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I have been facing multiple problems after upgrading to ubuntu 14.04. All the problems are related to the desktop interface.

After upgradation, I have been unable to change my wallpaper. Firstly wallch (a program which automatically changes wallpapers) started becoming unresponsive. I used it to set a wallpaper but due to its unresponsiveness, I uninstalled it. Then I tried changing the wallpaper from the "Appreance Settings" but was unsuccessful. I also tried the "Set as wallpaper" option which we get when we right-click an image file (lets call it imgA) but was still unsuccessful. I then checked the value of the desktop-background in dconf-editor and it was showing the value path to imgA file but the background which is displayed is a completely different image.

I also tried re-installing unity and nautilus packages from synaptic but still the problem persists.

Another issue I started facing was when minimizing windows, from the window bar, unity hangs when I minimize the last of all the opened windows and only responds when I press 'Alt'

I recently installed playonlinux and played a couple of games in the full screen mode. When I exit from any game, the desktop backrgound goes all black and I have to logout and login again to restore the background.

I am assuming that the above 3 problems are connected somehow.

I am using a Dell laptop with intel graphics card.

Let me know if further information is required from my side.

-- EDIT --

As suggested in the comment below, I opened the unity-control-center from the terminal. Here's the ouput:

(unity-control-center:15831): Gtk-CRITICAL **: gtk_radio_button_set_group: assertion '!g_slist_find (group, radio_button)' failed

(unity-control-center:15831): Gtk-CRITICAL **: gtk_radio_button_set_group: assertion '!g_slist_find (group, radio_button)' failed

(unity-control-center:15831): Gtk-CRITICAL **: gtk_radio_button_set_group: assertion '!g_slist_find (group, radio_button)' failed

(unity-control-center:15831): unity-control-center-WARNING **: Could not load /usr/share/themes/HighContrast/index.theme: No such file or directory

(unity-control-center:15831): GLib-GObject-CRITICAL **: g_object_unref: assertion 'G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed
*** BUG ***
In pixman_region32_init_rect: Invalid rectangle passed
Set a breakpoint on '_pixman_log_error' to debug


(unity-control-center:15831): unity-control-center-WARNING **: Failed to load picture '/home/user1/Pictures/big_4c5beb001d9090853e1bf9af24147e63de79edf0.jpg': Error opening file: Too many open files

(unity-control-center:15831): unity-control-center-WARNING **: Failed to load picture '/home/user1/Pictures/big_4d1a4510071da06bfe2351d0a59c54271c7bda3a.png': Error opening file: Too many open files

(unity-control-center:15831): unity-control-center-WARNING **: Failed to load picture '/home/user1/Pictures/big_04b22aa796b650c7364bd84da515d8b527f5dcbd.png': Error opening file: Too many open files

(unity-control-center:15831): unity-control-center-WARNING **: Failed to load picture '/home/user1/Pictures/big_4aac96caa049ac3e5a62a90c78f21945b1b27ce6.jpg': Error opening file: Too many open files

.... many of these output messages

and then when I closed it .. I got the following two lines

(unity-control-center:15831): Gtk-CRITICAL **: gtk_builder_get_object: assertion 'GTK_IS_BUILDER (builder)' failed

(unity-control-center:15831): Gtk-CRITICAL **: gtk_icon_view_get_selected_items: assertion 'GTK_IS_ICON_VIEW (icon_view)' failed
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  • Can you try this: from a terminal, start unity-control-center, try to change the wallpaper, and post the output into your question above. You will get several warnings and bug messages, but one might indicate where the problem is.
    – Jos
    Apr 29, 2014 at 10:18
  • Edited and added the details
    – sshntt
    Apr 29, 2014 at 10:41
  • The "failed to load picture: too many open files" messages are interesting. Why you have so many files open is something you will need to investigate: try the lsof command for that. The problem may go away when you log out and back in. There is a limit on the number of open files (usually 1024). Use the ulimit -n command to view the current maximum, and to raise the limit if necessary.
    – Jos
    Apr 29, 2014 at 10:53
  • I increased the ulimit to 40000 but no change in the behaviour. Although no more error messages like before on running the unity-control-center from terminal.
    – sshntt
    Apr 29, 2014 at 11:19
  • What should I look for in the output of lsof ?
    – sshntt
    Apr 29, 2014 at 11:21

1 Answer 1

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I am not sure how but after enabling Desktop Icons (using the ubuntu-tweak-tool), everything is back to normal. See this answer: askubuntu.com/a/284076/27577

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  • Im experiencing the lockup-after-minimize issue you are, but none of the desktop background issues (I also use wallch). Ill have to try turning desktop icons back on - I just recently hid them! askubuntu.com/questions/563349/…
    – Todd
    Dec 19, 2014 at 15:49
  • Yes that was my problem - switching desktop icons back to viewable stopped the lockup-on-minimize issue for me. Must be a bug with a recent update to 14.04.
    – Todd
    Dec 22, 2014 at 16:03

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