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Bug 730261 - Gnome-terminal windows got lost and stuck after several gnome-shell restarts
Gnome-terminal windows got lost and stuck after several gnome-shell restarts
Product: gnome-terminal
Classification: Core
Component: general
Other Linux
: Normal normal
: ---
Assigned To: GNOME Terminal Maintainers
GNOME Terminal Maintainers
Depends on:
Reported: 2014-05-16 16:36 UTC by Romano Giannetti
Modified: 2014-08-04 15:16 UTC
See Also:
GNOME target: ---
GNOME version: ---

Three screenshots of stuck gnome-terminal-windows. (421.15 KB, application/x-zip-compressed)
2014-05-16 16:36 UTC, Romano Giannetti

Description Romano Giannetti 2014-05-16 16:36:04 UTC
Created attachment 276679 [details]
Three screenshots of stuck gnome-terminal-windows.

To reproduce the bug, do the following (tested on Ubuntu-Gnome 14.04, with gnome-shell 3.10.4; both on a real machine and in a virtual machine). If that could make a difference, I have "sloppy" focus mode. 

1) Open several gnome-terminal instances, in the same or different virtual desktop. Some of them have multiple tabs (I do not know if this last thing is relevant). 

2) Restart gnome-shell (Alt-F2 r) several time, moving the windows and doing things in the terminals between restarts (developing extensions, for example). 

3) after a variable number of restarts (three to six-seven, really variable) the shell "lose" the gnome-terminal windows, or at least lose some of them. That means:

   3.1 The "lost" gnome terminal windows are invisible in normal view. They are visible in the overview mode, you can click on them, but they disappears as soon as the normal view come back. You have to killall gnome-terminal and then restart it to have functional windows. 

   3.2 Sometime you can recover the window moving it to another virtual desktop. Now this windows change to "stuck". That means: 

      3.2.1 the stuck window is sticky (in all the desktops) and in front of anything else. It is still working though; you can write in it. 

      3.2.2 the stuck window is not visible in overview mode. 

      3.2.3 if you exit the shell, or killall gnome-terminal at that point, the stuck window become dead. Still stick, still in front of everything, still not visible in overview. 

       3.2.4 Now the only way out is restart gnome-shell, killall gnome-terminal, restart gnome-shell again.

There is a bug in launchpad about this --- it is more general but I have seen this behavior only with gnome-terminal (terminator windows works ok). The bug is at 

I have screenshots of stuck windows to help explain myself --- will try to attach them.
Comment 1 Christian Persch 2014-05-16 16:48:40 UTC
Ubuntu still has gnome-terminal 3.6, a totally outdated and unsupported version. Does this happen with 3.12 ?
Comment 2 Christian Persch 2014-05-16 16:49:13 UTC
(Oh and only click-to-focus mode is supported.)
Comment 3 Romano Giannetti 2014-05-16 17:45:39 UTC
Chritian, thanks for the comments. 

Unfortunately I am not able to check with newer versions at the moment, unless someone explain me how to do it (I can test on a virtual machine). I hope someone else can chime in. 

The fact that click-to-focus is the only supported mode is new for me. Used FFM (sloppy) since first started using Unix, ca. 1988, and find it largely superior to CTF. But obviously, this is an opinion. Luckily I can set it in gnome-tweak-tool.

BTW, is not a very critical bug. There are plenty of workarounds, just reported in the hope it could be useful. Thanks again!
Comment 4 Christian Persch 2014-05-16 17:49:52 UTC
An essential component in your reproducer is restarting gnome-shell. Gnome-terminal used to unrealise and re-realise all windows in this case; that was removed from 3.8. So I think this is fixed in gnome-terminal >= 3.8. If you do upgrade in the future and can still reproduce this then, please do reopen the bug; marking OBSOLETE for now.
Comment 5 Romano Giannetti 2014-05-16 17:52:06 UTC
@Christian: that makes a lot of sense. 

Comment 6 Steeve McCauley 2014-08-04 14:13:56 UTC
(In reply to comment #1)
> Ubuntu still has gnome-terminal 3.6, a totally outdated and unsupported
> version. Does this happen with 3.12 ?

I guess the question I have is why gnome-shell has such a ridiculously outdated version of gnome-terminal

$ gnome-shell --version
GNOME Shell 3.10.4
$ gnome-terminal --version
GNOME Terminal 3.6.2

this is a pretty serious bug in terms of usability if it takes 15 minutes to restore one's wrok environment after a shell restart (a not uncommon process), especially for an LTS release of the product.

This is the main command shell for heaven's sake!

$ cat /etc/os-release 
VERSION="14.04.1 LTS, Trusty Tahr"
PRETTY_NAME="Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS"
Comment 7 Steeve McCauley 2014-08-04 14:15:56 UTC
Note that after a shell restart I have to close the mangled gnome-terminal, and then force another shell restart to clean up the phantom gnome-terminal in the background.
Comment 8 Steeve McCauley 2014-08-04 15:16:56 UTC
I installed the gnome 3.12 ppa and upgraded gnome-terminal to 3.12.1.  Granted a bit of a sledgehammer solution to a ridiculous situation, but I'mm sure there was a reason for such a ridiculously outdated version of gnome-terminal running on ubuntu 14.04LTS with gnome-shell 3.10, we'll just never know :)