Applications and Files in Unity disappeared

Asked by Mannex on 2011-05-10

Unity was working fine. I was installing some Pulse Audio packages, as well as Skype. Software Center reported that it was unable to connect to one of the sources, yet all the selected applications appeared to successfully install. Now, Unity shows NO applications or files. Windows-F and Windows-A do nothing other than flash the dash for a second or so. Pressing any of the top row buttons in the Unity shortcuts does absolutely nothing. Typing a known application name results in a blank screen.

How do I rebuild the database of applications? Help!

Question information

Language:
English Edit question
Status:
Solved
For:
Ubuntu unity Edit question
Assignee:
No assignee Edit question
Solved by:
Mannex
Solved:
2011-06-24
Last query:
2011-06-24
Last reply:
2011-06-16
Mannex (russ-mannex) said : #1

I am beginning to suspect this is a zeitgeist-related problem. A manual attempt at invoking the gnome-activity-journal resulted in the following:

mannex@Leviathan:~$ gnome-activity-journal
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/bin/gnome-activity-journal", line 94, in <module>
    from src.main import PortalWindow
  File "/usr/share/gnome-activity-journal/src/main.py", line 30, in <module>
    from activity_widgets import MultiViewContainer, TimelineViewContainer, ThumbViewContainer
  File "/usr/share/gnome-activity-journal/src/activity_widgets.py", line 35, in <module>
    from store import ContentStruct, CLIENT
  File "/usr/share/gnome-activity-journal/src/store.py", line 504, in <module>
    STORE = Store()
  File "/usr/share/gnome-activity-journal/src/store.py", line 367, in __init__
    days_population = ZeitgeistDBusInterface().get_extension("Log", "journal/activity").GetHistogramData()
  File "/usr/lib/pymodules/python2.7/zeitgeist/client.py", line 108, in __getattr__
    raise TypeError("Unknown method name: %s" % name)
TypeError: Unknown method name: GetHistogramData
mannex@Leviathan:~$

Any information on repairing this will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Mannex (russ-mannex) said : #2

I attempted to change the package for this question to gnome-zeitgeist, but launchpad kept saying there was an error. So, if anyone can help me with that as well, much appreciated.

Mannex (russ-mannex) said : #3

Um... OK, two days have gone by with nary a peep from anyone. So here's what I'm thinking: If I can break Unity this badly without even trying, and no one seems to know how to go about fixing it, then maybe it's time for Canonical to dump Unity in the trash and try something different. Can it be that not a single soul out there has any idea what's wrong here? Booting without Unity (classic) seems to be fine, and all my apps are in the menus. Any ideas? Anyone? Hello? <he waits for a response in complete silence sans the gentle chirping of crickets...>

Mannex (russ-mannex) said : #4

New info. I installed Synapse, and it seems to be able to find things. Since Synapse uses the Zeitgeist db, it looks like the problem is not with zeitgeist. So... why is the unity interface not able to read the zeitgeist db? Any help on this will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Mannex (russ-mannex) said : #5

Additional info. Logging in as another user (i.e. root) yielded the same results -- no apps appear in Unity. Thus, it does not seem to be localized to my login ID. Additionally, when unity is launched by cli with the --verbose option, I get the following (edited for brevity):

mannex@Leviathan:~$ unity --verbose
unity-panel-service: no process found
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libcore.so : No such file or directory
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /usr/lib/compiz/libcore.so : No such file or directory
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libccp.so : No such file or directory
Backend : gconf
Integration : true
Profile : unity
Adding plugins
Initializing core options...done
Window created on XQueryTree, map state isViewable? 0
Window created on XQueryTree, map state isViewable? 0
[... a lot of these ...]
Window created on XQueryTree, map state isViewable? 0
Window created on XQueryTree, map state isViewable? 0
Window created on XQueryTree, map state isViewable? 1
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libbailer.so : No such file or directory
Initializing bailer options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libdetection.so : No such file or directory
Initializing detection options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libcomposite.so : No such file or directory
Initializing composite options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libopengl.so : No such file or directory
Initializing opengl options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libdecor.so : No such file or directory
Initializing decor options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libmousepoll.so : No such file or directory
Initializing mousepoll options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libvpswitch.so : No such file or directory
Initializing vpswitch options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libregex.so : No such file or directory
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libanimation.so : No such file or directory
Initializing animation options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libsnap.so : No such file or directory
Initializing snap options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libexpo.so : No such file or directory
Initializing expo options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libmove.so : No such file or directory
Initializing move options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libcompiztoolbox.so : No such file or directory
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libplace.so : No such file or directory
Initializing place options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libgrid.so : No such file or directory
Initializing grid options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libimgpng.so : No such file or directory
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libgnomecompat.so : No such file or directory
Initializing gnomecompat options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libwall.so : No such file or directory
Initializing wall options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libezoom.so : No such file or directory
Initializing ezoom options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libworkarounds.so : No such file or directory
Initializing workarounds options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libstaticswitcher.so : No such file or directory
Initializing staticswitcher options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libresize.so : No such file or directory
Initializing resize options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libfade.so : No such file or directory
Initializing fade options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libunitymtgrabhandles.so : No such file or directory
Initializing unitymtgrabhandles options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libscale.so : No such file or directory
Initializing scale options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libsession.so : No such file or directory
Initializing session options...done
compiz (core) - Debug: Could not stat() file /home/mannex/.compiz-1/plugins/libunityshell.so : No such file or directory
** (<unknown>:334): DEBUG: Unity accessibility initialization
** (<unknown>:334): DEBUG: Shows on edge: 1

Screen geometry changed:
  Monitor 0(primary)
   0x0x1366x768

unity-panel-service: no process found
** (<unknown>:334): DEBUG: PanelController:: Added Panel for Monitor 0
Initializing unityshell options...done
** (<unknown>:334): DEBUG: MaximizeIfBigEnough: Gnome-terminal window size doesn't fit

** (<unknown>:334): WARNING **: Unable to enumerate contents of /usr/share/unity/places: No such file or directory
Starting unity-window-decorator
** (<unknown>:334): DEBUG: Setting to primary screen rect: x=0 y=0 w=1366 h=768

** (<unknown>:334): WARNING **: Failed to fetch view type at /org/ayatana/bamf/window106954783: Method "ViewType" with signature "" on interface "org.ayatana.bamf.view" doesn't exist

** (<unknown>:334): DEBUG: Acquired the name com.canonical.Unity.Launcher on the session bus

** (<unknown>:334): DEBUG: TrayChild Rejected: Firestarter firestarter Firestarter
** (<unknown>:334): DEBUG: TrayChild Rejected: Firestarter firestarter Firestarter
** (<unknown>:334): DEBUG: IndicatorAdded: libapplication.so
** (<unknown>:334): DEBUG: IndicatorAdded: libsoundmenu.so
** (<unknown>:334): DEBUG: IndicatorAdded: libmessaging.so
** (<unknown>:334): DEBUG: IndicatorAdded: libdatetime.so
** (<unknown>:334): DEBUG: IndicatorAdded: libme.so
** (<unknown>:334): DEBUG: IndicatorAdded: libsession.so
Setting Update "deform"
Setting Update "curve"
Setting Update "run_command_terminal_key"
Setting Update "fullscreen_visual_bell"
Setting Update "panel_opacity"
Setting Update "icon_size"

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) said : #6

This question was expired because it remained in the 'Open' state without activity for the last 15 days.

Mannex (russ-mannex) said : #7

I do not think this should simply go away just because no one has anything to say about it. It is still a problem, and is preventing me from using the Unity desktop.

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) said : #8

This question was expired because it remained in the 'Open' state without activity for the last 15 days.

Mannex (russ-mannex) said : #9

This is still an issue.

JamesH (jnahughes) said : #10

I have the same problem - just updated to the latest Zeitgeist, and have exactly the same symptoms - no access to applications, and the top icons in start thingy don't work. Machine is up to date with all latest Ubuntu packages.

Definitely a Zeitgeist problem.

Mannex (russ-mannex) said : #11

Thank GOD somebody else has the same issue! I was seriously thinking about buying extra sessions at the therapist for hallucinations! It does seem to be Zeitgeist. Note, however, that synapse still works fine, and my understanding is that synapse uses Zeitgeist. So... I think the info in Zeitgeist is intact, but the Unity interface is having problems reading it. Or, the info is corrupted, but synapse is ignoring the bad data perhaps? Any help on this will be greatly appreciated. I might just throw in a keg o' ale :)

JamesH (jnahughes) said : #12

Either of those thoughts sound feasible.

I do remember that when I installed the latest Zeitgeist, using the Zeitgeist PPA (http://ppa.launchpad.net/zeitgeist/ppa/ubuntu) it removed some package with unity in its name - but I cannot remember specifically what. I also wonder if I haven't installed enough packages - I need to check that to if any are missed.

No other information to report though.

Mannex (russ-mannex) said : #13

Typically, if you install a package that requires another, the apt system should be smart enough to also install the requisite package(s), as well as handle any package conflicts. It is fairly robust at this, assuming the package was built correctly. However, if apt uninstalled something that Unity needs, that could be very bad. Very bad indeed.

You might peruse through the synaptic package manager, search for "unity" and see if there are any obvious packages that are not installed. Just a thought.

Mannex (russ-mannex) said : #14

Wow. I think that worked. OK, I am running the Unity desktop right now, and it seems to be working much better. App menus and everything. Here's what I did. I went to the synaptic package manager and installed unity-place-applications and unity-place-files. I am assuming they should have been installed all along, but somehow got uninstalled. Try it and let me know how that works. Yay! Finally! Come on over to California and I'll buy you a beer!

JamesH (jnahughes) said : #15

I think you have the answer - just saw this http://askubuntu.com/questions/45560/unity-stopped-working-after-zeitgeist-uninstall which gives the same fix.

Also this may be relevent to the packaging side of things.

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/unity-place-applications/+bug/688926

I'll give it a go this evening when I get home.

Cheers.

JamesH (jnahughes) said : #16

Yes, installing those packages and restarting Unity got everything back. Thanks!

Mannex (russ-mannex) said : #17

Here's a summary, for those experiencing the same problem. In short, we're not sure action originally led to this problem, but somehow at least two packages were inadvertently uninstalled: unity-place-applications and unity-place-files. The removal of these packages seems to cause Unity to seemingly forget what applications were installed (and probably what files as well). Zeitgeist seems to still work, and remembers newly installed packages.

To fix the problem, simply reinstall the unity-place-applications and unity-place-files packages, then restart just to be safe.