[K12OSN] OT: Weird OpenOffice behavior

Peter Scheie peter at scheie.homedns.org
Tue Jan 6 13:25:31 UTC 2009

David Hopkins wrote:
>> Also bear in mind that gnome add it's own layer of environment stuff. So
>> even if you su - in a terminal window, you will not get the gnome
>> environment with out going through the gdm login. You will get a null
>> environment.
> After doing diffs on the affected users and not finding any real
> differences between the terminal session and then su - username in
> that terminal session I decided to just go ahead and install
> OpenOffice3 on all the servers.  Only took an hour to do so and OOo3
> is working fine with the accounts I have checked.
>> Try backing up the affected users .gnome2 to a new name (mv the old one
>> out of the way.). Now have the user login from scratch. This will pull
>> in a new, generic .gnome2. Test the soffice issue. Now they log out and
>> you run a diff. I suspect they twiddled something using gconf-tool2 and
>> broke something. Also diff a working user .gnome2 (and maybe .gconf)
>> with the busted one.
>  Sort of out of sequence in my response, but I had tried all of this,
> even going so far as to completely delete the existing home
> directories since I could restore them from backups of the affected
> users and recreating the home directory from scratch but even this
> didn't change the behavior which is really really strange. I'm not
> sure where staroffice would store something that could affect a user
> that had had all the .gnome*, .gconf*, .staroffice8, and other "dot"
> directories deleted.
Hmm, this rings a bell.  I recall similar behavior on a system a year or two 
ago, where even wiping out the affected users' home directories didn't stop the 
oddness.  I don't remember the app, although it may have been OOo.  Anyway, it 
turned out to be some stale files in /tmp, files that gnome and/or X create when 
the user logs in. Cleaning out /tmp resolved the strange behavior.


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