I recently installed GNOME 3 on my Mint installation. I finally cracked under pressure from my friends to upgrade back to GNOME 3 (I actually went Unity > GNOME 3 > Mint)

I've customized it to my liking, but there's still one thing bugging me.

Whenever I click "System Settings" from my menu, nothing happens. Then, when I try to load "gnome-control-center" from terminal, I get the System Settings window, but with no capplets. I get no errors from the terminal either.

Any pointers (No C jokes please) on this?


Whenever I click "System Settings" from my menu, nothing happens.

Check your ~/.xsession-errors, maybe it helps you with this (like, why didn't anything happen? Maybe some $PATH issue, if you installed the GNOME 3 stuff in a custom directory.)

I get the System Settings window, but with no capplets.

Sorry, no idea about this issue. Depending on whether you used your distributions packages, you could scrabble about bugs.gnome.org or Linux Mints bugtracker (maybe peeking into #gnome could help, too).

env XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP=GNOME gnome-control-center

Edit: Essentially the gnome control center only works when the desktop environment is Gnome. The command provided above sets the current environment to Gnome then opens the gnome-control-center inside of that environment. Allowing it to load properly.

  • 3
    Hello and welcome to the Unix and Linux stack exchange. Could you please edit your post to include additional context as to why you think this is an answer to the question? Thank you! – kemotep Dec 10 '18 at 16:02

Following resolved the same (gnome-control-center empty) problem for me:

/usr/lib/goa-daemon --replace
env XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP=GNOME gnome-control-center

If you used evolution before attempting to start gnome-control-center, you might also need to kill the evolution process first.

In my case - as described above - I had two interlocking issues:

  1. expired account in online-account - the session could not login - thus would not start gnome-control-center online-accounts - which in turn was locking the whole gnome-control-center
  2. setting Gnome environment before starting gnome-control-center as mentioned by previous poster

I find this Gnome thing rather fragile and "keep away no Gnome users" kind of a design. I personally use evince for email, contacts, tasks and calendar under KDE and need working gnome-control-center to properly configure it.

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