Desktop Icons Keep Disappearing and Appearance Changes by itself

I am facing this issue since I installed ZorinOS 16. It keeps coming every few days:
first, desktop icons disappear and I am unable to bring them back, and after an hour or so the desktop appearance is reverted to the non-taskbar view.
I am unable to revert back to the taskbar view, or restore desktop icons until I restart or logout from the session. Any ideas what could cause this?

Hello and welcome to the forum :slight_smile:
Are you using Core or Pro version of Zorin 16?
And which layout you are using?

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This sounds like your Desktop Session is crashing.

This makes FrenchPress's question very Relevant as the following command would be different on Zorin OS Pro.
But if using Zorin OS Core, please open a terminal and run:

sudo apt install --reinstall zorin-os-desktop gnome-shell gnome gdm3

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Thanks for the reply. I am using the core (free) version.
UPDATE: a few minutes after I posted the question, all of sudden the icons came back and the layout restored. I don't know what is going on.
Is there any log I can look into ?

I will ask our log specialist @Aravisian

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Did you run the install command above?

You can check /var/logs and in your Home directory, .xsession-errors (hit ctrl+h to reveal hidden files).


Did you run the install command above?

No. In fact everything was restored before I even read the responses :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
I will check the logs and let you know if I find something


Yes, the problem may recur.

In fact, I wasn't able to find .xsession-errors in my home neither in /var/log. Only one copy under /root/ with some info messages and no errors/exceptions.
This might seem unreasonable, but: could it be that ZorinOS is turning desktop service off while updating some packages and runs it again? (I am new to Linux as desktop env., so I don't know if it behaves like Windows in installing updates in the background)

No. Any updates applied to the Desktop would be initiated on the next restart. Unlike windows, Zorin OS does not take over the desktop while you are using it.
Updates that you select that can take effect right away do so. But anything that would interupt the user and workflow must wait on the user to pause (Either from log out or reboot).

Logs to look at in /var/log would be
maybe boot.log

There are several non-repeating events that can crash Nautilus or Gnome-Shell, so it may not happen again. But if you prefer to be safe; you can preform

sudp aot install --reinstall zorin-os-desktop gnome-shell

in order to ensure Nautilus and Gnome-Shell is properly installed and configured.



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It happened yesterday once again, but this time I was able to restore by locking/unlocking desktop. I have tried reinstall command but it didn't seem to resolve the issue.

I am sharing some logs of yesterday from files you mentioned

This sounds like Gnome-Shell is crashing and going into fallback.

I am seeing some Graphics issues in your syslog- What graphics card are you using?

It is CPU built-in Intel Graphics
Intel® Core™ i7-10750H CPU @ 2.60GHz × 12
Mesa Intel® UHD Graphics (CML GT2)

Can you please try:
Add the repo:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kisak/kisak-mesa

Upgrade the Mesa drivers:

sudo apt update && sudo apt full-upgrade

Reboot and test...

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Thanks for the hint. I have applied the update and restarted. Will see if this resolves the issue and update you :smiley:

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6 Days so far and nothing happened :slight_smile:
I have marked this as solution

Many thanks for your help!


Good to hear - thanks for coming back to update and help others out.


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