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I'm running debian wheezy ( testing ) and after some upgrades my gnome 3 is broken. It's not exactly broken, but it's completey different. Almost like it's no longer actually gnome 3; most of the UI bells and whistles are gone and it mostly look like gnome 2.

Anyway, how does one start troubleshooting such a thing? I looked in /var/log/gdm3 and didn't see any glaring errors; I did see some minor errors but they seem to be in the older logs too.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

For me this sounds most likely that your graphics card drivers are not installed correctly. Could this be a possibility ?

Because then GNOME would start in "Fallback mode" which looks most likely like Gnome2.

Check /var/log/gdm3/:0.log and /var/log/Xorg.0.log for errors, particularly stemming from the graphics card driver.

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This is good info. I believe it is fallback mode, though I'll have to verify that. I did see some complaints about my nvidia driver in the logs, but those seem to be in much older logs too . . . I'll do some more looking. Thanks. – chad Nov 27 '12 at 16:57
I'm not accepting your answer until I see if it provides a solution though . . . – chad Nov 27 '12 at 16:57
So, I looked in those logs ;) and I found out that my GLX support was broken in my proprietary NVIDIA driver. I reinstalled the very same version of the driver, and it works. I suppose some dependency of the NVIDIA driver changed, and it needed to be reinstalled; I guess being installed by the binary installer doesn't allow for awareness of shifting dependencies, as would be the case if the thing was installed via the debian package management system. – chad Nov 27 '12 at 20:02
glad it helped - I had the similar problems when upgrading to Gnome3, so I thought this must be the most likely case. I saw in GDM (the login manager) that it started Gnome3 fallback mode and not the normal Gnome3 session. – brusch Nov 29 '12 at 11:13
The problem solves by reinstalling a video card driver. To me the fastest solution was using sgfxi script. – Rootical V. Mar 23 '13 at 9:21

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