hanging after Gnome logout (fwd)

Mike Miller mbmiller+l at gmail.com
Tue May 12 20:49:04 BST 2009

Apparently this problem was caused by Gnome crashing the X server, 
probably because I did many updates without restarting Gnome.  Just 
thought I'd share this little conversation with myself in case someone 
else has to deal with it someday (it didn't get to the list earlier 
because the list's server was down).  --Mike

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 5 May 2009 11:43:37 -0500 (CDT)
Subject: Re: hanging after Gnome logout

On Tue, 5 May 2009, Mike Miller wrote:

> I'm using Gnome with Ubuntu 8.10.  I do most of my work in an Xvnc 
> session running IceWM to which I connect with vncviewer in Gnome. Today 
> when I left my computer, I accidentally clicked "Log Out" in Gnome 
> instead of clicking "Lock Screen".  To my surprise it did not prompt 
> with "are you sure" or anything else and it simply closed all the 
> windows, killed Gnome and restarted it, or at least that's what it 
> looked like to me.  Once I was back in Gnome I started the vncviewer 
> again and discovered that my IceWM Xvnc session was there but it was 
> clearly damaged -- no window borders, I can't change windows, I can't go 
> to a different workspace, etc. So Ice is completely hanging.
> I don't understand why that happened or how this works and I don't know 
> if there is any hope of recovering what I was working on in the VNC 
> session. I am now thinking that logging out of Gnome causes X11 to reset 
> or something like that, and that destroys Xvnc.  So I probably have 
> something like 30 programs running within IceWM and I'm thinking maybe I 
> need to just reboot and forget about it.  Is it really hopeless?  The 
> really sad thing is that all the programs can be seen to be running 
> using "ps" but I can see no way to access them, to close the normally, 
> to save my work.
> Any ideas?

It looks like logging out of Gnome somehow killed all of these processes 
used by IceWM:


I just did a test by logging out of Gnome with a new IceWM session running 
in a new VNC session.  No problem.

There definitely was something pathological about the earlier Gnome log 
out. It went to a console prompt for a while.  I think it was a total 
restart of X, probably because of updates.  I assume restarting X will 
kill IceWM.  Something to watch out for in the future!!

Apparently it is now time for rebooting, updating, upgrading Ubuntu, etc. 
That last VNC session with IceWM ran for 2.5 months uninterrupted and the 
Ubuntu box has gone 89 days without a reboot.


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