1

At some point (I don't remember when it started), some kind of ghost window appeared that only has a border (displays as rounded but behaves as rectangular), blocks mouse clicks, and won't disappear when I minimize all windows.

What might this be, what might have caused this, and most importantly, how might I be able to get rid of this?

Here is some additional information that might help diagnose the issue:

  • This does not seem to affect the lock screen.
  • The behavior with the Alt-Tab window switcher is very strange when I click on a window:
    • If the I click outside the ghost window, it immediately switches to the window I clicked on.
    • If the I click inside the ghost window, it immediately closes the window switcher, but doesn't open the new window until I move my mouse outside the ghost window. The final position of my mouse doesn't seem to matter.
  • I'm using Xfce version 4.18 with GTK version 3.24.37, as part of Debian GNU/Linux 12 (bookworm).
  • I have xserver-xorg version 1:7.7+23 and xserver-xorg-core version 2:21.1.7-3.
  • The panel at the top of my screen doesn't respond to mouse clicks, but the data it displays does update, and the apps menu works when I activate it with a keyboard shortcut.
  • Here is the output of xwininfo -d :0 -all after clicking on the ghost window:
xwininfo: Window id: 0x1b75612 "xfce4-panel"

  Root window id: 0x6d1 (the root window) (has no name)
  Parent window id: 0x6d1 (the root window) (has no name)
     1 child:
     0x1b75613 (has no name): ()  1x1+-1+-1  +2926+461

  Absolute upper-left X:  2927
  Absolute upper-left Y:  462
  Relative upper-left X:  2927
  Relative upper-left Y:  462
  Width: 328
  Height: 637
  Depth: 32
  Visual: 0x6ba
  Visual Class: TrueColor
  Border width: 0
  Class: InputOutput
  Colormap: 0x1a00002 (not installed)
  Bit Gravity State: NorthWestGravity
  Window Gravity State: NorthWestGravity
  Backing Store State: NotUseful
  Save Under State: yes
  Map State: IsViewable
  Override Redirect State: yes
  Corners:  +2927+462  -585+462  -585-341  +2927-341
  -geometry 328x637+2927+462

  Bit gravity: NorthWestGravity
  Window gravity: NorthWestGravity
  Backing-store hint: NotUseful
  Backing-planes to be preserved: 0xffffffff
  Backing pixel: 0
  Save-unders: Yes

  Someone wants these events:
      KeyPress
      KeyRelease
      ButtonPress
      ButtonRelease
      EnterWindow
      LeaveWindow
      PointerMotion
      ButtonMotion
      Exposure
      VisibilityChange
      StructureNotify
      FocusChange
      PropertyChange
  Do not propagate these events:
  Override redirection?: Yes

  Window manager hints:
      Client accepts input or input focus: Yes
      Initial state is Normal State
      Window type:
          Popup Menu
      Process id: 2661 on host <redacted>

  Normal window size hints:
      Program supplied minimum size: 328 by 637
      Program supplied maximum size: 328 by 637
      Program supplied base size: 0 by 0
      Program supplied window gravity: NorthWestGravity
  No zoom window size hints defined

  No window shape defined
  No border shape defined
  • Here is the output of xwininfo -d :0 -all after clicking on the panel at the top of the screen:
xwininfo: Window id: 0x1a00003 "xfce4-panel"

  Root window id: 0x6d1 (the root window) (has no name)
  Parent window id: 0x1200587 (has no name)
     4 children:
     0x1a0000e (has no name): ()  90x50+1190+0  +3750+416
        1 child:
        0x2800003 "wrapper-2.0": ("wrapper-2.0" "Wrapper-2.0")  90x50+0+0  +3750+416
           1 child:
           0x2800004 (has no name): ()  1x1+-1+-1  +3749+415
     0x1a0000d (has no name): ()  69x50+1121+0  +3681+416
        1 child:
        0x2600003 "wrapper-2.0": ("wrapper-2.0" "Wrapper-2.0")  69x50+0+0  +3681+416
           4 children:
           0x2600029 (has no name): ()  22x22+24+1  +3705+417
              1 child:
              0x1c00003 "xfce4-power-manager": ("xfce4-power-manager" "Xfce4-power-manager")  22x22+0+0  +3705+417
                 1 child:
                 0x1c00004 (has no name): ()  1x1+-1+-1  +3704+416
           0x2600019 (has no name): ()  22x22+0+26  +3681+442
              1 child:
              0x3000003 "Ethernet network connection “Wired connection 1” active": ("nm-applet" "Nm-applet")  22x22+0+0  +3681+442
                 1 child:
                 0x3000004 (has no name): ()  1x1+-1+-1  +3680+441
           0x260000a (has no name): ()  22x22+0+1  +3681+417
              1 child:
              0xc00010 "IBus Panel": ("ibus-ui-gtk" "ibus-ui-gtk")  22x22+0+0  +3681+417
                 1 child:
                 0xc00011 (has no name): ()  1x1+-1+-1  +3680+416
           0x2600004 (has no name): ()  1x1+-1+-1  +3680+415
     0x1a0000c (has no name): ()  254x50+695+0  +3255+416
        1 child:
        0x2400003 "wrapper-2.0": ("wrapper-2.0" "Wrapper-2.0")  254x50+0+0  +3255+416
           1 child:
           0x2400004 (has no name): ()  1x1+-1+-1  +3254+415
     0x1a00004 (has no name): ()  1x1+-1+-1  +2559+415

  Absolute upper-left X:  2560
  Absolute upper-left Y:  416
  Relative upper-left X:  0
  Relative upper-left Y:  0
  Width: 1280
  Height: 51
  Depth: 32
  Visual: 0x6ba
  Visual Class: TrueColor
  Border width: 0
  Class: InputOutput
  Colormap: 0x1a00002 (not installed)
  Bit Gravity State: NorthWestGravity
  Window Gravity State: NorthWestGravity
  Backing Store State: NotUseful
  Save Under State: no
  Map State: IsViewable
  Override Redirect State: no
  Corners:  +2560+416  -0+416  -0-973  +2560-973
  -geometry 1280x51-0+416

  Bit gravity: NorthWestGravity
  Window gravity: NorthWestGravity
  Backing-store hint: NotUseful
  Backing-planes to be preserved: 0xffffffff
  Backing pixel: 0
  Save-unders: No

  Someone wants these events:
      KeyPress
      KeyRelease
      ButtonPress
      ButtonRelease
      EnterWindow
      LeaveWindow
      PointerMotion
      ButtonMotion
      Exposure
      VisibilityChange
      StructureNotify
      FocusChange
      PropertyChange
  Do not propagate these events:
  Override redirection?: No

  Window manager hints:
      Client accepts input or input focus: Yes
      Initial state is Normal State
      Displayed on all desktops
      Window type:
          Dock
      Window state:
          Sticky
          Skip Pager
          Skip Taskbar
          Focused
      Process id: 2661 on host <redacted>
      Frame extents: 0, 0, 0, 0

  Normal window size hints:
      Program supplied minimum size: 1280 by 51
      Program supplied maximum size: 1280 by 51
      Program supplied base size: 0 by 0
      Program supplied window gravity: StaticGravity
  No zoom window size hints defined

  No window shape defined
  No border shape defined

Here are some screenshots to illustrate how it behaves as I change display settings. It's not really visible in the thumbnails; click on them to see the full-size versions.

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  • Try xwininfo -d :0 -all, you may get some hint on what process is displaying this. If you cannot type this in a graphic terminal when the problem occurs, you can switch to a regular console with Ctrl-Alt-Fn, type this, go back to your graphic session and click on the ghost window, and then go back to the console to read the output.
    – xhienne
    Oct 15, 2023 at 20:39
  • @xhienne xwininfo says it's xfce4-panel; I've put the full output in my question. Should I try sending it some signal with kill? Oct 15, 2023 at 21:33
  • The PID of the faulty process is given (2661). Is it the PID of the xfce4-panel or of one of its sub-process? (ps auxf may be handy) You can kill 2661, if xfce4-panel dies, it may automatically respawn, though, I don't know. Save your work.
    – xhienne
    Oct 15, 2023 at 23:53
  • ps says PID 2661 is the only xfce4-panel command, with its parent being xfce4-session. Using xwininfo on the top panel gives the same PID but different window information. I'll try killing PID 2661 and let you what happens. Oct 16, 2023 at 1:03
  • 1
    kill 2661 got rid of the ghost window, as well as top and bottom panels. xfce4-panel & restored the panels but not the ghost window. Problem solved, I think! Thanks @xhienne for telling me about xwininfo! Oct 16, 2023 at 1:05

1 Answer 1

1

Easier solution: xkill -frame (try xkill first?)

  1. Run xwininfo -d :0 -all (thanks @xhienne!) and click on the ghost window. Record the string in quotes after Window id: and the number after Process id:.
  2. Run kill followed by the number after Process id:.
  3. If something unwanted disappears, restore it by running a command consisting of the string in quotes after Window id: followed by &.
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  • If killing the faulty app was the only solution, then xkill would have been enough and quicker. I suggested xwininfo in order to get some hints about what was going wrong.
    – xhienne
    Oct 16, 2023 at 1:13
  • @xhienne Yeah, good point, it looks like that would've worked too, and been much easier: I tried doing xkill on one of the panels, and it closed both, but then restarted them. Feel free to post that as an answer, and I'll give it my upvote and the checkmark. Oct 16, 2023 at 1:17
  • I'm glad you took the time to write an answer, you can checkmark your own. Moreover, I don't consider a kill as a definitive solution: your XFCE4 panel is obviously buggy, that bug can reappear at any time.
    – xhienne
    Oct 16, 2023 at 7:58
  • @xhienne It happened again. xkill didn't work, but xkill -frame did. I'm still not quite sure what the cause is. In this case, I noticed it after killing and restarting Firefox because it was overloading my computer, but I'm not sure when it first appeared. Nov 11, 2023 at 1:58
  • I was not stating that xkill was easier than xkill -frame, but easier than the method based on xwininfo that I suggested in comment to your question (xkill just automates that manual process). This looks like a bug in xfce4-panel that you should report to the XFCE development team.
    – xhienne
    Nov 11, 2023 at 11:21

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