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#1 2021-04-17 17:13:53

tangram
Member
Registered: 2021-04-17
Posts: 12

Archlinux, xfce4 desktop with no panels and no desktop icons

Hi xfce4 users
I wanted give a try to xfce4 and I've installed it to my new Archlinux installation.
After start it turned out that I haven't any panels and no desktop icons.
I posted this issue on Arch mailing list, we were looking for a solution for two weeks
unfortunately without success.
You are my last chance, here is link to whole Arch forum thread:

https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=265371

Thanks in advance for any hints, help

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#2 2021-04-17 18:04:41

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 7,650

Re: Archlinux, xfce4 desktop with no panels and no desktop icons

Hello and welcome.

It is a really interesting problem you are having and some strange error messages that don't appear on a default Xfce install on Arch. I have a few suggestions to try, not sure how helpful they might be:

1. Before logging in, delete the contents of ~/.cache/sessions (maybe there is something from a previous session saved there that is interfering).

2. Try disabling the compositor:

xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/use_compositing -s false

...and see if the panel displays. And if not,

3. Manually restart the panel in debug mode:

xfce4-panel -q
PANEL_DEBUG=1 xfce4-panel

Feel free to post back the output of that debug command.

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#3 2021-04-18 13:08:37

tangram
Member
Registered: 2021-04-17
Posts: 12

Re: Archlinux, xfce4 desktop with no panels and no desktop icons

Yes, indeed the problem is very interesting and it would be a pity not to analyze it to the end
therefore I stayed with xfce4 but honestly this issue drives me a bit crazy
OK let's check
1. Yes I knew it, it is a method I start xfce4desktop again and again ...
2. After disabling compositor panel stayed hidden
3. Debug output from:

PANEL_DEBUG=1 xfce4-panel > xfce4-panel.debug 2>&1 &

returned link
There are a lot of garcon critical messages related to xfce4-panel

Last edited by tangram (2021-04-18 13:12:37)

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#4 2021-04-18 14:18:15

tangram
Member
Registered: 2021-04-17
Posts: 12

Re: Archlinux, xfce4 desktop with no panels and no desktop icons

Latest news colleagues
After I post last message I thought what will happen if I turn compositor again on ...
I started new session and did it and suddenly my screen changed to white visible windows disappeared only mouse stayed and  worked I left my xfce4 session and via command line turned compositor off
went back to tty where I've started x session and desktop and previously windows were visible again
therefore I think:
My issue direct or indirect have something to do with compositor.
As side effect since i turned off compositor I don't need to clean my .cache/sessions, starting xfce4 session works every time ( not once per day and second time white screen)
It was small step ahead, I think we are on right path ToZ

Last edited by tangram (2021-04-18 14:18:46)

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#5 2021-04-18 16:35:59

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 7,650

Re: Archlinux, xfce4 desktop with no panels and no desktop icons

What video card and video driver are you using?

Have a read of this and try different vblank modes (with the compositor enabled) to see if that makes a difference.

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#6 2021-04-18 18:53:15

tangram
Member
Registered: 2021-04-17
Posts: 12

Re: Archlinux, xfce4 desktop with no panels and no desktop icons

Hi ToZ
My video card is

01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. [AMD/ATI] Park [Mobility Radeon HD 5430/5450/5470] (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
Subsystem: ASUSTeK Computer Inc. Device 1bf2
Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 30
Memory at c0000000 (64-bit, prefetchable) [size=256M]
Memory at d0020000 (64-bit, non-prefetchable) [size=128K]
I/O ports at d000 [size=256]
Expansion ROM at 000c0000 [disabled] [size=128K]
Capabilities: [50] Power Management version 3
Capabilities: [58] Express Legacy Endpoint, MSI 00
Capabilities: [a0] MSI: Enable+ Count=1/1 Maskable- 64bit+
Capabilities: [100] Vendor Specific Information: ID=0001 Rev=1 Len=010 <?>
Kernel driver in use: radeon
Kernel modules: radeon

I'm using radeon as my video driver ( local/xf86-video-ati 1:19.1.0-2 (xorg-drivers) )

Yes, I've read your topic about compositor's vblank setting
finally I've tried all mentioned vblank modes except "auto" which is in my xfwm4 "unrecognized compositor option"
The vblank mode changes did not make the xfce4-panel visible

Last edited by tangram (2021-04-18 19:42:34)

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#7 2021-04-18 19:16:57

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 7,650

Re: Archlinux, xfce4 desktop with no panels and no desktop icons

Do you have libxpresent installed?

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#8 2021-04-18 19:38:06

tangram
Member
Registered: 2021-04-17
Posts: 12

Re: Archlinux, xfce4 desktop with no panels and no desktop icons

Yes I have

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#9 2021-04-18 20:20:18

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 7,650

Re: Archlinux, xfce4 desktop with no panels and no desktop icons

Is this a laptop?

Do you have two monitors connected? If so, can you remove one and test again.

With vblank mode set to xpresent, can you restart the computer and then one more time and if still no panel visible:

xfce4-panel -q
PANEL_DEBUG=1 xfce4-panel

Edit: any error messages in your xorg log file around your video card?

Last edited by ToZ (2021-04-18 20:21:12)

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#10 2021-04-19 12:39:09

tangram
Member
Registered: 2021-04-17
Posts: 12

Re: Archlinux, xfce4 desktop with no panels and no desktop icons

Yes it is.
No only one external monitor connected.
OK. More information in the evening.

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#11 2021-04-20 13:48:20

tangram
Member
Registered: 2021-04-17
Posts: 12

Re: Archlinux, xfce4 desktop with no panels and no desktop icons

Hi ToZ
I'm sorry for the lack of response but I'm snowed under with work.
Maybe I'll find time in the evening

Last edited by tangram (2021-04-20 13:48:41)

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#12 2021-04-21 18:15:32

tangram
Member
Registered: 2021-04-17
Posts: 12

Re: Archlinux, xfce4 desktop with no panels and no desktop icons

Hello again
In xfce4 when I set vblank mode to xpresent: "xfwm4 --vblank=xpresent --replace &"
I observed that my setting is not persistent
Immediately after I called xfconf-query: "xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/vblank_mode"
which returned "auto"

I restarted computer started xfce4 and checked it again the same "auto"

I left xfce4 and in command line I've found that this setting is stored in
my ~/.config/xfce4/xfconf/xfce-perchannel-xml/xfwm4.xml file
I've edited this file, changed auto to xpresent and stared xfce4 session again
No effect "xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/vblank_mode" still returns "auto"
It seems like vblank setting is either hard coded ? No impossible or I've changed it in wrong file
or there is a bug

With vblank (still) set to auto I've prepared DBG from xfce4-panel start

In my xorg log file I have two minor (I hope) error messages not related to graphic card:

[  1105.239] (EE) event3  - Dell KB216 Wired Keyboard: client bug: event processing lagging behind by 12ms, your system is too slow
[  1155.814] (EE) event3  - Dell KB216 Wired Keyboard: client bug: event processing lagging behind by 11ms, your system is too slow

Last edited by tangram (2021-04-21 18:20:51)

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#13 2021-04-21 19:24:15

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 7,650

Re: Archlinux, xfce4 desktop with no panels and no desktop icons

To change the vblank mode, run:

xfconf-query -c xfwm4 -p /general/vblank_mode -t string -s xpresent --create

...and it will be saved for future use.

Also disconnect external monitor, reboot with new vblank mode and see if there is any difference.

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#14 2021-04-22 19:14:54

tangram
Member
Registered: 2021-04-17
Posts: 12

Re: Archlinux, xfce4 desktop with no panels and no desktop icons

Hi
The good news first - on laptop display all work like a dream.
I didn't need  your command to set vblank.
It was already set by me (via cfg file) yesterday but I couldn't see the effect because external monitor was connected.
I've started immediately to tweak display settings (xfce4 settings center) i.e. to set external display as primary (I thought if I set it to primary maybe rest would be visible - false)
Conclusion is: independent which one display I set as primary I can't see panels and icons on external monitor.
I can view both screens in parallel but panels and icons are only visible on laptops screen.
Summary:
1. All work only on laptop's screen
2. Compositor is still set to off
Question:
What shall I do so that I can see panel & co on external display (which is in fact my primary and only work display) ?

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#15 2021-04-22 21:26:39

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 7,650

Re: Archlinux, xfce4 desktop with no panels and no desktop icons

With external monitor plugged in, what does the following return:

xrandr

Is it possible that the screen size of the external monitor is larger than the actual resolution and the panel is the area that is not displayed? In other works, if you move the panel to the middle of the screen and then set the external as primary, do you see the panel?

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#16 2021-04-23 16:43:49

tangram
Member
Registered: 2021-04-17
Posts: 12

Re: Archlinux, xfce4 desktop with no panels and no desktop icons

With external monitor plugged in and set as primary display xrandr returned:

Screen 0: minimum 320 x 200, current 3286 x 1080, maximum 8192 x 8192
LVDS connected 1366x768+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 0mm x 0mm
   1366x768      59.99*+
   1280x720      59.97 
   1152x768      59.95 
   1024x768      59.95 
   800x600       59.96 
   848x480       59.94 
   720x480       59.94 
   640x480       59.94 
HDMI-0 connected primary 1920x1080+1366+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 527mm x 297mm
   1920x1080     60.00*+
   1600x900      60.00 
   1280x1024     75.02    60.02 
   1152x864      75.00 
   1024x768      75.03    60.00 
   800x600       75.00    60.32 
   640x480       75.00    59.94 
   720x400       70.08 
VGA-0 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)

Good news again.
Settings are powerful tool.
I wanted to do as you recommend but first I tried...
In external monitor view, I've run:
Settings -> Panel -> Panel 1 -> Output (just for try I've changed it from automatic to HDMI-0)
and ... the panel immediately showed up :-)
I did the same for panel 2 - here you are - Panel 2 visible.
Then I went to desktop settings -> tab "icons" I've set checkbox "Show icons on primary display" - icons visible.
I restarted computer twice for test and all is persistent.
It looks as if everything is working.

What display manager (login manager) for xfce4 would you recommend ?

Last edited by tangram (2021-04-23 17:08:26)

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#17 2021-04-23 19:43:20

ToZ
Moderator
From: Canada
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 7,650

Re: Archlinux, xfce4 desktop with no panels and no desktop icons

tangram wrote:

What display manager (login manager) for xfce4 would you recommend ?

lightdm seems to be the most popular/common one, but you could use anyone. Or none at all.

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#18 2021-04-24 00:01:29

zo7aladam
Member
Registered: 2021-04-22
Posts: 3

Re: Archlinux, xfce4 desktop with no panels and no desktop icons

what is the output of :

glxinfo | grep "direct rendering"

Last edited by zo7aladam (2021-04-24 00:02:14)

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#19 2021-04-24 07:50:39

tangram
Member
Registered: 2021-04-17
Posts: 12

Re: Archlinux, xfce4 desktop with no panels and no desktop icons

Hi everybody

@ToZ
Thanks for your help and support
We brought this story to the end.
Btw - compositor works also.
Shall I mark this thread as solved ?

@zo7aladam
I saw your post (I mean your issue thread) I'll send you output in the evening

Last edited by tangram (2021-04-24 08:46:20)

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#20 2021-04-26 19:07:44

tangram
Member
Registered: 2021-04-17
Posts: 12

Re: Archlinux, xfce4 desktop with no panels and no desktop icons

@zo7aladam Sorry for late answer. Currently I don't have glxinfo installed.

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