[SOLVED] Desktop Switch to MATE

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jimbo8098
Posts: 12
Joined: 2015/01/30 03:06:11

[SOLVED] Desktop Switch to MATE

Post by jimbo8098 » 2019/05/10 16:40:38

This isn't an issue I need help with any more, just documenting this in case it helps someone in future since information for much of what I've tried here was thin on the ground.

I wanted to switch over to use a different desktop. I was previously using KDE and wanted to try out MATE. One issue here was that I was using CentOS 6 and it was woefully out of date since I'd not used it in ages. So I had a few steps:
  1. I needed to update.

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    yum update
  2. I needed to remove the old desktop and window manager
  3. I needed to install the new desktop and manager
The first part was easy, yum made the update much easier than I'd expected such a big change to be. Removing the old installations was ok too since the naming conventions were fairly easy. The bit that did cause problems was that 3rd step. You see, during removal for whatever reason X server managed to be erased! That's fine right, we can just re-install with

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yum install
right? Well yes, but actually no...

After installing X server and running

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yum groupinstall "MATE Desktop"
then

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yum install sddm
I found that running sddm did not actually boot to sddm! So I headed to the log files for Xorg for information.

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less /var/log/Xorg.0.log
While I scrolled down I noted a number of drivers not being loaded. These, primarily, were:
  • fbdev
  • vesa
  • radeon
Which lead me to running

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yum search xorg-x11-drv
When I saw the output, I saw things that made sense. fbdev and vesa were namechecked right there but there were extras. For example, in place of radeon, I found ati. So I installed that too. Synaptics, the tech used for touchpads, was there too and I saw no mention of pointing devices within the log. So that went in too. But some, importantly the keyboard drivers, were not included :roll:

So I began my adventure. A 2 day stint where I learned much about CentOS and myself... Some useful things:
  1. There is a --timed-exit in gdm which proved quite useful when I tried switching back to gdm to see if that fixed it. This stops gdm after however many seconds you specify.
  2. Ctrl+Alt+Fx (e.g. F3,F5) switches runlevels whilst in a UI. Not handy when your keyboard isn't working of course...
  3. You can boot to multi-user console by changing the symbolic link in

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    /etc/systemd/system/default.target
    If you amend this to link to

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    /usr/lib/systemd/system/multi-user.target
    then you'll boot to console next time.
  4. Going hand in hand with the last point, you can boot to single user mode by editing the boot command. Change ro to rw and add init=/sysroot/bin/sh. I used https://vpsie.com/knowledge-base/boot-s ... hel-vpsie/.
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    GLib: g_hash_table_find: assertion 'version == hash_table->version'
    is a bug which appears to still be at large. I was unable to resolve that bug which is what lead to using SDDM
  6. startx does not run on it's own, even when you stick an ampersand on the end. You have to spawn it with your display manager (e.g. gdm, sddm etc)
I started to wonder if there was a way to specifically set up the keyboard. Looking at the log file for Xorg I could see the devices listed in usual linux format, /dev/input/eventx. This meant I could work from the ground up. Perfect, a lead! So I had a look and found

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evtest
and used that. On running this, it wasn't immediately clear what I was looking for so I went through a couple of events and tried pressing a few keys. I found the device

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/dev/input/event3
and took note. The reason I took note was that I remembered a config file in

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/etc/X11/xorg.conf.d/00-kayboard.conf
I looked up the Xorg documentation and found the "InputClass" section. This led me here https://www.x.org/releases/current/doc/ ... l#heading9 . From there, I could see the format of the config I'd require. Some things were fine in that the Identifier, MatchIsKeyboard and Option were all defined but nothing was set to actually catch the device. So, I added it.

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MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event3"
So then I tried to start sddm again. Whilst I could use the mouse (thanks to synaptics drivers being installed) there was no keyboard. So what gives? Back to Xorg.0.log... This time, I see the keyboard being detected since the actual device name (AT Translated Set 2 keyboard) is there in the logs but it's still not working. So this isn't a detection issue it's a driver one. With that in mind,I had a look at the other drivers available for X11. This lead me to find evdev. I headed for Google and found that this was an important part of Xorg but evidently was not installed. yum proved it when I ran

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yum list installed | grep evdev
So I installed that. But I was still no further forward!

So I looked for everything x11 and found xkb-utils. I saw this mentioned in the logs so didn't think much of it. Apparently it was needed! I installed them using

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yum install xorg-x11-xkb*
That fixed it.

I should stress, this isn't the first time I've ever switched desktops. This just happened to be problematic. There was so little information on it, I was really clutching but we got there in the end. Is it just me that had these kinds of problems?

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TrevorH
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Re: [SOLVED] Desktop Switch to MATE

Post by TrevorH » 2019/05/10 16:50:00

I'd be pretty sure you were not running CentOS 6 since that already has gnome 2 which is what MATE was originally. Everything you show in your post points to your system being CentOS 7.
CentOS 5 died in March 2017 - migrate NOW!
CentOS 6 goes EOL sooner rather than later, get upgrading!
Full time Geek, part time moderator. Use the FAQ Luke

desertcat
Posts: 652
Joined: 2014/08/07 02:17:29
Location: Tucson, AZ

Re: [SOLVED] Desktop Switch to MATE

Post by desertcat » 2019/05/17 01:53:02

jimbo8098 wrote:
2019/05/10 16:40:38
This isn't an issue I need help with any more, just documenting this in case it helps someone in future since information for much of what I've tried here was thin on the ground.

[snip]
So I began my adventure. A 2 day stint where I learned much about CentOS and myself... Some useful things:
[snip]

That fixed it.

I should stress, this isn't the first time I've ever switched desktops. This just happened to be problematic. There was so little information on it, I was really clutching but we got there in the end. Is it just me that had these kinds of problems?
Fine post, but I agree with TrevorH -- it does sound more like CentOS 7 rather than CentOS 6.

"So I began my adventure. A 2 day stint where I learned much about CentOS and myself... "

Ah! I myself have been on many such "Adventures". 2 Days?!? Your damn good!! Most of mine are hair raising adventures that can take WEEKS!!! But yeah I agree with you there are patches in which the knowledge base is a bit sparse. Thanks for your post. I too post my Adventures -- maybe Misadventures is a better word. There is always some poor soul out there that for some strange reason encounters the exact same problem you have but which does not affect 99.9% of users.

gostal
Posts: 16
Joined: 2019/09/23 15:26:45

Re: [SOLVED] Desktop Switch to MATE

Post by gostal » 2019/10/03 10:22:36

Starting with https://www.rootusers.com/how-to-instal ... -7-linux/ I had anticipated quite a number of steps but it turned out that most was done already as I got the system installed with Gnome 3. So for me the switch to Mate desktop was a breeze. I just did

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yum groupinstall "MATE Desktop"
rebooted and picked Mate. That was it.

The only quirk was that I had replaced the system runtime gsl-lib with a freshly built gsl-2.6 and yum complained but it was only smoke, no fire.

Cheers,
gostal
Desktop Dell T5810 Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-1650 v4 @ 3.60GHz, 72 GB RAM, Radeon Pro WX 7100
CentOS 7.7.1908

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