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Old 12-16-2008, 07:56 PM   #1
tothemax6
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Dec 2008
Posts: 26

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Terminal is frozen, so can't fix anything, so system is useless


Hi all,
Well someone else who saw my new ubuntu computer said they were interested. So I installed it on their computer. As I semi expected (computers follow no patterns, have no set rules, and try their hardest to stuff you around), all the errors which I had with my other computer didn't occur, and a whole new set which I can't fix replaced them.

So at the moment I can't run some terminal commands because when I load the terminal, I just get a plain white square which does nothing.
Furthurmore, none of the windows have any outlines (i.e. title bar etc), even though window decoration is enabled. The skydome image also doesn't show when the cube is rotated. As usual, I have no idea how to fix this, and can't find out even with much searching.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, and would mean one more ubuntu user.

cheers, RM
 
Old 12-16-2008, 09:02 PM   #2
joshuas3521
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Registered: Dec 2008
Location: Birmingham, Alabama
Distribution: Debian/Custom
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I am assuming by your description of desktop cube that you installed Compiz-fusion or Beryl? Have you tried to ctrl-alt-f1 into bash instead of using the Gnome terminal? If all else fails, you could mount your active partition from a bootable disk.

Last edited by joshuas3521; 12-17-2008 at 01:51 AM.
 
Old 12-16-2008, 09:10 PM   #3
jonaskoelker
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Denmark
Distribution: Ubuntu, Debian
Posts: 1,524

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For getting to the command-line, try hitting Ctrl-Alt-F1. [or F2, or ..., or F6].

Quote:
when I load the terminal
Could you please describe the steps you perform? Like "Alt-F2, type `xterm'", or "Applications->Accessories->Terminal".

From the C-A-F1 command line, try running DISPLAY=:0 xterm &. Try running gnome-terminal in the same way, instead of xterm. Does it make a difference? Try installing another terminal emulator (such as xvt, rxvt, wterm, aterm, eterm) and see if it "works", for your definition of works.

Please describe what happens when you do these things.

I'm forming a theory that the white box which doesn't do anything is an xterm with some poorly configured X resources. Try opening it and pressing Ctrl-g. If the PC speaker beeps, it's a sign I'm right. Also, try writing the following command

Code:
echo "$$ $PPID" > ~/white-box-pid-and-ppid
Without closing the white box, open the file in gedit. Open gnome-system-monitor, processes tab, sort by ID, disable view->dependencies. Find the two rows matching the two numbers in the file. One should say "bash", the other the name of your white box. What do you find?

Quote:
Furthurmore, none of the windows have any outlines (i.e. title bar etc), even though window decoration is enabled.
Run ccsm, the decorations module. Make sure "Command" is /usr/bin/compiz-decorator and that the file exists. It comes from the compiz-core package, which _should_ be installed, but it can't hurt checking. Also, make sure that "Decoration windows" says "any". Try hitting the brush to restore the default setting for this. Try restoring everything in the window decoration module to the defaults.

What are your current values of these things? What are the effects of doing what I suggested?

I'm going to punt on the cube/skydome issue; I'm more familiar with desktop wall since that's what I'm using.

By the way, which version of Ubuntu is this? Did you do anything "weird" after installing? If you get the terminal working, please run lshw as root (i.e. sudo lshw) and paste the output; juuuuust on the off chance that it's a graphics card or driver issue. What's the graphics card? Did you make any choices about which driver(s) to install? Which choices did you make?

Do other windows act normally? It's _only_ the terminal that's white, right? Try installing openarena and see if it plays at, say, at least 30 fps (I got 90 fps on my shitty intel on-mobo graphics card), just to see how well the GL muscles "flex". Run the command glxinfo | grep dir, does it say yes or no? Try running glxgears. What does it say?

That's some homework for you
 
Old 12-17-2008, 03:05 AM   #4
tothemax6
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Registered: Dec 2008
Posts: 26

Original Poster
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OK Jonas, I am accessing it via "Applications->Accessories->Terminal". Before I do the 'big DOS like terminal thing' again, how do I make it return to the desktop (so I can read more of this post)?
The white box doesn't show me any text (so i can't echo), but ctrl-g does make a beep.
I am running 8.04, and I don't think I did anything wierd to it after I installed it.
The graphics card is unknown (its a ready-made computer), and after I enabled nvidia, it didn't give me any options. I would download this open arena, but its a bit too big.
Nope no other windows become a white box.

Thanks, RM

Last edited by tothemax6; 12-17-2008 at 03:14 AM.
 
Old 12-17-2008, 02:57 PM   #5
jonaskoelker
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Denmark
Distribution: Ubuntu, Debian
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Quote:
Before I do the 'big DOS like terminal thing' again, how do I make it return to the desktop (so I can read more of this post)?
Ctrl-Alt-F[something], for something being one of 7, 8 or 9. The Ctrl-Alt-Fnkeys combos do the same thing on all distros, but some place the GUI on different numbers than others.

Quote:
The white box doesn't show me any text (so i can't echo), but ctrl-g does make a beep.
That's good to know. How about the other things I asked for? In addion, run gnome-default-applications, "System" tab; what's selected under "Terminal Emulator"?

Quote:
and after I enabled nvidia, it didn't give me any options.
Where and when did you enable nvidia? _what_ didn't give you any options? Can you disable it? What happens if you do?

How about all the other things I suggested?

I'd love to help, but I'm not clairvoyant. Your eyes are in a much better position to look at the computer than mine, so please use them a bit on my behalf; then I'll use my knowledge and experience on your behalf. Deal?
 
Old 12-17-2008, 04:29 PM   #6
PTrenholme
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Registered: Dec 2004
Location: Olympia, WA, USA
Distribution: Fedora, (K)Ubuntu
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It sound to me as though you've got a terminal window where the text color and background color are both "White." Can you access the "Settings" item at the top of the terminal window? If so, pick the "Edit current profile" item and see if you can set the colors to something sensible.
 
Old 12-17-2008, 09:04 PM   #7
tothemax6
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Registered: Dec 2008
Posts: 26

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
Hi PTrenholme, no the terminal is a very literaly a white box - so no title bar, menu bar etc. So I can't change any settings.
Hi Jonas, well without knowing how to get back from the 'big dos terminal thing', and given that this computer has no printer, I thought it better to wait for you to tell me how to get back . I will now try all the things.

Thanks, RM
 
Old 12-17-2008, 10:48 PM   #8
jonaskoelker
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Registered: Jul 2004
Location: Denmark
Distribution: Ubuntu, Debian
Posts: 1,524

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Quote:
I thought it better to wait for you to tell me how to get back
You could also have rebooted

But, and I want to stress this, you did the right thing: when you don't know what the right thing to do is, it's often to not do anything. Then, when you've not done anything for a while, start thinking about what's safe to do.

(at least that's a good principle when dealing with computers.)

In your particular case, you can probably afford to experiment a little. If you break things, it won't be because you shouldn't have done anything
 
Old 12-17-2008, 11:19 PM   #9
tothemax6
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Registered: Dec 2008
Posts: 26

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
OK I ran DISPLAY=:0 xterm & in the big terminal, it causes a new terminal window to open on the desktop, but the terminal window is still a white box that doesn't work.
I installed an Xfce Terminal Emulator - same problem.
When I opened system monitor, it is also a mere white box.
Also, ccsm could not be run in the big terminal.
Decoration windows is set to 'any'. All settings are default.
Im afraid I don't know what you mean by "In addion, run gnome-default-applications, "System" tab".
I enabled the nvidia after installation, as without it the desktop does not align with the screen. I have now disabled it, to no effect.
"No options" was a response to your question "Did you make any choices about which driver(s) to install? Which choices did you make?".

Thanks for your help, RM
 
Old 12-17-2008, 11:28 PM   #10
jay73
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Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Belgium
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.04, Debian testing
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Rep: Reputation: 130Reputation: 130
Try disabling compiz, just to see whether the issue is compiz-related or not.
System > Prefs > Appearance > Effects > none.
 
Old 12-17-2008, 11:39 PM   #11
tothemax6
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Registered: Dec 2008
Posts: 26

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
OK I restarted after i disabled nvidia, and it did actually make a difference. The windows work as normal without the nvidia enabled. However, the desktop will not line up with the screen, and I can't do special effects (like the cube) without the nvidia enabled.

RM
 
Old 12-17-2008, 11:55 PM   #12
tothemax6
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Registered: Dec 2008
Posts: 26

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
OK now that i re-enabled it, the screen resolution has dropped to 640x something, and I can't click the disable nvidia button because the window is now too big for the screen.
I can't even remember why I bothered installing ubuntu. By the same criteria I judged windows to be crap (stuffing me around), ubuntu is also crap. However, windows crap is crap I am familiar with, and can sort of fix. I have had just as much windows freezing and hanging in windows and ubuntu. But everynow and again ubuntu will decide that its just not going to open something i am clicking or double clicking, so i have to restart. The only one thing that saves it from a disk reimage is the fact it loads faster and shutsdown faster. Argh.

RM
 
Old 12-17-2008, 11:59 PM   #13
tothemax6
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Dec 2008
Posts: 26

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
Hah, and now It won't let be close the hardware drivers window. Stuff this, this is worth noones time. Ill see if I can find instructions to wipe off the linux partition and bootloader.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 12:37 AM   #14
jay73
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Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Belgium
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.04, Debian testing
Posts: 5,019

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LOL, you really haven't a clue what you are doing, no? I would strongly recommend that you install Slackware or Gentoo and learn a thing or two about Linux internals before you try Ubuntu again.
 
Old 12-18-2008, 09:05 AM   #15
tothemax6
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Registered: Dec 2008
Posts: 26

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
Quote:
LOL, you really haven't a clue what you are doing, no?
Hint: This is the noob section . Anyway, the whole 'sorry I don't work, there is a long convoluted quest involving an alien language which you must complete for me to work for you" thing ubuntu does can not be blamed on the user if this thing is supposed to be a "Windows Replacement".
I thought slackware was even less user friendly? I did ubuntu cos it was top of the popularity list.
I had a look at Linux Mint, which appears more "no, its OK i'll do all that for you" than plain ubuntu. It also has a nice start-menu bolted on.
The dumb thing is that I am typing this from an ubuntu system which works dandy (mostly). Perhaps these problems are because the system I am (or was) trying to install this on is old.

Anyway, thanks to all who tried to help, RM
 
  


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