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#1 2020-10-07 03:06:33

John Jason Jordan
Member
Registered: 2019-11-22
Posts: 45

Panel problems after upgrading Xubuntu to 20.04.1

A few days ago Ubuntu finally released 20.04.1 for dist-upgrades, and I just did it for my desktop computer from 18.04.5. It went reasonably well, but the panel is messed up and I can't figure out how to fix it.

I keep my panel on the left side of the screen, deskbar, four columns, and previously it was set to transparent - that is icons and text appear, but the background is the same as the desktop, which I set to white. Now, some of the items have become various shades of gray, and others appear transparent (white). I am writing this on my laptop, and when I open Panel Preferences > Appearance I have the color set to solid color, white, and Alpha is set to 0. On the desktop the Alpha setting has been removed, and as far as I can tell, it determined transparency. I have made all the other settings the same as the 18.04 laptop but on the desktop the Applications item is about 10% gray, the launcher is about 30% gray, window buttons is above 40% gray, and on the bottom of the panel I have a pulseaudio icon, which is white, but to the right of it the panel is about 50% gray.

I've poked at everything I can think of, but no luck. I need some clues.

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#2 2020-10-07 10:24:47

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 7,111

Re: Panel problems after upgrading Xubuntu to 20.04.1

John Jason Jordan wrote:

On the desktop the Alpha setting has been removed, and as far as I can tell, it determined transparency.

It now uses the GTK3 transparency selector. See: https://docs.xfce.org/xfce/xfce4-panel/ … rent-panel.

I have made all the other settings the same as the 18.04 laptop but on the desktop the Applications item is about 10% gray, the launcher is about 30% gray, window buttons is above 40% gray, and on the bottom of the panel I have a pulseaudio icon, which is white, but to the right of it the panel is about 50% gray.

Can you post a screenshot? Here is some info on theming/tweaking the xfce4-panel.

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#3 2020-10-07 17:57:04

John Jason Jordan
Member
Registered: 2019-11-22
Posts: 45

Re: Panel problems after upgrading Xubuntu to 20.04.1

ToZ wrote:

It now uses the GTK3 transparency selector. See: https://docs.xfce.org/xfce/xfce4-panel/ … rent-panel.
Can you post a screenshot? [url=https://docs.xfce.org/xfce/xfce4-panel/theming]
Here [/url]is some info on theming/tweaking the xfce4-panel.

Thanks for the information. I have a screenshot, but it's the whole desktop, because the screen shooter can't select just the panel, and I can't figure out how to post it here. I uploaded it on Box: https://app.box.com/s/8yioost923mpujr91939djyi0wxms5lz .

I looked at /home/jjj/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css, but I couldn't figure out very much of it. 'Color' appeared over and over, each time usually different, and I don't know which one to fiddle with.

I did discover that transparency is no longer directly on the Appearance tab; rather it is part of the popup for selecting a custom color. I changed it to 0 there, but it made no difference. And when I went back to the custom color popup it was set back to 100%, i.e., changing it doesn't actually change it. I must be doing something wrong.

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#4 2020-10-07 19:36:03

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 7,111

Re: Panel problems after upgrading Xubuntu to 20.04.1

John Jason Jordan wrote:

I looked at /home/jjj/.config/gtk-3.0/gtk.css, but I couldn't figure out very much of it. 'Color' appeared over and over, each time usually different, and I don't know which one to fiddle with.

Can you rename this file (to something like gtk.css.bak) and restart the panel:

xfce4-panel -r

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#5 2020-10-07 21:36:23

John Jason Jordan
Member
Registered: 2019-11-22
Posts: 45

Re: Panel problems after upgrading Xubuntu to 20.04.1

ToZ wrote:

Can you rename this file (to something like gtk.css.bak) and restart the panel:

xfce4-panel -r

That worked!

I'm guessing that something in that file got screwed up during the dist-upgrade.

I've also noticed that apparently there is a way to make a backup of the settings for the panel. That gets done nightly on my laptop, where I have a cron job that copies everything from ~/ and important stuff from / to a different drive, but I've never bothered with the desktop because it is used just for listening to radio and playing movies. I should have backed up the desktop before the dist-upgrade.

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#6 2020-10-19 00:26:22

John Jason Jordan
Member
Registered: 2019-11-22
Posts: 45

Re: Panel problems after upgrading Xubuntu to 20.04.1

Well, yesterday I finally got around to doing the dist-upgrade from Xubuntu 18.04.5 to 20.04.1 on my laptop, and this time I knew how to fix the few problems that happened in the panel, thanks to what I learned above.

But there is a problem with the Notification Area plugin, that I can't figure out how to solve. For the first 24 hours it did not appear in the panel at all, and when I went to Panel Preferences > Add items, it was listed but grayed out. I meant to post here thinking it had been uninstalled or something, but just now I was using Deluge (a torrent client), which has an option to display its icon in the Notification Area, and suddenly it appeared. So the Notification Area is still there; it's just that the icons that used to appear there were all gone.

So now that I know I still have the Notification Area I looked in its properties to see if I could figure out why the other icons were missing. In the past I had a list of things that I could mark not to appear (kind of backwards from the way I would do things), not that it worked very well anyway. Well, now I have a list of things to display, and the only item in it is Deluge. And there is no Hidden column for it either.

The Help file says "The Known Applications section displays a list of all applications which have appeared in the Notification Area. You can hide applications by checking the boxes within the Hidden column. Hidden items are displayed in a list accessible by clicking the arrow button that appears beside the icons." This isn't very useful when the list is all but empty. What I need to figure out is how to add things to the Known Applications list, but the Help file doesn't address that. The Plugin must be getting the list from somewhere, so if I can find it I can manually add things. Or maybe there is something else that is wrong. Oh, and I use meteo (a weather app) that displays its icon in the Notification Area, and I just launched it and its icon does not appear. I also used to have an icon for Network Manager, but that is also missing, as is the icon for my VPN, which is supposed to be there.

I could use some suggestions. smile

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#7 2020-10-19 01:07:43

firstairbender
Member
From: Canada
Registered: 2020-08-28
Posts: 17

Re: Panel problems after upgrading Xubuntu to 20.04.1

John Jason Jordan wrote:

I could use some suggestions. smile

In this case, I usually just press the "Clear Known Applications" button, and this will repopulate the notification area with all the icons of programs that are still installed and running.

Also I would recommend you check your icon theme. Settings Manager -> Appearance -> Icons tab

Change it to something else if the icons are not appearing, and see if that changes anything.

Last edited by firstairbender (2020-10-19 01:10:51)

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#8 2020-10-19 01:35:26

John Jason Jordan
Member
Registered: 2019-11-22
Posts: 45

Re: Panel problems after upgrading Xubuntu to 20.04.1

Thanks for the suggestions.

First, I was using Elementary Xfce icon theme, so I tried several others, but it made no difference.

Second, I thought that Clear Known Applications would empty the list, not repopulate it, so I never tried it. So just now I did, and now the list is completely empty. All I had was Deluge, but that is now gone as well. Strangely, the icon for Deluge still appears in the Notification Area. I also tried refreshing the panel (xfce4-panel -r), but all that happened was that the order of Window Buttons was annoyingly reversed.

The Help file says that it's supposed to display a list of all applications that have appeared in the Notification Area. Well, except for Deluge, none have ever appeared there, so maybe that's why the list was empty. But if the list is empty, then nothing will ever appear there, so the list will always remain empty - a self fulfilling prophecy. smile

I need to figure out how the Notification Area gets a list of what to display. Whatever it is, mine is broken.

Oh, and I thought of just uninstalling and then reinstalling the Notification Area, but in Panel > Preferences it's grayed out. That may be another symptom that something is broken.

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#9 2020-10-19 02:44:43

firstairbender
Member
From: Canada
Registered: 2020-08-28
Posts: 17

Re: Panel problems after upgrading Xubuntu to 20.04.1

John Jason Jordan wrote:

Second, I thought that Clear Known Applications would empty the list, not repopulate it, so I never tried it. So just now I did, and now the list is completely empty.

Just close and reopen it again. You should see the list of applications which are currently running. I just tried it with mine

Peek-2020-10-18-20-41.gif

I would also recommend you try the suggestion here: https://askubuntu.com/questions/1099393 … indicators

Last edited by firstairbender (2020-10-19 02:55:08)

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#10 2020-10-19 05:32:06

John Jason Jordan
Member
Registered: 2019-11-22
Posts: 45

Re: Panel problems after upgrading Xubuntu to 20.04.1

Thanks - I had not closed the Notification Area properties window and then re-opened it. But when I did all I got was a list with Deluge in it. At the time two other applications were running that used to appear in Notification Area, plus network manager. Only Deluge appears.

As for the link, I read through it, but it appears to involve a different thing - indicator plugin, not Notification Area. And anyway, I already had all of the indicator plugin tools installed. Plus, it appears to deal with a bug early in the life of 18.04 - surely it has been fixed by now (although I didn't check to make sure.

There's something else going on, but I'm out of ideas. I'm especially curious why Deluge appears, but my weather app, my VPN, and network manager, all of which used to appear and are also running, do not appear. If I knew why I might have the solution.

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#11 2020-10-19 10:47:48

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 7,111

Re: Panel problems after upgrading Xubuntu to 20.04.1

Do you have the Status Notifier plugin running? Look for it on the panel, in your panel's Items tab or:

ps -ef | grep libstatusnotifier

I'm not sure when it was introduced into Xubuntu, but it displays application indicators and is an alternative to the Notification Area (in fact, in the upcoming 4.16, the two have been merged).

If it is not running or on your panel, try adding it to your panel to see if it displays the missing applications.

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#12 2020-10-19 17:54:59

John Jason Jordan
Member
Registered: 2019-11-22
Posts: 45

Re: Panel problems after upgrading Xubuntu to 20.04.1

ToZ wrote:

Do you have the Status Notifier plugin running? Look for it on the panel, in your panel's Items tab
If it is not running or on your panel, try adding it to your panel to see if it displays the missing applications.

It was available, and I installed it, and it displays all the icons that it is supposed to. I think I prefer the appearance of the Notification Area - icons are the same size, and are centered, but at least this is progress. And now we know that the application icons are correctly available; the problem is in the Notification Area.

I reinstalled xfce4-indicator-plugin, but I'm not sure if that's the package that provides the Notification Area. I thought that reinstalling it might clear up whatever's wrong with it. And I should add that this happened after a dist-upgrade on my laptop from 18.04.5 to 20.04.1, but previously I did the exact same dist-upgrade on my desktop computer, and its Notification Area is still working correctly.

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#13 2020-10-19 20:16:15

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 7,111

Re: Panel problems after upgrading Xubuntu to 20.04.1

It looks like the 20.04 version of nm-applet is patched to run as an appindicator (meaning it will show up on status notifier). For reference, see: https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/ne … 4-1ubuntu3, specifically the contents of the network-manager-applet_1.8.24-1ubuntu3.debian.tar.xz file's "Have-the-appindicator-enabled-by-default.patch" file, posted here:

From: Mathieu Trudel-Lapierre <mathieu@canonical.com>
Date: Fri, 20 May 2016 14:32:07 +0800
Subject: Have the appindicator enabled by default.

---
 src/main.c | 8 +++-----
 1 file changed, 3 insertions(+), 5 deletions(-)

Index: network-manager-applet-1.8.24/src/main.c
===================================================================
--- network-manager-applet-1.8.24.orig/src/main.c
+++ network-manager-applet-1.8.24/src/main.c
@@ -17,7 +17,7 @@
 
 gboolean shell_debug = FALSE;
 gboolean with_agent = TRUE;
-gboolean with_appindicator = FALSE;
+gboolean with_appindicator = TRUE;
 
 static void
 usage (const char *progname)
@@ -47,11 +47,9 @@ int main (int argc, char *argv[])
 			shell_debug = TRUE;
 		else if (!strcmp (argv[i], "--no-agent"))
 			with_agent = FALSE;
-		else if (!strcmp (argv[i], "--indicator")) {
+		else if (!strcmp (argv[i], "--no-indicator")) {
 #ifdef WITH_APPINDICATOR
-			with_appindicator = TRUE;
-#else
-			g_error ("Error: --indicator requested but indicator support not available");
+			with_appindicator = FALSE;
 #endif
 		}
 	}

According to this patch file, you can revert the functionality by running nm-applet with the "--no-indicator" parameter. To try it:

pkill nm-applet
nm-applet --no-indicator

...and it should show up in the Notification Area.

You can make this permanent by disabling the existing "Network (Manage you network connections)" item in Settings Manager > Session and Startup > Application Autostart and creating a new entry to run the command above.

The other apps that are missing may have similar options. For example, in deluge, the option exists at Edit > Preference > Interface > System Tray. Perhaps your VPN and weather apps have similar options.

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#14 2020-10-19 23:12:33

John Jason Jordan
Member
Registered: 2019-11-22
Posts: 45

Re: Panel problems after upgrading Xubuntu to 20.04.1

ToZ wrote:

According to this patch file, you can revert the functionality by running nm-applet with the "--no-indicator" parameter. To try it:

pkill nm-applet
nm-applet --no-indicator

...and it should show up in the Notification Area.

You can make this permanent by disabling the existing "Network (Manage you network connections)" item in Settings Manager > Session and Startup > Application Autostart and creating a new entry to run the command above.

The other apps that are missing may have similar options. For example, in deluge, the option exists at Edit > Preference > Interface > System Tray. Perhaps your VPN and weather apps have similar options.

That worked! Well, for network manager anyway. I haven't yet completely understood how to make it permanent, but I'll work on that later. And now I can work on the other apps. And some of them I don't even want. More importantly, the cause of the problem is now clear.

The only part I don't get is why the Notification Area on my desktop computer never lost the icon for the network manager applet, even though it just went through the exact same dist-upgrade. Oh well. Best to leave well enough alone. smile

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