Launcher saved me from a pop shell bug

computer science

Mitsuo Shiota


July 16, 2021

I have been using Pop!_OS 20.04 since I built my PC 14 months ago. It worked fine until it didn’t yesterday.

I pushed Super key, and clicked an application icon as usual, but an application didn’t appear on the screen. Instead, icons didn’t go away from the screen, even if I pushed Super key again.

I thought it was a bug of pop shell, as this happened just after I upgraded pop shell, and was sure System 76 would fix this bug. The problem was how to upgrade to the fixed version under the current condition, in which I couldn’t even launch an application.

I checked Pop!_OS Keyboard Shortcuts on my iPad, and found Super key + / would activate a launcher. I tried it, and then typed terminal in the launcher and hit Enter. I could launch Terminal, so I felt at rest.

This morning I launched Terminal, typed sudo apt update and sudo apt dist-upgrade, found pop shell was upgraded, and restarted my PC. Everything is fine now.

What lessons should I learn from this experience?

  1. To have multiple devices helps. Without my iPad, I could not have found a solution.

  2. To learn multiple ways to do the same thing helps. Activities and Launcher both can launch an application.

  3. Frequent module upgrade may be a bad idea. I guess System 76 is too busy to finish up COSMIC on 21.04 and to backport some parts to older versions. Several days ago tile windows failed to work, and yesterday Activities never went away. Both bugs were fixed on the next day. It has been my habit to upgrade modules every day, but I may have to reconsider my habit.

Anyway, I always appreciate System 76 for providing a very useful OS.