Desktop won't load

Hi, i installed openSuSE 11.2 with gnome and i am sure it would be lovely except my desktop won’t load :frowning:

It boots fine, i get the log in screen, after that i get a white screen. The mouse cursor shows and i can move it around but that’s about it.

I have a sneaking suspicion that some config file or old program is trying to load from my old installation. I did a “fresh” install (i reformatted the root partition and installed on that) but i kept my home partition as is and i’m worried something from there might be interfering with the new desktop.

Thanks in advance!

Have you tried logging into a different user account to confirm that it’s an issue in your configuration, and not a system problem?

What graphics card do you have. ?

Try a console login, login with your username and password, then become su and do

sax2 -r

I have a nvidia 9300M

I can successfully log into the root account with x, so there might be something left over from my old installation. I’ll try creating another regular account and see what that does.

Don’t log into an X-session as root. You can add a user with the useradd command:

useradd -G users -m testuser
passwd testuser
(enter password twice)

So i created a new user and gnome loads fine. I am writing this post from that account :wink:

So that leads me to believe something is left over. What would i look for? Or would it be quicker just to make a backup of my files, delete my old user and remake it?

That is probably your best bet. Remember there are hidden files too which may contain email etc…

I hate to say it, but I have just recently had a lot of experience with exactly the problem you are having.

I have used Ubuntu for several years, but recently decided to move on. I started with Debian testing because Debian package management is better for me. I installed it on a new hard disk and put the old one on the shelf as a source of data files later.

After two days of adding programs, configuring Gnome, getting things set up the way I wanted them, I rebooted. After logging in I got exactly the same thing as you did - a blank screen. I could log in to a command line and become root, but you can’t do much about the X window from there.

Note that I had turned off the display of the desktop. I hate icons all over my desktop. Had I not done so I would have been able to right-click on the blank desktop and open a terminal.

Eventually I gave up and started over. Note that the first time was a fresh install on a brand new hard disk. And for the second install I told it to use the entire hard disk and reformat it. Therefore, there were no residual configurations anywhere.

After a day and a half of adding programs and configuring things, the same thing happened. But this time I contacted a local Linux user group. Someone suggested booting to the command line and installing Xfce4. I did so, and after I rebooted I could log in to Xfce. At least I had a usable desktop.

I spent an entire day trying to fix it. One of the things I did was the same as you - I created a new user. When I logged in as the new user in Gnome I had the panels and windows as usual. So I decided to just abandon the old me and become the new user. I spent a day installing and configuring and then - you guessed it - the new user lost the desktop.

I blamed Debian testing. So next I installed Fedora 12. Again, the installer reformatted the hard disk. And after two days of installing and configuring, the Gnome desktop failed to come up again.

At least this time I knew the drill. I booted to a command line and installed Xfce4. Having done so I was able to log in to a usable Xfce desktop. But after a day of struggling I failed to fix the problem.

I should add that I asked on several large e-lists (Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu forums), plus my local LUG. I received several dozen suggestions, but none of them made any difference.

I concluded that the problem was some obscure bug in Gnome 2.8.x. Debian testing installed 2.8.1 and Fedora 12 installed 2.8.0. Something you and I are doing - installed apps, configuration settings, or a combination thereof - is triggering the bug.

And now I hate to say this, but OpenSuse 11.2 uses Gnome 2.8.0.

I forgot to say that, if you can get a terminal open on the desktop, you can restore the desktop with:

metacity | gnome-panel

But I never figured out what happened that caused those two not to be loaded automatically.

Have you reported this to the Gnome bug tracker? It might even be something they are aware of, and have a fix for.

No, I haven’t yet checked the Gnome bugtracker. I’ve been planning to, so thanks for the link.

I installed OpenSuse 11.2 x86_64 yesterday morning and spent the day installing and configuring things the way I wanted them. I rebooted occasionally, and no problems. But this morning I rebooted and discovered that metacity failed to load. At least this time I had the gnome-panel.

I am going to check the Gnome bug reports, although I am doubtful that there will be a solution or workaround. The problem is that there is no way to tell exactly what configuration or installation of an app triggers the bug.

I should add that Karmic Koala also uses the new Gnome 2.8.0. If you search the Ubuntu forums there are a lot of problems similar to this.

Assuming that there is no fix available, is there a way to install a previous version of Gnome on my OpenSuse 11.2? (Please bear in mind that I spent four years in the Debian world and have zero experience with package management on OpenSuse.)

I kind of like OpenSuse so far, so if I can’t find a fix and I can’t install an older Gnome I am going to reformat and install 11.1.

If the same thing is happening in Debian and openSUSE, and obviously you are not alone, this looks like a bug in Gnome. Please report it, they really need to know about these things. It won’t get fixed if it isn’t reported, and you can’t assume that someone else will report it.

In my opinion, if you want to run GNOME anyway, the difference between 11.1 and 11.2 is minimal. I would stay away from trying to run an older version of GNOME on 11.2. Go with 11.1. I’ve used 11.1/GNOME for 2 years now without issues.

Many times in the past I have reported bugs in applications and distros. Most of the time the bug report is dismissed with the comment “unable to reproduce.” In this case it would be a waste of the developers’ time because I cannot tell what causes it.

I spent an hour this morning searching the Gnome bug tracker, but failed to find anything. However, the bug tracker search utility is hopeless. The results are displayed without version number or date, so you have no idea what you are looking at. I couldn’t find any way to specify the version number or date in the search dialog boxes. I’m sure it makes sense to the Gnome developers, but I find it useless.

That may be good advice. I have also used previous versions of Gnome without issue, and with the configurations and installed apps that I need, so I’m sure the older version of Gnome will be fine.

I have specific software needs beyond what most users require. For example, the version of that comes with 11.1 has bugs with the Math module that I use a lot. And I also need the latest unstable version of Scribus. I am new to the RPM world (previously Debian) and so far have not completely figured out how package management works in OpenSuse. If I reformat and install 11.1, will I be able to install the latest OpenOffice ( and the development version of Scribus (

Just take notes as you go along. It shouldn’t be necessary to reboot. Logging off and logging back on will implement any changes you have made in the DE.

This is very important. Bug reporting is critical in OSS development, and if users don’t report these things, they will likely not be fixed. It wouldn’t take you any more time than you’ve already spent discussing it in this forum. Hopefully, homikthehat will add himself to the ticket to let the developers know that this isn’t particular to your system.

I fully understand how important bug reporting is. If it was something easier to do I would. But I can’t afford the time right now. You don’t understand how many hundreds and hundreds of configuration changes I made after installing OpenSuse 11.2. Logging out and back in again is not as time-consuming as a reboot, but it still takes a couple minutes.

In any event, the issue is moot. I have wiped out 11.2 and installed 11.1.

I have several days of work ahead of me to learn how OpenSuse works. All the buttons are in different places. And the application menu system alone is going to take me hours. Why is everything in a sub-subgroup so I have to click four times to launch an app? /RantMode:off/

Thanks for the observations and suggestions.

Why not setup a quick launch panel that autohides for all your apps

I am new to the RPM world (previously Debian) and so far have not completely figured out how package management works in OpenSuse. If I reformat and install 11.1, will I be able to install the latest OpenOffice ( and the development version of Scribus (

In theory, yes. But, you’ll have to find a openSUSE repository that distributes newer versions of OOO and Scribus. I would be very surprised if there isn’t one, but maybe someone can chime in here.

If you use the repositories’ RPMs, they should/would have figured out the depencies for you, as long as you mount the proper openSUSE version (11.1 in your case).

I myself have the luxury of being able to stay within the standard distro versions (other than Chromium, which I couldn’t resist), so I’m not that well-versed in experimenting with different versions.

So… after all that, did anyone find a solution for this? I installed 11.3 and it worked for a day then quit. I need to run Clonezilla SE and its recommended to run it under Opensuse 11.2 so I deleted all the partitions and loaded 11.2, but when it auto logs in with the account i set up, I get the desktop wallpaper and the cursor, but nothing else.

Can anyone help?