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I had installed and loved AWN, and had removed my last panel using these instructions. Everything was wonderful. However, apparently I was using an AWN package for Lucid - I'm on Maverick. After a recent run of the update manager, AWN was removed, and I now have no access to anything - can't get at any of my applications or folders. The only reason I'm able to even write this message is because I had installed the unity netbook packages to play with, so I restarted and booted into a netbook edition session.

Can someone help me get my desktop edition back? Is there a keyboard shortcut I don't know about to run a terminal window? I assume if I could get into terminal, I could reverse the instructions about hiding the last panel, and once I have a panel I could add the applications menu back, and then from there try to find a version of AWN that works on Maverick.

EDIT: Javier's answer below did get me back into the GUI with a panel that I was able to add the applications menu to. However, here's what I found. When I go into the software center to install AWN, it turns out I had previously installed it using a PPA that I found on launchpad, called PPA for AWN Testing Team (that's what shows up in the software center.) When I try to install AWN directly through the software center, it tells me I need to remove several packages that apparently got left behind (libawn1-trunk, python-awn-extras-trunk, and python-awn-trunk.) When I go into the PPA in the software center, I do see those packages, but clicking Remove doesn't actually do anything. It's like they're stuck. I tried to get into Synaptic to remove the packages from there, but when I try to run it from the applications menu, I get this error:

Failed to run /usr/sbin/synaptic as user root.

Unable to copy the user's Xauthorization file.

How can I get rid of those packages so I can reinstall AWN directly from the software center?

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what are the permissions of your .Xauthority file? –  RolandiXor Dec 3 '10 at 16:00
    
I don't even know what .Xauthority is; where do I find it? –  EmmyS Dec 3 '10 at 16:09
    
It's a hidden file in you home dir. In Nautilus choose View->Show hidden Files. –  Javier Rivera Dec 3 '10 at 16:28

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can usually use CTRL+ALT+T to open a new terminal, but I suspect that it wont work if gnome-panel is disabled.

You can use CTRL+ALT+F1 to move to a virtual terminal. You will nedd to log in, and then type this command.

DISPLAY=:0 gnome-panel &

Afterwards you should use CTL+ALT+F7 (sometimes it's F8) to get back to the GUI, the panel must be there. You should be able to restore your system now.

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This worked; edited main post with more info since the comments field isn't big enough. –  EmmyS Dec 3 '10 at 15:46
    
OK, I think I got it. I couldn't remove the packages from the software center because I couldn't log in as root. I came back into Unity, ran the software center, and when I tried to remove the packages, it did ask me to log in and removed the old packages. I then installed the new AWN packages. I'm going to restart and switch back over to a desktop session; hopefully this will let me get my AWN back to the way I had it before. –  EmmyS Dec 3 '10 at 16:15

Assuming you are using a gnome session, you can launch any application with: ALT-F2, from the run dialog type: "software-center" . AWN is available for maverick from the official repositories.

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Aren't Alt+F1, Alt+F2, etc bound through gnome-panel? I seem to remember that at some point the past when gnome-panel wouldn't load, I couldn't access the run dialogue. –  Oli Dec 3 '10 at 15:24
    
This is not going to work, ALT+F2 only works if gnome-panel is running (AWN user without panel here ;). –  Javier Rivera Dec 3 '10 at 15:24
    
I believe gnome-session keeps gnome-panel running even if you don't have any panel on the desktop. –  João Pinto Dec 3 '10 at 15:27
    
Ooppps, Oli answered first. –  Javier Rivera Dec 3 '10 at 15:28
    
I'll give all of these a shot and see what works. Thanks. –  EmmyS Dec 3 '10 at 15:30

Ctrl+Alt+F1 will dump you in a proper terminal. You should be able to install things using sudo apt-get install xxx.

You might find aptitude a useful thing to have in a situation like this (sudo apt-get install aptitude if you don't have it already) as it'll let you search for packages in quite a nice little text-mode interface.

If you need to run a graphical application from a proper terminal (proper name: TTY) you might find you get errors about not being able to find the display. You can fix this by running export DISPLAY=:0. This would be handy for loading AWN without having to restart.

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The easiest way to sort it out would be to right click on your desktop and select Create Launcher... from the menu type gconf-editor in the command box and give it a name so that you can remember what its for. Hit the ok button click on the icon and go back though to the gnome/session/required_components and change panel back to gnome-panel. close restart login hey presto panels are back. It depends on how many users use the computer other than you but having a short cut to a terminal on the desktop can be a life saver if you are "experimenting".

Hope this helps.

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