How To Crash and Break Xfce4 In Xubuntu Edgy

by Caitlyn Martin

While I stand by my glowing review of Xubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft), I have yet to find any release of any Linux distribution which was free of bugs or quirky behavior. The latest releases of the Ubuntu family of distributions are no different.

One of the nice things about Xfce4 is that it is very easy to customize and reconfigure any way you like. However, if you go into Settings -> User Interface Preferences to change around your desktop theme be careful about then also changing your icon theme. Some work, some don't. Changing the theme to either default or Grounation crashes Xfce. It won't start again, either. The fix is to restore your .config directory from backup. If you don't have a backup you can copy it from another user directory or even /root and then

sudo chmod -R : .config

If you copy from another user Xfce will start normally but your menu will not work since it still points to another user's .config. Simply delete the menu from the panel and add it again to restore the menu. You will, of course, have the settings that the other user chose, not your own. Still, copying the whole .config is easier than figuring out which file really is broken, at least for me, and then hand probably editing xml. I probably will poke around further, though.

I haven't been able to reproduce this bug in Vector Linux 5.8 either, but that distro uses Xfce 4.3.99 rc2 while Xubuntu still uses rc1.

Oh, and yes, I've been a responsible user and reported this bug (see bug #77445).


2006-12-31 12:27:56
As reported in the bug feedback from Olivier Fourdan (creator of xfce), the problem lies in gtk+. So it's not a specific xfce issue (he found the same problem with gnome). Olivier Fourdan provides in the bug report a patch against gtk+-2.10.6.
Caitlyn Martin
2007-01-05 12:06:07
Chris, I have no reason to doubt you but... why doesn't it crash and/or break the same way under Vector Linux 5.8?
2007-01-08 06:35:37
so caitlyn has not found any release of any linux flavour that is bug free??? maybe u should try a microsoft product and then talk about bugs!!!!

2007-01-09 12:45:07
I've supported enough Microsoft products to last a lifetime. I prefer Linux. No large project is going to be bug free. Sorry you don't like reality, Sam.
Linux tech notes
2007-02-09 23:31:41
Those who still getting bugs with rc1, can upgrade to a normal XFCE 4.4 for xubuntu edgy from my repository. Don't wory for a future upgrade to fiesty, all should pass well.
2007-03-20 18:07:43
There's a much better workaround to handle this issue. Simply edit ~/.config/xfce4/mcs_settings/gtk.xml and set the themes to ones you know do work, then login. You can also remove ~/.config/ then login. When you do Xfce will recreate ~/.config/ with default values.