I'm having a hard time trying to figure this out. I've been running Arch Linux and Xfce4 smoothly for several months but suddenly after a full system upgrade in which the system asked me to replace some Python packages, things got weird.

For instance, I can't see see the mouse pointer after booting and when I actually see it, it's not the pointer you normally see. I can't see the top bar of any application on which you can minimize / maximize / close it. Some programs seem to open on the top left region of my screen and I can't move them. I can't use Alt+Tab to switch between applications, etc.

I took a couple of screenshots:

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Looking at the Xorg log file I found this warnings and errors:

[    18.930] (II) LoadModule: "intel"
[    18.970] (II) Loading /usr/lib/xorg/modules/drivers/intel_drv.so
[    19.071] (II) Module intel: vendor="X.Org Foundation"
[    19.071]    compiled for 1.13.0, module version = 2.20.12
[    19.071]    Module class: X.Org Video Driver
[    19.071]    ABI class: X.Org Video Driver, version 13.0
[    19.071] (II) LoadModule: "vesa"
[    19.084] (WW) Warning, couldn't open module vesa
[    19.084] (II) UnloadModule: "vesa"
[    19.084] (II) Unloading vesa
[    19.084] (EE) Failed to load module "vesa" (module does not exist, 0)
[    19.084] (II) LoadModule: "modesetting"
[    19.085] (WW) Warning, couldn't open module modesetting
[    19.085] (II) UnloadModule: "modesetting"
[    19.085] (II) Unloading modesetting
[    19.085] (EE) Failed to load module "modesetting" (module does not exist, 0)
[    19.085] (II) LoadModule: "fbdev"
[    19.085] (WW) Warning, couldn't open module fbdev
[    19.085] (II) UnloadModule: "fbdev"
[    19.085] (II) Unloading fbdev
[    19.085] (EE) Failed to load module "fbdev" (module does not exist, 0)
[    19.085] (II) intel: Driver for Intel Integrated Graphics Chipsets: i810,
  • This looks to be an issue with your window manager, or xorg driver: check pacman's logs to see what was upgraded...
    – jasonwryan
    Oct 28, 2012 at 18:00
  • @jasonwryan thanks, I updated my post with some Xorg log information that may be able to help (I hope)
    – César
    Oct 28, 2012 at 18:20
  • Did you reboot the system after those updates?
    – schaiba
    Jan 27, 2013 at 11:08
  • Old post, unlikely to still be a problem for César, but the absence of window borders is because xfwm4 isn't running. Should run xfwm4 on a terminal window to see if it output any errors.
    – lmcanavals
    Jan 27, 2013 at 13:36
  • 1
    Most likely xfwm4 is dead
    – daisy
    Apr 28, 2013 at 6:04

1 Answer 1


About the xorg output

Disable any modesetting lines in /etc/X11/xorg.conf, if you have those. Try to remove the entire xorg.conf file if possible, and see if everything works without it. It's normally not needed anymore. Also make sure that you don't have legacy options enabled when booting with grub or grub2, like "vga=".

About the missing mouse pointer and window decorations

Try (re)installing the "xfce4" package (it's a group). Also try changing the look and feel of xfce in xfce4-settings-manager. Make sure you don't use a theme that has been uninstalled or upgraded.

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