to the menu press Esc. Also learn to use vi or vim as any linux OS comes with it. Of course with the live-cd it's not needed as much anymore but there are time when you will need to use them.
 
Old 07-26-2009, 11:29 PM   #11
jccar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salasi View Post
I don't want to induluge in any zealotry, or promoting one distro over another, but this is one of the problems that comes with 'easy' distros; if you take the do-it-yourself, difficult distro, route, at least you know how everything fits together and you have an easier time if you need to fix it, because you've put all together youself in the first place. It seems that you have to take the pain sometime, and you can choose whether to take it up front or take it later.
salasi, that's a very interesting point. (By the way, I do think the word "zealotry" gets used far too much these days.) I believe that people benefit from recommendations by those with more experience. I'm always glad to hear ways in which different distros work, and the benefits they offer.

In my case, there were several things to consider when I first began making plans to move away from Microsoft products. I did it step by step. The transition took several years, actually...but that's a story all its own and is mostly related to the work I do.

For me, using a 'training-wheels' distro has helped to ease that rather stressful transition. I'm glad Ubuntu has been so resilient to my "newbie" experimentation. But, like anyone who has an ounce of independence in them, training wheels eventually begin to feel more restrictive than protective, and that time seems to have come for me.

Also, since I've helped a number of friends and family to move away from Windows...and this was a very good year to do that...I am feeling a little pressured to become more proficient myself.

Which is a long way of saying: Please, don't be hesitant to promote a distro that you think might be good for someone that feels ready for further challenges (like me!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by wabbalee View Post
I can just see you are liking Linux and its community, the invisible to outsiders world of Linux is larger than many think.. this site is a great contribution.
wabbalee, I agree, this seems to be one of the nicer forums around (I have it bookmarked now). It's especially nice (and very appreciated!) to have calm, sensible help from friendly people. And yes, I do, indeed, enjoy using Linux.
 
Old 07-26-2009, 11:38 PM   #12
jccar
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Registered: Jun 2008
Posts: 11

Original Poster
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrrangerman View Post
Congrats!!

You did the best thing, you worked through your problem.

If you want to have a little fun, install links2 it's a text web browser, use synaptic or apt then move into a terminal Ctrl+Alt+F2 log in and type links2 and the url you want to visit. To get to the menu press Esc. Also learn to use vi or vim as any linux OS comes with it. Of course with the live-cd it's not needed as much anymore but there are time when you will need to use them.
mrrangerman, Thank you! I will do it...(oh so much still to learn)
 
  


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