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#1 2023-08-28 12:19:28

forcedtopicksomething
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Registered: 2023-07-26
Posts: 56

How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

Many times a day, for a split second every once in a while, there is a new taskbar "bar"/group showing up visually: "Untitled Window". Then, right away, it disappears again.

I was only able to verify this by recording a video of my screen and waiting for it to happen, then rewinding the captured video frame by frame.

It's very distracting and annoying. What is happening? How to make it stop?

Is this maybe somehow related to my other major problem which causes the Xfce taskbar to crash and restart itself? (I never got that resolved and it keeps bugging me constantly.)

However, it doesn't seem to happen at the same time. The "Untitled Window" flashes by down there, stealing my attention, without the taskbar then "crashing & reloading".

Last edited by forcedtopicksomething (2023-08-28 12:20:40)

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#2 2023-08-28 13:55:43

ToZ
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Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

The first step is going to be identifying this "untitled window", which might be difficult. Have a look at your ~/.xsession-errors file right after it happens to see if something is logged.

Otherwise, you might need to enable and use something like auditd to audit all executing programs as a means of identifying it.

Once its identified, you can find the remedy to prevent it from happening.


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#3 2023-08-28 15:19:10

forcedtopicksomething
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Registered: 2023-07-26
Posts: 56

Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

Well, unsurprisingly, that file has nothing meaningful logged (it just happened before)...

But how can it happen to begin with?  What exactly *is* happening?

Why are these things apparently unique to my computer? From the sound of it, nobody on here, the forum of the authors of XFCE, has ever heard of my problems with the taskbar in XFCE. How is that possible?

Last edited by forcedtopicksomething (2023-08-28 15:20:40)

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#4 2023-08-28 16:02:12

ToZ
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Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

forcedtopicksomething wrote:

But how can it happen to begin with?  What exactly *is* happening?

This is something specific to your computer and its hard for us to immediately say why without enough information. A couple of things you can try:

  1. Create a second "test" user account on your computer. Log in with that account and see if the problem happens in that account as well.

  2. In my previous post, I had suggested using auditd. Not sure how familiar you are with that utility. Another simpler approach would be to install the "devilspie" package and in a terminal window run:

    devilspie -d

    ...in debug mode it will display all open windows (including title, class, etc). Leave this to run in a terminal window until the problem re-appears and then post back that last few lines - probably where "Window Titile" = "Untitled Window". The class entry on that line might help identify the culprit.

Why are these things apparently unique to my computer? From the sound of it, nobody on here, the forum of the authors of XFCE, has ever heard of my problems with the taskbar in XFCE. How is that possible?

Because its probably the result of some program or configuration that you made to your computer. The best way forward here is to try to identify the culprit.


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#5 2023-08-29 10:07:27

forcedtopicksomething
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Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

ToZ wrote:
devilspie -d

Well, after installing devilspie and running the command `devilspie -d`, it just outputs:

Devil's Pie 0.23 starting...
Loading /etc/devilspie
/etc/devilspie doesn't exist
Loading /home/a/.devilspie
/home/a/.devilspie doesn't exist
0 s-expressions loaded.
No s-expressions loaded, quiting

After running `mkdir` to create both of those dirs, it says:

Devil's Pie 0.23 starting...
Loading /etc/devilspie
Loading /home/a/.devilspie
0 s-expressions loaded.
No s-expressions loaded, quiting

Seems like it wants me to set it up somehow for the debug mode to run? I did try to search for this online before posting here, as well as reading the manpage and the README in the dir that it refers to. I can't figure out what it wants me to do for the command to actually run.

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#6 2023-09-01 06:49:12

forcedtopicksomething
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Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

Am I missing something obvious?

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#7 2023-09-01 09:48:10

ToZ
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Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

Odd. My version has a default debug one in /etc/devilspie.

Anyways, now that you have created ~/.devilspie, add the file debug.ds into the folder with the following content:

(debug)

...then retry:

devilspie -d

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#8 2023-09-01 18:50:12

forcedtopicksomething
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Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

Yes, that made it run. Even without encountering the glitch with the brief appearance of the "Untitled window" bar in the Xfce taskbar, I have made some potentially interesting observations:

Every minute, this is logged:

Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
[repeated many more times]

This is caused by my PHP CLI master loop script launching a bunch of "helpers" every minute, using commands such as:

xfce4-terminal --minimize -x php '/path/to/my/stuff.php' &

Normally, the only visual indication of this happening is that the little number on the "Xfce Terminal" taskbar group increases. This is (obviously) how I want it to be. For some unknown reason, it sometimes causes the split-second separate "Untitled window" bar to appear.

As for why the name is "Untitled window" instead of "Terminal", it's due to a bug with Xfce4-terminal (please fix!) which, if you have set the Title in the Xfce4-terminal preferences to "Replace initial title", causes it to IGNORE whatever initial title is in the box above. I have it set to the default, which is "Terminal". This is shown as empty/nothing in the actual window title until the script sets a custom title, and is shown as "Untitled window" in the little "list of instances" you get when you click the "Xfce Terminal" taskbar group.

Possibly, this bug (which has separately annoyed me for a long time) could be related to my issue?

I believe it just happened (the briefly appearing "Untitle window" bar), but devilspie did not log anything besides what I already quoted above. (I will naturally post more the next time it happens if there is something additional logged.)

PS: I should probably add that I have naturally tried this without the "replaces initial title" setting. It doesn't make the glitch go away.

Last edited by forcedtopicksomething (2023-09-01 18:51:42)

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#9 2023-09-01 19:17:41

ToZ
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Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

What version of xfce4-terminal are you running?

You may want to create a bug report for it, but first have a read of this old closed bug report to see if it might be somehow similar.


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#10 2023-09-01 19:29:22

forcedtopicksomething
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Posts: 56

Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

ToZ wrote:

What version of xfce4-terminal are you running?

Latest one in Debian 12: "xfce4-terminal/stable,now 1.0.4-1 amd64 [installed,automatic]"

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#11 2023-09-01 20:06:42

forcedtopicksomething
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Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

It just happened again. And this time, devilspie logged this, *DIFFERENT* line:

Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Untitled window'; Class: ''; Geometry: 988x558+466+257

Notice that the "Application Name" is 'Untitled window' here, unlike the other cases.

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#12 2023-09-01 21:47:13

ToZ
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Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

Well, that didn't help identify it.

Are you able to pause the "PHP CLI master loop script" to see if the problem goes away?


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#13 2023-09-02 08:29:10

forcedtopicksomething
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Posts: 56

Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

ToZ wrote:

Are you able to pause the "PHP CLI master loop script" to see if the problem goes away?

Well, yeah, but if I do that, I cripple my entire computer experience, and it seems pretty obvious that the problem would go away if I don't do anything in terms of launcing anything, etc. But that's like saying that the problem with the car would go away if I just keep it permanently in the garage and never drive anywhere! :-)

Nevertheless, I will make sure to exit it for long enough to verify that nothing happens in the taskbar when it's not running and doing its thing (meaning regularly launching helper-scripts as explained above).

Last edited by forcedtopicksomething (2023-09-02 08:30:00)

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#14 2023-09-02 16:09:22

forcedtopicksomething
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Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

I've had it off for over an hour now without seeing either any flash-appearing "Untitled window" bar nor has the XFCE taskbar reloaded itself. It's probably safe to conclude that it only happens when I actually "do stuff", meaning launching terminal instances as specified above.

I kept two normal Xfce Terminal instances up (so they formed a 2-group), just so things are similar to when there is a problem. They seem rock-solid. No hint of the issues I normally have.

But again, I'm now crippled. That master script launching things isn't doing anything weird. It's just one Xfce Terminal with a PHP CLI script, and that script launches a bunch of other Xfce Terminals each running their own PHP script. These scripts in turn don't do anything exotic to the "environment". And again, the issues don't happen consistently every minute or anything. Only "now and then", but often enough for there to obviously be something really wrong somewhere, and for it to be *really* annoying and stressful.

Is there some known issue with creating "too many" windows in XFCE at once or something? Should I use a slight delay between each launch? This was not necessary on Windows and so it feels really bad if this is needed on Linux...

Also, if it helps, the XFCE taskbar seems to like to crash when I click the group of Xfce Terminals while the number is rapidly going up...

Last edited by forcedtopicksomething (2023-09-02 16:10:15)

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#15 2023-09-02 16:21:44

ToZ
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Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

It might be worth creating a bug report for this.

and that script launches a bunch of other Xfce Terminals each running their own PHP script.

Is there any particular reason that you need to run these other scripts in a terminal window, as opposed to just a sub-shell?


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#16 2023-09-02 16:35:32

forcedtopicksomething
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Registered: 2023-07-26
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Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

ToZ wrote:

and that script launches a bunch of other Xfce Terminals each running their own PHP script.

Is there any particular reason that you need to run these other scripts in a terminal window, as opposed to just a sub-shell?

I'm frankly not sure what a sub-shell is, but each of the scripts give important terminal output as well as set the window title in the XTerm syntax which Xfce4-terminal supports. (Yes, I have tried to turn that off to see if that's what's causing the crashes, but it doesn't seem to be the case.)

Surely it cannot be a problem to have a bunch of terminals opened?

Last edited by forcedtopicksomething (2023-09-02 16:37:27)

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#17 2023-09-03 09:53:44

ToZ
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Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

I've been trying to come up with a test case where I can replicate this on my system.

My subscript is:

#!/bin/bash

xfce4-terminal --minimize -x echo test 

My main script is:

while true; do sleep 1; /home/toz/xtest & done

What I see is that the count in the Windows Button plugin keeps incrementing and decrementing - I don't see a different "Untitled Window" pop up. Can you test this to see if it generates an additional window on your system?

I'm frankly not sure what a sub-shell is

In my example, that would be changing the sub script to not run in xfce4-terminal, but just in the shell:

#!/bin/bash

echo test 

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#18 2023-09-04 19:07:13

forcedtopicksomething
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Registered: 2023-07-26
Posts: 56

Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

I made a clean experiment using your scripts (of course changing the path inside to the right one): First I shut down my own scripts entirely. I then created xtest.sh and test.sh, placed them on the desktop, opened a terminal and ran "devilspie -d", started a fullscreen recording with OBS, and finally ran test.sh from another terminal. It started flashing the "Untitled window" bar in the taskbar, and this output happened:

Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 988x558+466+257
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Untitled window'; Class: ''; Geometry: 1x1+0+0
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Untitled window'; Class: ''; Geometry: 988x558+466+257
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 988x558+466+257
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
Window Title: 'Untitled window'; Application Name: 'Xfce Terminal'; Class: 'Xfce4-terminal'; Geometry: 996x586+462+233
(at this point I stopped)

Notice how many instances of the expected window show up in a row after the initial "chaotic" moment. **This is in spite of the "Untitled window" kept showing up visually!** Very bizarre. So devilspie didn't "catch" it, yet it shows up visually. I verified this by looking at the recording frame by frame.

(To make it clear, the Xfce4-terminal application group in the taskbar was alternating between 3 and 2 in the number circle while this was going on, just like for you.)

I truly have no idea what to make of this and it's driving me insane.

Last edited by forcedtopicksomething (2023-09-04 19:08:36)

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#19 2023-09-04 22:13:40

ToZ
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Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

To totally rule out a profile configuration issue, can you create another test user, copy your scripts there, and run them. So if the issue replicates in a fresh user account.


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#20 2023-09-05 13:36:15

forcedtopicksomething
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Posts: 56

Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

ToZ wrote:

To totally rule out a profile configuration issue, can you create another test user, copy your scripts there, and run them. So if the issue replicates in a fresh user account.

When you say "your scripts", do you mean the test ones you made, or my actual complex system? If the latter, this will be extremely messy and problematic...

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#21 2023-09-05 13:40:45

ToZ
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Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

Since you were able to replicate the problem with my scripts, try them.


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#22 2023-09-08 13:00:19

forcedtopicksomething
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Posts: 56

Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

Sorry for taking so long to respond, but I've really had to muster up the energy to perform this test. But now it's done, and these are my findings:

I created a new user and logged in to it. This of course means that I get the stock/vanilla XFCE -- none of my many changes that I, as well as the Chicago95 theme, have applied.

I ran your minimal script again, and was able to see some bar flashing by at least once in the taskbar. I was definitely able to crash the taskbar by right-clicking on the Xfce4-terminal taskbar group and pressing "Launch new instance". I was able to crash it twice this way, but not more. After that, I tried numerous times but was not able to crash it. I also didn't notice any more "flashing" (briefly appearing item in the taskbar) after that. I tried opening all kinds of things, minimizing them, having them open, closing, launching more terminals, etc. I couldn't reproduce it after that initial moment. I have no idea what that means.

Also, just to make it clear: even in my normal environment with my normal user, this crashing of the taskbar and the flashing taskbar item is not consistent or reliable. It seems to get "triggered" by some sort of unknown state. It's insanely stressful and messes with my mind. It's really puzzling to me that it keeps happening (unreliably) even in this minimal test case. To me, this verifies that it's not something that my scripts were doing, and it's not something wrong with my XFCE/whatever configuration. To me, it appears as if this is what XFCE itself is programmed to do given "some sort of unknown state".

But what state is that? It may be a coincidence that the taskbar crashed when I clicked to open a new instance of Xfce4-terminal, but I also seem to recall this happening in my normal environment when I do the same thing, or even when I just click the Xfce4-terminal tab group to bring up the list of them. As if that "tickles" XFCE somehow.

I hope I don't have to make more tests in that minimal environment as I become crippled while not logged into my normal user's environment. I also hope that this information can somehow help you determine what is wrong.

If this is somehow truly unique to my computer, why would it happen inconsistently? It doesn't seem to be some fundamental hardware issue causing it or anything, or else it would happen every time, no?

While typing that last sentence above, I again saw the damn "unititled window" flashing by down there. Grrrrr.

Last edited by forcedtopicksomething (2023-09-08 13:03:00)

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#23 2023-09-08 17:08:17

ToZ
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Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

Lets look at the xfce4-panel crash. You can use "coredumpctl list" to list all crash dumps on your system. Find the latest xfce4-panel crash's PID and run:

coredumpctl info PID --no-pager

Post back the output - lets see if there is enough debug info there for a developer to have a closer look.

As for the flashing "untitled window", you could create a bug report, but it would be very helpful if it was reproducable in some manner.


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#24 2023-09-08 17:29:32

forcedtopicksomething
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Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

ToZ wrote:

Find the latest xfce4-panel crash's PID

Got stuck on this step. Been browsing journalctl in an attempt to find anything. But even if I had it, I suspect that I couldn't post the dump because of security/privacy reasons.

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#25 2023-09-08 18:49:27

ToZ
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Posts: 11,202

Re: How to get rid of the "Untitled Window" flashing by?

Run the command:

coredumpctl list

You should have at least one entry for xfce4-panel. Those towards the end of the list are the latest.


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