Bug 981373 - XFCE4 desktop hangs if TMPDIR is set
XFCE4 desktop hangs if TMPDIR is set
Product: Fedora
Classification: Fedora
Component: coreutils (Show other bugs)
Unspecified Unspecified
unspecified Severity unspecified
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Assigned To: Ondrej Oprala
Fedora Extras Quality Assurance
Depends On:
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Reported: 2013-07-04 10:44 EDT by Corinna Vinschen
Modified: 2014-06-19 10:35 EDT (History)
9 users (show)

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Fixed In Version:
Doc Type: Bug Fix
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Clone Of:
Last Closed: 2014-06-19 10:35:25 EDT
Type: Bug
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RHEL 7.3 requirements from Atomic Host:
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Description Corinna Vinschen 2013-07-04 10:44:44 EDT
Description of problem:

  This occurs after upgrade from F18.  Logging in at the DM, startxfce4
  is called and some XFCE4 processes are started per `ps -fu' output.
  However, xfce4 seems to get stuck at one point , and the desktop stays
  empty.  Mouse pointer is visble and can be moved, but nothing else happens.

  I'm tcsh user.  I have a user-local ~/tmp directory and the environment
  variables TMP, TEMP, and TMPDIR are set to ~/tmp in ~/.login.  The ~/tmp
  dir has 755 permissions, user and group are set as expected (user/primary

  My display manager is KDM, but the same effect can be reproduced with GDM.

  SELinux setting (enforced/permissive/disabled) is irrelevant, the effect
  doesn't depend on the setting and can be reproduced.

  The problem can be worked around by *not* setting TMPDIR in ~/.login.

  This didn't occur under F18.

Version-Release number of selected component (if applicable):


How reproducible:

  Create ~/tmp.  Set TMPDIR to ~/tmp in environment.  Use

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Choose XFCE4 as desktop environment
2. Choose tcsh as login shell
3. Create ~/tmp.
4. Set TMPDIR in ~/.login to ~/tmp
5. Login at the graphical desktop.

Actual results:

  XFCE4 desktop is started, but stays invisible.

Expected results:

  Normal startup behaviour

Additional info:

  Here's the output of `ps -fucorinna' after the login, with TMPDIR set:

    UID        PID  PPID  C STIME TTY          TIME CMD
    corinna   1253     1  0 09:51 ?        00:00:00 /usr/bin/gpg-agent --sh --daemon --write-env-file /home/corinna/.cache/gpg-agent-info
    corinna   1274  1269  0 09:51 tty2     00:00:00 -tcsh
    corinna   2129     1  0 09:54 ?        00:00:00 /usr/bin/pulseaudio --start
    corinna   2170  2129  0 09:54 ?        00:00:00 /usr/libexec/pulse/gconf-helper
    corinna  27124     1  0 16:01 ?        00:00:00 /usr/bin/gnome-keyring-daemon --daemonize --login
    corinna  27126 27038  0 16:01 ?        00:00:00 -/bin/tcsh -c startxfce4
    corinna  27140     1  0 16:01 ?        00:00:00 dbus-launch --sh-syntax --exit-with-session
    corinna  27141     1  0 16:01 ?        00:00:00 /bin/dbus-daemon --fork --print-pid 5 --print-address 7 --session
    corinna  27207     1  0 16:01 ?        00:00:00 /usr/libexec/imsettings-daemon
    corinna  27210     1  0 16:01 ?        00:00:00 /usr/libexec/gvfsd
    corinna  27215     1  0 16:01 ?        00:00:00 /usr/libexec//gvfsd-fuse -f /run/user/500/gvfs
    corinna  27221     1  0 16:01 ?        00:00:00 /usr/lib64/xfce4/xfconf/xfconfd
    corinna  27287 27126  0 16:01 ?        00:00:00 /usr/bin/ssh-agent /bin/sh -c exec -l /bin/tcsh -c "startxfce4"
    corinna  27309 27126  0 16:01 ?        00:00:00 /bin/sh /etc/xdg/xfce4/xinitrc
    corinna  27315 27309  0 16:01 ?        00:00:00 xfce4-session
    corinna  27318 27315  0 16:01 ?        00:00:00 xfwm4 --display :0.0 --sm-client-id 291391704-85f8-4398-87ad-7424b3fff2cc
    corinna  27325 27315  0 16:01 ?        00:00:00 xfce4-panel --sm-client-id 2f84127f1-7d72-40ca-a108-9cd27dfff711
    corinna  27331 27315  0 16:01 ?        00:00:00 xfdesktop --display :0.0 --sm-client-id 22fc502c6-fb37-49ad-b347-4082fdfc8858
    corinna  27334 27315  0 16:01 ?        00:00:00 xfdesktop --display :0.0 --sm-client-id 22fc502c6-fb37-49ad-b347-4082fdfc8858
    corinna  27336 27315  0 16:02 ?        00:00:00 xfdesktop --display :0.0 --sm-client-id 22fc502c6-fb37-49ad-b347-4082fdfc8858
    corinna  27338 27315  0 16:02 ?        00:00:00 xfdesktop --display :0.0 --sm-client-id 22fc502c6-fb37-49ad-b347-4082fdfc8858
    corinna  27339 27315  0 16:02 ?        00:00:00 xfdesktop --display :0.0 --sm-client-id 22fc502c6-fb37-49ad-b347-4082fdfc8858
    corinna  27340  1274  0 16:02 tty2     00:00:00 ps -fucorinna

  As you can see, there are multiple xfdesktop processes, started from
  the xfce4-session.  After a normal working desktop startup, there's
  only one xfdesktop process left.  So these xfdesktop processes are
  apparently waiting for some synchronization event which doesn't happen.
  Just a guess...

If you need any other data, I'm glad to provide it.

Comment 1 Kevin Fenzi 2013-07-05 17:11:46 EDT
Is there anything in ~/.xsession-errors (or whereever kdm outputs stdout)?

Can you do a 'strace -f -p pidofnewest-xfdesktopprocess' and attach it? Might tell us what it's doing. 

I'll see if I can duplicate it here.
Comment 2 Corinna Vinschen 2013-07-09 08:36:18 EDT
Hi Kevin,

I investigated a bit further, and inspecting the ~/.xsession-errors as 
you suggested gave the final clue.  It's a bit more convoluted than what
I observed in the first place.  The culprit is not xfce4 (the same problem
also disallows to start a KDE desktop), but the coreutils package.

Here's what happens:

My .login file does not set the TMP, TEMP and TMPDIR vars independently, 
rather it's setting them like this:

  setenv TMP /home/corinna/tmp
  setenv TEMP ${TMP}
  setenv TMPDIR ${TMP}

After a failed login, ~/.xsession-errors contained the following message:

  (xfce4-session:5710): xfce4-session-WARNING **: Unable to open temporary file:  Failed to create file '/tmp/.colorlsDyZ/.xfsm-ICE-XCSRZW': Not a directory

Note the weird temporary path.  There's no /tmp/.colorlsDyZ directory.

A bit of grep'ing turned up the /etc/profile.d/colorls.csh file, which 
sets the TMP variable to the name of a temporary /tmp/.colorlsXXX file. 
The file is removed at the end of the script, but the TMP variable is
not.  Since the TMP variable in this script is a tcsh-internal variable,
not an environment variable, it is preferred over the TMP environment
variable (different variable concept than in sh/bash).  The result is
that the above `setenv TMPDIR ${TMP}' will set TMPDIR to the value of
the internal TMP variable, rather than the value of the environment
variable TMP, thus TMPDIR is set to /tmp/colorlsDyZ rather than

This is a bug in the /etc/profile.d/colorls.csh script, which is part of 
the coreutils package.

Given that colorls.csh is a profile script, it's run in the login shell 
process itself.  The value of TMP will not be forgotten at the end of the
script, and given its name it's bound to break settings like the one in
my environment.

As far as I can see, the /etc/profile.d/colorls.csh should not use the
TMP variable name for the temporary filename, but rather something
non-dangerous like $_tmp.  It should also definitely call `unset' on the
variable when finished.

For some reason I can't change the "Component" of this bug from xfdesktop
to coreutils, the drop-down menu is grayed out.  Can you change that?

Comment 3 Kevin Fenzi 2013-07-09 11:40:02 EDT
Excellent detective work. Thanks!
Comment 4 Ondrej Oprala 2013-07-17 08:56:54 EDT
Hi and thanks for the report.
I've changed the variable to a less collision-prone one (the proposed _tmp) and pushed the changes to rawhide.
Comment 5 Ondrej Oprala 2014-06-19 10:35:25 EDT
Since this have been here without a response for almost a year, I'm assuming the bugfix is satisfactory.

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