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I have been using GNOME on Ubuntu 17.04 for a while now, and I never experienced such a sudden problem.

Some windows now are dimmed like if they were unresponsive. Here is a screenshot of Rhythmbox and PulseEffect open: Rhythmbox and PulseEffects open You can notice that the PulseEffects Window is dimmed. This also happens to Files (Nautilus), Terminal (GNOME Terminal), Videos (Totem), and Photos (Eye of GNOME), System Settings, and many other windows, but not all of them, so for example Rhythmbox, Google Chrome, Firefox, and Blender are fine.

This happened after I installed some software updates from the Software Updater popup, but I cannot remember the exact updates. Also after installing these updates, the GNOME on Wayland option disappeared from GDM3, which makes me think it is a graphics driver update that is causing this.

I am using GNOME on X (it should be obvious since I mentioned GNOME on Wayland is not available).

Any ideas? Thanks in advance.

EDIT

Here is the output of cat /etc/ld.so.conf.d/*.conf:

/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libfakeroot
# Multiarch support
/lib/i386-linux-gnu
/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu
/lib/i686-linux-gnu
/usr/lib/i686-linux-gnu
/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/mesa
# libc default configuration
/usr/local/lib
# Multiarch support
/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu
/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu
/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/mesa-egl
/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/mesa
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I have had the same problem after install new Intel Graphics drivers. The cause was the way dynamic links between shared libraries were formed by ld.so. I found pieces from different sources, and took the following steps to fix it.

1: Check /etc/ld.so.conf

ldconfig is used to update/maintain the configuration of links. On SO I found out that the list of paths it looks for is based on the file /etc/ld.so.conf, which should contain just one line and should look like this:

$ cat /etc/ld.so.conf
include /etc/ld.so.conf.d/*.conf

2: Check files /etc/ld.so.conf.d/

The files inside the folder /etc/ld.so.conf.d/ hold the different paths containing the shared libraries. To check, list all the *conf-files in the folder. Mine had files and links, and looked like this. But it may be different depending on installed packages.

$ ls -Ahl /etc/ld.so.conf.d/
total 16K
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 38 aug 12  2016 fakeroot-x86_64-linux-gnu.conf
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 24 sep 27 20:41 ld.so.conf
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 48 sep 27 20:43 x86_64-linux-gnu.conf
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 43 jun  8 11:51 x86_64-linux-gnu_EGL.conf -> /etc/alternatives/x86_64-linux-gnu_egl_conf
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 42 jun  8 11:51 x86_64-linux-gnu_GL.conf -> /etc/alternatives/x86_64-linux-gnu_gl_conf
-rw-r--r-- 1 root root 18 sep 27 20:43 zz_i386-biarch-compat.conf

and their contents, listed one after the other using cat (some files have comments, not shown here):

$ cat /etc/ld.so.conf.d/*.conf
/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libfakeroot
/usr/lib
/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu
/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu
/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/mesa-egl
/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/mesa
/lib32  

3: Add missing paths

Back-up any files before changing them! The first problem might be that paths are missing from the .conf files. For example, I had to add /user/local/lib and used sudo nano ld.so.conf to add it. And I added /usr/lib32 to zz_i386-biarch-compat.conf. Google ldd and ldconfig for finding paths that are missing. Removing lines from these files is generally not necessary.


4: Reorder files and their entries

Now, the problem is that ld.so reads the files and their lines in the order they were saved (I found out here). I used an array of filenames and an array of new prefixes to rename the files. The /mesa... entries must come before those in (/usr)/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/ to order the graphic libraries.

$ cd /etc/ld.so.conf.d
$ files=(*)                                    #filename array
$ numbers=(1 2 5 3 4 6)                        #order array
$ for i in ${!files[@]}; do
$  sudo mv -i ${files[$i]} ${numbers[$i]}0_${files[$i]};
$ done
$ cat /etc/ld.so.conf.d/*.conf                 #Check the order
/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libfakeroot
/usr/local/lib
/usr/lib
/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/mesa-egl
/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/mesa
/usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu
/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu
/usr/lib32
/lib32

5: Reconfigure library and reboot

$ sudo ldconfig                                #sudo ldconfig -v (for output)
$ sudo reboot  

After rebooting, everything was back to how it used to be (lighter windows, purple gnome-terminal, better font rendering). Let me know if it works for you.

  • How can I know which path to add to which .conf file? – Tooniis Sep 28 '17 at 10:44
  • In most cases it does not really matter, but in my case the mesa libraries contained renewed libraries of which older versions were found in a preceding path. Can you post your cat /etc/ld.so.conf.d/*.conf? In general, I think /usr/lib and /usr/local/lib should come first, followed by the multiarch (x86_64) equivalents. In my case these were listed in different .conf files. If you have special files like the mesa files, placing the x86_64-linux-gnu.conf after x86_64-linux-gnu_(E)GL.conf might do the job. – pm-b Sep 28 '17 at 13:55
  • I added the output u requested. It seems like the problem is that /usr/lib is missing. – Tooniis Sep 29 '17 at 8:46
  • Suprisingly another update from Software Updater has fixed this issue! Seems like the devs have noticed and patched the bug. – Tooniis Sep 29 '17 at 10:33
  • 1
    Good news. Still, a shame because I'd have liked to know the cause of the problem. – pm-b Oct 4 '17 at 18:25

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