Thursday, February 18, 2021

Restarting the MATE Panel

I know that Cinnamon is the trendy choice for desktop environment with Linux Mint,  but ever since an unfortunate misadventure with video drivers I have been using the somewhat more stable and somewhat faster MATE (pronounced Ma-Tay, per their home page) environment. Overall I am very happy with it. There are, however, occasional hiccups with the panel, the bar along one edge of the display (bottom in my case) containing launchers, tabs for open applications and general what-not. Occasionally, for reasons beyond me ken, some of the icons will be screwed up, duplicated, or duplicated and screwed-up. This morning, for instance, I found not one but three iterations of the audio output icon (looks like a loud speaker, used to set audio preferences). The first icon had the normal appearance, meaning audio was enabled, while the second and third were indicating that audio was muted. (Despite the 2-1 vote against, audio was in fact enabled.)

Glitches like that do not render the system unusable, but they are annoying. So I dug around a bit and discovered that the system command mate-panel. Run from a shell script or a launcher, the command mate-panel --replace seems to do the trick of restarting the panel (and hopefully fixing the glitch that made you restart it).  If you run the command from a terminal, be sure to push it to the background using an ampersand (mate-panel --replace &). Otherwise, it will tie up the terminal session, and when you break out of it (probably via Ctrl-C) the panel will rather unhelpfully evaporate.