Workaround for nautilus/panel crashes in Nevada 84, 85.

A number of people have encountered a bug which causes nautilus and panel to crash on login, preventing the desktop from being used.

The symptoms are:
  • Nautilus crashes immediately on login, bringing up bug-buddy dialog.
  • Panel crashes immediately after the user clicks the Launch menu.
  • Any application which makes use of gtk icons crashes.

The bug is only experienced on some hardware and may not occur on every install even on hardware where it fails. It is caused by a file access race condition during the post install phase. The file access conflict causes an ASSERT in the gtk-update-icon-cache which forces this application to core during install. The user is left with incomplete and corrupt icon cache which causes failures of all applications depending on the gtk icon cache.

The bug is described in more detail here: 6631419 - gtk-update-icon-cache dies on first boot after install/upgrade

Fortunately, there is a very simple workaround:
  • Login as root
  • Run the following:
    for d in /usr/share/icons/\*; do
           [ -d $d ] &&
                   gtk-update-icon-cache --force $d;
    done
    

This bug is intermittent and is known to exist in Nevada build 84 and build 85. It may exist in earlier builds on some hardware. The GNOME community's decision to enable application cores on ASSERT may have made some of these subtle underlying problems suddenly become much more frequent and obvious. A fix for bug 6631419 is committed for Nevada build 86.

CORRECTION: There was a discussion over enabling fail on assert within the GNOME community, but no change was recently made. The behavior is that on unstable (odd numbered) versions of gnome-session, fail on assert is enabled, but on even numbered builds it isn't.

Comments:

Thanks for the info. I just rebuilt my Tecra M2 laptop with B84 and gnome has been very flaky. On top of that the removal of the Afga fonts seems to causing numerous differences in text layout on various StarOffice docs.

Posted by Wayne Abbott on March 14, 2008 at 07:05 AM GMT+00:00 #

Wayne,

I'm glad to hear that this helped. The font weirdness might have been caused by a similar bug which is also caused by a crash during postinstall:

6578750 - fontconfig crash in FcPatternPosition. This will be fixed in snv_85:

Run "/usr/bin/fc-cache -sv" from the console, or a failsafe session as your user and as root

Posted by bnitz on March 14, 2008 at 07:12 AM GMT+00:00 #

Wayne,

I'm glad to hear that this helped. The font weirdness might have been caused by a similar bug which is also caused by a crash during postinstall:

6578750 - fontconfig crash in FcPatternPosition. This will be fixed in snv_85:

Run "/usr/bin/fc-cache -sv" from the console, or a failsafe session as your user and as root

Posted by bnitz on March 14, 2008 at 07:13 AM GMT+00:00 #

I'll give that a shot. The other font strangeness I'm seeing in when I use tabs in gnome-terminal. The first tab shows a nice anti-aliased font - when I open up a 2nd tab the same font is rendered in what seems like a monochrome output. I didn't see these problems on b83a :-(

Posted by Wayne Abbott on March 14, 2008 at 11:16 AM GMT+00:00 #

Thanks, very helpful !! I don't know if caused by the same problem but I was experiencing a gnome-panel crash after login using Indiana, preview 1 (snv_75a x86) and preview 2 (snv_79b x86). As you pointed out just on some hardwares. In order to avoid the crash I had to wait a few seconds after the login screen did appears and wait for solaris to read and load some programs from hard disk, and then enter my user+password. If I did enter my user+password inmediately after login screen the gnome-panel did crash.

Posted by Raul on March 14, 2008 at 05:35 PM GMT+00:00 #

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