My mother-in-law uses Linux, but she's far from the most savvy computer user in the world. It's tough when you start using Linux in your seventies ;) Anyway, somehow she occasionally deletes her GNOME panel. That's a problem because it prevents her from starting any applications. After much practice, I've narrowed down the list of steps that are the easiest to dictate over the phone:
- Restart the computer.
- Don't log in. Rather, hit Cntl-Alt-F1 in order to get to a text-based login screen.
- Now log in.
- Type "rm -rf .gnome* .gconf*".
- Now, hit Cntl-Alt-Delete.
- Let it reboot and then log in normally. Things should be fixed.