OK. I have now gone outside of my Google Cloud account and installed the same version on one of my dormant paid servers at InterServer. This is a VPS server with 6gb of memory and plenty of disk space. It is configured with the latest Ubuntu 16.04
This now confirms the error also appeared on this new server. I just went through the production setup again using the following command:
sudo python install.py --production --user bkm
Once installed, I logged in as administrator and went through the initial configuration. I immediately went to the Awesome Bar, type in the word setup, and pressed the Enter key.
I got the same error as I reported at the top of this post. That is a CONFIRMED bug that happens with any new production installs. It doen’t matter what you type into the Awesome Bar, as long as you press the Enter key to start the search it breaks.
Please, someone on the developer side, take a look at this. We cannot afford to have the most valuable tool in the system be broken!