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My gnome desktop is in a completely unusable state. Here's what happened (Debian testing, metacity):
I've been surfing the web and firefox just locked up. Had this several times before, very annoying. I killed it. But also my debian autoupdater (can't remember it's name) got locked up (it downloaded all the updates, displayed the 'i' on a blue cirlce background and froze upon clicking.) I tried to close my session to restart X (I'm not using any graphical login manager), but it also locked up, so I went to console and Ctrl+C'd X. Upon restarting, gnome-panel displayed something about another instance running, so i fired up xterrm and killalled gnome-panel. Yay. The only remaining problem is that the one that restarted didn't respond to clicks and I had no way of gracefully shutting down X. Had to ctrl+c again. The situation repeated when I restarted X, so I thought that gnome stored some bad stuff in .gnome2. In my infinite wisdom I deleted the whole directory. Of course, the problem persisted.
A million dollar question: what now? I'd like to restore the gnome desktop (well, more like return it to default state), but am williing to give kde a try. The only problem is that I don't know where to get a recent version.