Posts Tagged ‘Gnome’

Nautilus: where do you want to go today?

Monday, August 23rd, 2004

Nautilus error messageThe new spatial nautilus is generally nice, but sometimes the mime type detection messes up.

This time I had an sftp: location open, where I have a symlink to another folder on the remote server. First the symlink is shown as a file of an unknown type, but when I double click on it to open the folder, I get an error message that, to say the least, is not very helpful.

What is exactly the correct extension for “Folder” and if I open the “Open with” menu, there nothing there.

What am I supposed to do?

Is there really no way I open the remote folder?

UPDATE: the bug report is here, so I’m not alone.

Tex font metricsUPDATE 2: I have another file, a Gnumeric file, which is regularly, but not always, recognised as a “TeX font metrics” file. I have no idea why, but it must be some pattern of bytes in its content that triggers this faulty identification. At least in this case I can open it via the “Open with” menu.

Yet another wonderful Gnome error message

Saturday, July 3rd, 2004
Error activating XKB configuration.
Probably internal X server problem.

X server version data:
The XFree86 Project, Inc
You are using XFree 4.3.0.
There are known problems with complex XKB configurations.
Try using simpler configuration or a newer version of the XFree software.
If you report this situation as a bug, please include:
- The result of xprop -root | grep XKB
- The result of gconftool-2 -R /desktop/gnome/peripherals/keyboard/xkb

So I’ve got a keyboard problem! No, I haven’t. Everything is great, every key sends exactly what it should.

Anyway, it’s an error message from the X server. Nope. It is apparently from an obscure program called gnome-settings-daemon which is started automatically by gnome-session. Only it doesn’t say so anywhere. Needless to say, there is no manual for the gnome-settings-daemon or even a –help option to help me gain some insight.

So I have a working keyboard, an annoying dialog with a misleading message at each login and a top panel that is misplaced due to this dialog taking up the top-left corner of the screen well before the window manager is even started. On top of that the login takes at least 30 seconds longer due to some problem starting this gnome-settings-daemon, which I’m inclined to believe is tried several times, since I get this message on the console at each login:

You can only run one xsettings manager at a time; exiting

I still haven’t found a way to get this dialog to disappear.

UPDATE: Well, I’m not the only one with this problem, as can be seen at, especially

but there is no solution there either.

UPDATE 2004-07-17: The problem just went away today, and I’m not quite clear why. I did have a .Xmodmap file which I initially ran from my .xinitrc, that is before gnome-settings-daemon was started, and I moved that to a session startup program, so it’ll run after gnome-settings-deamon is started, but I’m not 100% sure that was the culprit. Might have been, though.

Nautilus 2.6 and mime types

Thursday, July 1st, 2004

Since I installed Gnome 2.6 in my Debian testing laptop, nautilus has refused to work with certain file types. They are classified as application/octet-stream and not application choices are offered.

Even if I go to Applications | Desktop Preferences | Advanced | File types and programs and set up the mime types, extensions and applications, nautilus couldn’t care less. These settings are almost ignored.

I’m not an expert on these matters, but it has something to do with the content-sniffing nautilus does to determine the file type.

It took a while to figure out, but I have found the way to add file types to the system. It is described at

First one has to create an XML file for the type or types to be added. The format is quite simple, and here is one for the Glabels application for printing address labels:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<mime-info xmlns="">
    <mime-type type="application/x-glabels">
        <comment xml:lang="en">Glabels document</comment>
        <glob pattern="*.glabels" />

Notice the mime-type, the description and the glob-pattern. There’s also a way of specifying magic patterns for content sniffing.
It is possible to have several “mime-type” sections in the same file.

The XML file is placed in /usr/share/mime/packages/, in this case I called it glabels.xml.

When this file is in place, all that remains is to run the command

update-mime-database /usr/share/mime

which will populate /usr/share/mime with separate files for each mime type, including the new types.

All that remains is to restart nautilus by running nautilus --quit from a shell prompt, and the new mime-type should be recognised.

UPDATE 2004-07-17: It appears you can have your private mime-files in ~/.local/share/mime. Create, e.g., ~/.local/share/mime/packages/local.xml in the format described above, with one or more ‘mime-type’ entries, and run the command

update-mime-database ~/.local/share/mime/

as yourself. It will then populate ~/.local/share/mime/ with all the necessary files for nautilus to recognise your new mime-types, after a restart, that is.

Unknown CORBA exception id: ‘’

Thursday, July 1st, 2004

What a wonderful informative message.

It happened when I logged into Gnome 2.6, once for each applet in the panel. Given the clarity of the message I had no doubt the applets didn’t load. I could also see they were missing in the panel 🙂

After some searching I finally discovered the solution: log out of Gnome, remove /tmp/orbit-XXX where XXX is your username, and log in again. Problem solved.

One vote from me for intelligible error messages.