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I use Ubuntu 10.04, and every now and then I start getting the following messages when starting gedit, for example.

GConf Error: Failed to contact configuration server; some possible causes are that you need to enable TCP/IP networking for ORBit, or you have stale NFS locks due to a system crash. See for information. (Details - 1: Server ping error:

I did some searching and read suggestions to rm ~/.dbus* or mv ~/.gconfd/saved_state ~/.gconfd/.saved_state but these do not work for me.

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Some people write that it may be due to /tmp mounted as tmpfs - does this aply in your case? – tohuwawohu Aug 31 '11 at 12:09

Did you

rm ~/.dbus*


sudo rm -rf ~/.dbus/*

There was an issue in older distributions of Ubuntu that the .dbus directory was owned by root. Check the output of:

cd $HOME
ls -ld .dbus

Check whether or not the directory is owned by root. Should look like this:

drwx------ 3 userid usergroup 80 2010-08-21 13:37 .dbus/

10.04 made it owned by the user for 9.04 it was owned by root(instead of userid). If it is in fact owned by root it should be removed.

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What should they do after checking this output? – Simon Sheehan Nov 29 '11 at 20:25
@SimonSheehan Just edited the post. – Karlson Nov 29 '11 at 21:00
Thanks, good work! Perhaps you could also explain how to check if its owned by root? – Simon Sheehan Nov 29 '11 at 21:01
@SimonSheehan In a few hours. Ubuntu access restricted at the moment. :) – Karlson Nov 29 '11 at 21:05
Sounds good, thanks for taking time to help improve :) – Simon Sheehan Nov 29 '11 at 21:05

This issue is generally caused by a permissions issue cause by users running commands like:

sudo gedit some_text_file

the correct command to use is:

gksu gedit some_text_file

Note: On some distros gksudo or gksu are interchangeable. At any rate, you can generally fix this by doing:

sudo chown -R username:usergroup /home/username

Generally, username and usergroup will be the same value on most Linux distributions. Hope this helps.

NOTE: The only reason chown -R is prefixed with sudo is becuase it is likely that root level permissions are set on a file that should be owned and controlled by your user.

Cheers! ~Chris

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