Help! Technical advice.


Update: For reference, it did turn out to be the mouse, and it works fine now that I swapped the mouse out. How a mouse did this, I have no clue.

This system is running Ubuntu, with a KDE desktop. It’s doing something very strange, and very annoying, that’s making email very difficult, hence this post.

The mouse will only click on things selectively. Right now, I cannot click on and run something from the taskbar, for instance. Within a particular window I open, I can either not use the mouse in it at all, or only use the mouse on selective parts of it. For instance, right now, I can only click in this part of the browser window that I am using right now. I cannot click in the line where you type in the URL. Nor can I minimize or close the window with a mouse.

If I go to the next desktop, and click “refresh desktop” using the mouse controls, and come back to this desktop, then the next box I click in becomes the only place I can click. For instance, if I refresh the desktop, then click in the line where you type in the URL, then I can only click on the URL. I can’t then click in the main browser area (where I am typing this message), until I refresh the desktop again.

As may be obvious, this gets very tedious. I’ve tried rebooting the entire machine — from the console, because even in the initial gdm welcome screen, I can’t click “restart” or “shutdown” or anything. I’ve tried restarting gdm several times over.

The mouse works fine, it’s connected to a KVM switch and works absolutely perfectly on the other computer. It just seems to get stuck in things. I can’t even open another program using the mouse without refreshing the desktop, and then I can’t use the program any more efficiently than I can use this one. I’m currently using the console and ps x etc. to end programs, as well.

I can get around things with keyboard shortcuts but that’s a pain in the butt. So… yeah does anyone have any clue how to get it to stop this?


About Mel Baggs

Hufflepuff. Came from the redwoods, which tell me who I am and where I belong in the world. I relate to objects as if they are alive, but as things with identities and properties all of their own, not as something human-like. Culturally I'm from a California Okie background. Crochet or otherwise create constantly, write poetry and paint when I can. Proud member of the developmental disability self-advocacy movement. I care a lot more about being a human being than I care about what categories I fit into.

6 responses »

  1. I have absolutely no idea why that’s happening (I’m currently fighting with Kubuntu on my daughter’s machine- it isn’t even booting at the moment). Have you tried posting it on They’re pretty helpful on there. There’s always the irc channel on freenode as well, but that’s pretty dependant on the right people being online.

    I’m sorry I can’t be much more help, but I’m still pretty new to Linux myself.

  2. I generally solve such malfunctions by trying a series of successively more drastic levels of reboot. Sounds like you’ve been doing that, but there’s another level beyond rebooting the machine from the console that you haven’t mentioned trying yet: physically disconnect the machine from its power source (i.e., pull the plug, or pull out the battery if it’s a laptop). Leave it to sit disconnected from the power source for an hour or more, then reconnect it and start it up again. That’s worked for me on a couple of occasions when nothing else worked.

  3. That’s indeed very weird. I’ve had similar bugs on other systems, where some broken application creates invisible windows over parts of the screen. Have you installed or upgraded any UI-application recently, especially tray applets or something else that loads at login and stays resident?

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