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Hey guys, I've been using Ubuntu (Maverick 10.10) on my desktop (ATI Radeon 5830) for about 3 weeks now, but all of a sudden I am unable to even use my computer.

As soon as I start up, I see my desktop, with icons, but I don't see any gnome-panels, and I'm unable to get any options if I right-click. I can start programs by double clicking them. I also cannot get an internet connection.

I've tried restarting gnome-panel by killing it, using Ctrl+Alt+5 to switch to a terminal (I don't have a shortcut to one on my desktop, and no hotkeys will work), but no luck. Restarting my computer has no effect upon this (I have to manually cut the power, since I don't know the terminal command).

As far as I know, I have not made any changes, and I've never had any problems in the past. This started when I was playing Minecraft, but my internet crapped out, and no amount of re-trying the connection would work. I know it was my computer, as my brother's was working fine in the other room.

Any clues as to what's going on? I'm more than willing to troubleshoot.

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The command to shut down is shutdown. You'll need root privileges (sudo shutdown), and rebooting is indicated by the -r flag. –  CajunLuke Mar 14 '11 at 20:13
    
I'm able to reboot using 'sudo reboot', I don't know if 'sudo shutdown -r' is any different. No changes upon reboot, though. –  Darthfett Mar 15 '11 at 6:00
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All I know from Minecraft is trouble. What a mess! Since the whole desktop seems to be unusable, I would try:

sudo apt-get remove --purge ubuntu-desktop
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

This won't affect the network. What does the following command print out?

ifconfig

I have a bug with my Asus mainboard Ethernet adapter that sometimes prevents initialisation if I don't take the plug out my PC before powering on.

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This is my output from ifconfig. I use my wireless: pastebin.com/y0Pu16KP –  Darthfett Mar 15 '11 at 18:21
    
My friend says that it nautilus seems to be working, but gnome does not. I was able to actually pipe that output directly from my desktop, into a file, and transfer it to my external hard drive (actually opening the drive and home folder via the icons on my desktop). –  Darthfett Mar 15 '11 at 18:23
    
I'm also trying to figure out how I would get ubuntu-desktop installed without a desktop, but the only help I found was using apt-mirror to download the repositories (quite a bit of downloading), and then install locally. Is there a simple way to locally install a single package? –  Darthfett Mar 15 '11 at 18:40
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