Fading Menu Item names

My MATE Ubuntu 16.04 LTS xenial works very well, except that all the menu item names are invisible. At the moment I am writing this help request whilst logged into the MATE xenial. Menus are hidden from me, can not read them.

Strange, as otherwise system works A OK. To escape the “fading menu item names”, I have installed in another partition the linuxmint 18 MATE, so I am not in dire distress.

My computer is a HP-ProDesk-400-G2-SFF. I bought it at an alleged bargain price as an ex-gov equipment, shrunk the MSWindows partition to a “sensible size” and created several new ext4 partitons:

Swap partiontion
Linux data partition ("/dat") - for use by all linuxes on my pc
MATE xenial partition (about 50 GiB) - that is where I am writing from now.
“Future” linux OS partition, also of about 50 GiB size That’s where I installed the linuxmint18-MATE

I like to restore the xenial MATE to a usable state, as I miss the items that are nicely setup, knowledge-able user base; Chromium web browser that I came to like and rely on.

OldAl

[email protected]:~$ inxi -b
System: Host: HP400 Kernel: 4.4.0-28-generic x86_64 (64 bit)
Desktop: MATE 1.12.1 Distro: Ubuntu 16.04 xenial
Machine: System: Hewlett-Packard product: HP ProDesk 400 G2 SFF
Mobo: Hewlett-Packard model: 18E9
Bios: Hewlett-Packard v: L02 v02.39 date: 12/11/2014
CPU: Dual core Intel Core i3-4160 (-HT-MCP-) speed: 3600 MHz (max)
Graphics: Card: Intel 4th Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller
Display Server: X.Org 1.18.3 drivers: intel (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
Resolution: [email protected]
GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel Haswell GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 11.2.0
Network: Card: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
driver: r8169
Drives: HDD Total Size: 500.1GB (9.5% used)
Info: Processes: 207 Uptime: 46 min Memory: 898.2/3874.9MB
Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 2.2.35

Have you checked graphic drivers?

Can you post the output of…

Code:
inxi -b

https://wiki.ubuntu.com/RecoveryMode

1 Like

Thank you @anon42388993 and apologies for slow reply. As a result of your reply, I had a further look and realised that all was not well with the installation. But before I get lost again, here are the results of the command that you requested:

[email protected]:~$ inxi -b
System:    Host: HP400 Kernel: 4.4.0-28-generic x86_64 (64 bit)
           Desktop: MATE 1.12.1  Distro: Ubuntu 16.04 xenial
Machine:   System: Hewlett-Packard product: HP ProDesk 400 G2 SFF
           Mobo: Hewlett-Packard model: 18E9
           Bios: Hewlett-Packard v: L02 v02.39 date: 12/11/2014
CPU:       Dual core Intel Core i3-4160 (-HT-MCP-) speed: 3600 MHz (max)
Graphics:  Card: Intel 4th Generation Core Processor Family Integrated Graphics Controller
           Display Server: X.Org 1.18.3 drivers: intel (unloaded: fbdev,vesa)
           Resolution: [email protected]
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Intel Haswell GLX Version: 3.0 Mesa 11.2.0
Network:   Card: Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411 PCI Express Gigabit Ethernet Controller
           driver: r8169
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 500.1GB (9.5% used)
Info:      Processes: 207 Uptime: 46 min Memory: 898.2/3874.9MB
           Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 2.2.35 
[email protected]:~$ 

“All is not well” - I was not able to respond on the forum whilst booted to the xenial, because there was no response to clicking on the reply button. So I now logged in to linuxmint MATE on the same computer in order to write a reply…

Thanks a million

oldal

Hi @frustrated,

run “dpkg” ( a cable network connection is required) per the update guide linked above!. :smiley:

Please could you share a screenshot? This may help visually identify the issue and if it’s similar to other issues.

Is there any problems during a live session (“trying” Ubuntu MATE from CD or USB)? If it’s fine, it could have been a faulty installation, so a reinstallation of Ubuntu MATE may help as a last resort.

@lah7
Hi Luke,

Yes both ideas are sound. Sadly can not do it forth with, because I am logged into linuxmint currently. It is evening here and a b. cold one at that, so it may be tomorrow (Saturday) our time. Will need to find the program to take images of the desctop. My memory is shot - do not remember the name of the program to take snapshots of the screen/regions of the screen.

I think the computer should work OK. It does work OK under linuxmint MATE. And IMHO linuxmint follows ubuntu?
Thank you for your interest in my puzzle.
Cheers,
Al.

Take Screenshot is available from the Applications -> Accessories menu. There’s also Print Scr key on your keyboard, but this won’t take screenshots with menus open.

Take your time, let us know your findings. :slight_smile:

Linux Mint is a variant of Ubuntu, so they are pretty similar and share similar things under the hood.

@lah7
Hi Luke,

  1. Booting to DVD and working with the OS in RAM works normally. Actually, we already knew that it would. It is now confirmed.
  2. I did install KSnapshot. It was not installed by default. It is indeed accessible from the menu system: Applications > Graphics > KSnapshot. Unfortunately the region marked with dragging mouse pointer, can not be held open when taking the snapshot. In a word, I failed to get any of the pictures. Pity, one image is worth a thousand words, Chinese say. At least we claim that they say that :slight_smile: I will try again after a night’s rest.
  3. Re-installation is clearly indicated soon. However, I wish to keep the sick system for a while and “wait for godot”. There may be some other way to restore life to the OS. At any rate, the “sick” system may yet reveal some clues what is ailing it.
  4. Rather intuitively I feel that my attachment to Chromium browser could have contributed to the demise of my installation of ubuntu MATE. Must not forget to watch it after the re-installation.
    Thank you again and cheers,
    Al.

Hi @OldAl,

the best snapshot tool imo is “Shutter”, to install it via a terminal; use the following command (Ctrl + Alt + t):

sudo apt-get install shutter

@wolfman
I managed to get some shots to my "faded" menus, but could not upload to the better ones because of the upload size limitations. I used the ksnapshot with a time lapse to catch the drop down images of my menus. The attached sample is not impressive as it does not show only one drop down image. I guess it will have to do, I preferred the "ksnapshot" to shutter, mainly because I have used the "ksnapshop" before.

The main point is that the menu item under the mouse pointer is clearly visible, which makes the menus "almost" usable, just horridly slow...

I have tried some of the procedures described in your very interesting list of suggestions.
Many thanks for sharing!
OldAl.

Hi @OldAl,

in Shutter > Preferences, change the format to JPG as it is most likely set to Bitmap or PNG!.

Open Control Centre > Personal > Appearance > Custom and change your theme colours/fonts and see how it looks!:

1 Like

Thanks for the screenshot, it helps see the problem clearly. As @wolfman suggests, this is likely to be a theming issue, and not a serious problem with the system.

Which theme are you using?

The default theme is Ambient-MATE. You may of course mix and match if you want to change menus to a light color (I recommend Radiant-MATE) but use a different window border for instance.

Colours can be found in a tab when pressing the theme’s Customise button.

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@lah7 @wolfman

I followed wolfman's suggestion and changed the fonts. And vow - the menus acquired visible entries. A screen shot of one instance of menu attached.

Solved - thanks to lah7 and wolfman! Great to have the advice of experts! oLDaL

SOLVED

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