View Full Version : [ubuntu] desktop not responding

June 27th, 2010, 05:12 AM
Currently running Ubuntu 10.04. Recently had problems with panels not appearing but desktop responded as normal.
NOW, it would appear my icons formerly occupying my desktop are gone, and i can no longer left or right click on the desktop or group select anything. All the panels function as they should, but now the desktop itself is not responding and as stated my desktop icons disappeared.

June 27th, 2010, 08:09 AM
I don't know quite what messes up in this fashion, but you can resolve the problem by toggling the GConf show_desktop setting off and on again. You can do this manually through the graphical gconf editor (in a terminal type: gconf-editor) or via the command line. I personally use this script, which I add to a custom menu category in my main menu, and call it "Toggle Show Desktop".

You need to toggle the setting "/apps/nautilus/preferences/show_desktop" to "false" and back to "true".

You can simply paste this script into a text file, save, chmod +x, and execute twice to achieve the same effect.


GCONFTOOL=`whereis gconftool | awk '{ print $2 }'`
ERROR_MSG="Failed to set gconf key $PATH with $GCONFTOOL; return status was $?."

if [[ $VALUE != "false" ]] ; then

$GCONFTOOL --type bool --set $PATH $NEW_VALUE

if [[ $? -ne 0 ]] ; then
gdialog --title "Error" --msgbox "$ERROR_MSG"

June 27th, 2010, 06:50 PM
"chmod +x"? Sorry, but as you can tell i'm not quite up on Linux terminology for the most part. But copy & pasting that into a terminal and running it twice DID fix my problem. Thank you very much for your help!

June 27th, 2010, 07:48 PM
No problem, glad it helped.

Regarding chmod +x, if you had saved it to a file (e.g. now you have a file called script.sh with that script in), then you'd have to give it executable permissions before you could run it. You do that with chmod +x:

chmod +x script.sh

and then you could run it with:


However, copying and pasting the whole thing works too :)

July 7th, 2010, 04:55 PM
^ thank you, had the same issue.

Don't run it as root though, sine it doesn't resolve anything that way