xfce4-notifyd loaded inactive - aka thunar usb unmount freeze

A few days after installation, upon boot, mandb ran for several minutes with 25% CPU load - after that finished I searched and followed one post, ran mandb -c (again some 5 min with load), all quiet since then. This way I learrned that a Manjaro install may accomplish some things not immediately upon installation and updates.

A little earlier (? - I'm not really sure) I noticed that a USB unmount took more than a minute in Thunar, while Thunar itself froze. This had not been the case immediately after the installation. Extensive search lead to a hint that Thunar tries to open a notification. bbs.archlinux(dot)org/viewtopic.php?id=247371
And right - xfce4-notifyd is not running:

$ systemctl --user status xfce4-notifyd.service
● xfce4-notifyd.service - XFCE notifications service
   Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/user/xfce4-notifyd.service; static; vendor >
   Active: inactive (dead)
lines 1-3/3 (END)

That's easily solved, but I'd have to do it upon every boot:

$ systemctl --user start xfce4-notifyd.service
$ systemctl --user status xfce4-notifyd.service
● xfce4-notifyd.service - XFCE notifications service
   Loaded: loaded (/usr/lib/systemd/user/xfce4-notifyd.service; static; vendor >
   Active: active (running) since Thu 2020-01-02 19:55:17 CET; 25s ago
 Main PID: 1351 (xfce4-notifyd)
   CGroup: /user.slice/user-1000.slice/user@1000.service/xfce4-notifyd.service
           └─1351 /usr/lib/xfce4/notifyd/xfce4-notifyd

Jan 02 19:55:16 pacific systemd[765]: Starting XFCE notifications service...
Jan 02 19:55:17 pacific systemd[765]: Started XFCE notifications service.
lines 1-9/9 (END)

Now my Thunar unmounts USB media fluently (unless there's a lot in the cache to write out - and the notification tells me to wait).

To make it persistent I created ~/.config/autostart/xfce4-notifyd-autostart.desktop

[Desktop Entry]
Hidden=false
Exec=systemctl --user start xfce4-notifyd.service

This resolved also another issue with the network manager tray applet - obviously it also tried to pop up a notification about a (not) connected network, but failed, and it took 1 1/2 min to get the icon displayed correctly.

There is a post here:
https://archived.forum.manjaro.org/t/notification-service-will-not-start-via-systemctl/97172

  • if I remember it right, there is an issue with the different versions of xfce4-notifyd packages - one should start when called and terminate after 10 min, the other run forever. The advise was to install xfce4-notifyd-git - I did that, but it remained all the same as shown above. I also reinstalled dbus and the originally installed xfce4-notifyd packages, no change. This post asked for output of journald:
$ journalctl --user -xe
...
(line 4317:)
Jan 02 19:47:08 pacific dbus-daemon[788]: [session uid=1000 pid=788] Activating service name='org.freedesktop.Notifications' requested by ':1.24' (uid=1000 pid=881 comm="/usr/lib/xfce4/pane>
...
(line 4499:)
Jan 02 19:48:09 pacific dbus-daemon[788]: [session uid=1000 pid=788] Activated service 'org.freedesktop.Notifications' failed: Process org.freedesktop.Notifications exited with status 1
...

After doing the "start" manually as explained above, I find:

Jan 02 19:55:16 pacific systemd[765]: Starting XFCE notifications service...
-- Subject: A start job for unit UNIT has begun execution
-- Defined-By: systemd
-- Support: https://archived.forum.manjaro.org/c/technical-issues-and-assistance
-- 
-- A start job for unit UNIT has begun execution.
-- 
-- The job identifier is 244.
Jan 02 19:55:17 pacific systemd[765]: Started XFCE notifications service.
-- Subject: A start job for unit UNIT has finished successfully
-- Defined-By: systemd
-- Support: https://archived.forum.manjaro.org/c/technical-issues-and-assistance
-- 
-- A start job for unit UNIT has finished successfully.
-- 
-- The job identifier is 244.
lines 4455-4504/4504 (END)

After waiting for more than 10 min the notification service is still alive, the configuration applet (invoked by xfce4-notifyd-config) no more complains that "The Notification Service is not running. No notifications will be shown."

In my opinion there's something missing in the package xfce4-notifyd. The systemctl complains:

$ systemctl --user enable xfce4-notifyd.service
The unit files have no installation config (WantedBy=, RequiredBy=, Also=,
Alias= settings in the [Install] section, and DefaultInstance= for template
units). This means they are not meant to be enabled using systemctl.
 
Possible reasons for having this kind of units are:
• A unit may be statically enabled by being symlinked from another unit's
  .wants/ or .requires/ directory.
• A unit's purpose may be to act as a helper for some other unit which has
  a requirement dependency on it.
• A unit may be started when needed via activation (socket, path, timer,
  D-Bus, udev, scripted systemctl call, ...).
• In case of template units, the unit is meant to be enabled with some
  instance name specified.

Starting to read man systemd I despaired trying to understand what's missing here - maybe someone can help? If any system reports needed, I'm ready to send them.

Could there be a relation to my installation being set to german? E.g. kdenlive fails to set up a ffmpeg commandline unless I set kdenlive itself, Manjaro number format and Manjaro date and time format to US-english - error "invalid option -ss 144,6" (mind the decimal comma - anyway i'm going to report to the kdenlive team, too).....

My system's inxi -Fxzc0
https://archived.forum.manjaro.org/t/dump-your-inxi-fxzc0-here-and-bookmark-it/8298/658

The best wishes to you all for the new year!
Dirk

Thanks for the post and the handy workaround with the autostart.

I am also seeing xfce4-notifyd not starting on a fresh install of manjaro, which seems to have some nasty side effects, such as freezing the UI of spotify and thunderbird. Non-nerdy users will be unhappy about this if it is actually a common problem in the release, can someone look into that?

5.4.12-1-MANJARO |Release:|18.1.5|

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