Ubuntu: Unity doesn't load, no Launcher, no Dash appears



Question:

When I login, nothing happens.

I am presented with my desktop wallpaper.

Blank desktops suck

No Dash, no Launcher, nothing.


Solution:1

You just need to turn the Unity plugin back on. The problem is this is a pain in the bottom because you've now got no graphical method to do this. So:

  1. Try to open a terminal with Ctrl+Alt+T.
    This may not work but you can try right clicking on the desktop and selecting "Open terminal here." Otherwise, you may need to change to a "hard" terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1 and log in.

  2. Install compizconfig-settings-manager by running

    sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager  
  3. Then run it with this:

    DISPLAY=:0 ccsm &  

    The first part tells the terminal which display you want it to load on (otherwise it won't have a clue).

  4. If you switched to a TTY in step 1, switch back to the graphical server by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F7 (or Ctrl+Alt+F8 sometimes).
    There there should be a CompizConfig Settings Manager waiting for you.

  5. Find the Unity plugin. Enable it. You will be asked "Ubuntu Unity Plugin requires the plugin OpenGL. Enable Ubuntu Unity Plugin / Enable OpenGL"

  6. Everything should spring into life but if it doesn't, you might have to restart. You can do that by going back to the terminal and running sudo reboot.


Solution:2

A solution good for me (has solved the same problem):

in a terminal:

export DISPLAY=:0     sudo dconf reset -f /org/compiz/  

and then

setsid unity  


Solution:3

In 13.04 and 14.04:

unity --replace is deprecated. Instead, use the following:

dconf reset -f /org/compiz/   unity --reset-icons &disown  

Reboot if it doesn't work right away.


Solution:4

For 12.10 and below:

Press Ctrl+Alt+T for a terminal and run ccsm, then re-enable your 'Unity' plugin.

You also may then need to run a unity --replace.


Solution:5

It is a good idea to check your graphics driver is configured to use hardware acceleration and it is configured to use OpenGL. Try searching Ask Ubuntu and Ubuntu Forums for information specific to your GPUs and Ubuntu flavour. For hybrid graphics users see the last section "Hybrid Graphics" below.

You might want to run the compizconfig-settings-manager Install compizconfig-settings-manager package and make sure that the Unity plugin is checked (see What are some of the issues with CCSM and why would I want to avoid it?).

For 12.04 And Newer

  1. Change to tty1 by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1 and log in.

  2. Install compizconfig-settings-manager by running

    sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager  
  3. Then run it by doing this:

    export DISPLAY=:0  ccsm  

    The first part tells the terminal which display you want it to load on (otherwise it won't have a clue).

  4. Press Ctrl+Alt+F7 (or Ctrl+Alt+F8 sometimes) to get back to the graphical display where there should be a CompizConfig Settings Manager screen sitting there.

  5. Find the Unity plugin. Enable it. CCSM

  6. Everything should spring into life but if it doesn't, you might have to restart. You can do that by going back to tty1 and running sudo reboot.

If unity still does not load try:

dconf reset -f /org/compiz/  unity --reset-icons &disown  

Reboot if it doesn't work right away.

For 11.10 And Older

If you hope into a TTY (Ctrl+Alt+F1 through F6) and run:

DISPLAY=:0 unity --replace  

It will reset Unity back on TTY 7 (Ctrl+Alt++F7).

You can also try just:

DISPLAY=:0 unity  

But that won't work if a windows manager is already running on display 0 (it will give you an error, just use unity --replace in that case).

If Unity absolutely refuses to restart try this:

Install gnome-panel:

sudo apt-get install gnome-panel  

Than run it on display 0:

DISPLAY=:0 gnome-panel  

You should then have Gnome 2 style panels on your desktop, which you can use to logout.

Hybrid Graphics

Some very useful information and further reading for hybrid graphics users can be found here.

Once GPUs are configured appropriately for 3D acceleration and OpenGL you can:

  1. Install Nvidia drivers from https://edge.launchpad.net/~xorg-edgers/+archive/ppa:

    sudo apt-add repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa  

    or:

    I would really prefer the stable PPA, but it does not seem to have packages for 13.04 yet. Update: these seem to be available as of Sep. 25. I would install this stable PPA - you can try but I have not tested it.

    The Ubuntu-supplied Nvidia drivers were already installed and I simply installed from this PPA by adding it and doing a package update using update-manager.

    sudo apt-add repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates  
  2. Install Bumblebee from https://launchpad.net/~bumblebee/+archive/stable

    UPDATE: As of Oct. 6, ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa seems to contain bumblebee as well. So if you install from this PPA, you might want to try skipping the addition of the Bumblebee PPA and installing it from here instead.

    If you chose the stable PPA in step 1, install the Bumblebee stable PPA as follows:

    sudo apt-add-repository ppa:bumblebee/stable  
  3. UPDATE: After adding the PPA(s), update your package lists:

    sudo apt-get update  

    If you already had nvidia drivers installed from Ubuntu's standard repositories, simply upgrade to get the new version from the repository chosen in step 1:

    sudo apt-get upgrade  sudo apt-get install bumblebee  
  4. Perform the following commands to 'repair' Unity (from brandon-bertelsen's answer to Unity doesn't load, no Launcher, no Dash appears):

    dconf reset -f /org/compiz/  unity --reset-icons & disown  


Solution:6

The easiest way to do this is to press Ctrl+Alt+T to get a terminal and then issue:

rm -rf ~/.compiz-1 ~/.config/compiz-1  

and your unity session will come back before your eyes..

This technique is better than re-launching ccsm, because you can get into OP's error condition without even accidentally de-selecting unity in ccsm; you can get it simply by accidentally pressing the "preferences" button in ccsm.


Solution:7

I had this problem too. I solved it with deleting the content of the ~/.config/compiz-1/compizconfig file and relog.

rm -rf ~/.config/compiz-1/compizconfig/*  


Solution:8

I have had exactly the same issue.

If you have Compiz Config Settings Manager installed it may be that the Unity Desktop Plugin is disabled.

Log in to a Unity 2D desktop and check that it is enabled in CCSM like this,

CCSM

Unity Shell will not load in the default desktop if the tickbox is not checked and you will get the session in your picture.


Solution:9

Developers are always fixing bugs, so an alternative is to wait, and to follow progress on bug fixing (subscribe to Unity development in Launchpad).

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+F2.

  2. Log in.

  3. Run sudo shutdown -r now in a terminal.

  4. At the login screen after your system restarts, choose Unity 2D (for now) by right-clicking the sprocket icon.

  5. Wait for a fix for Unity 3D/Ubuntu 11.10 (e.g. a week).

  6. Update your system to get the fix; in a terminal type sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade.

UPDATE: I was able to resolve this by using ccsm, from Unity 2D login.

(This is adapted from this Ubuntu Forums post.)

  1. At the login screen, select Unity 2D and login.

  2. Install ccsm (CompizConfig Settings Manager) by running in a terminal: sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager compiz-fusion-plugins-extra.

  3. Start ccsm, and select the category Desktop. Enable the Ubuntu Unity Plugin; if asked to resolve conflicts, select the MIDDLE button for all conflicts. Close ccsm when done.

  4. Restart, select Unity (3D) and login.


Solution:10

I have an Asus U36SD using an "Optimus" (Intel + Nvidia GPUs) set-up. I had Ubuntu 12.04 working just fine, but upgrading to 12.10, this problem appeared and persisted in 13.04. I have managed to fix it trough the following steps:

  1. Install Nvidia drivers from https://edge.launchpad.net/~xorg-edgers/+archive/ppa.

    OR:

    I would really prefer the stable PPA at https://edge.launchpad.net/~ubuntu-x-swat/+archive/x-updates, but it does not seem to have packages for 13.04 yet. Update: these seem to be available as of Sep. 25. I would install this stable PPA - you can try but I have not tested it.

    The Ubuntu-supplied Nvidia drivers were already installed and I simply installed from this PPA by adding it and doing a package update using update-manager. UPDATE:

    sudo apt-add repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa  

    (what I did) or:

    sudo apt-add repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates  

    (stable release for 13.04 too now - not tested by me).

  2. Install Bumblebee from https://launchpad.net/~bumblebee/+archive/stable

    UPDATE: As of Oct. 6, ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa seems to contain bumblebee as well. So if you install from this PPA, you might want to try skipping the addition of the Bumblebee PPA and installing it from here instead.

    If you chose the stable PPA in step 1, install the Bumblebee stable PPA as follows:

    sudo apt-add-repository ppa:bumblebee/stable  
  3. UPDATE: After adding the PPA(s), update your package lists:

    sudo apt-get update  

    If you already had nvidia drivers installed from Ubuntu's standard repositories, simply upgrade to get the new version from the repository chosen in step 1.:

    sudo apt-get upgrade  

    Install Bumblebee

    sudo apt-get install bumblebee  
  4. Perform the following commands to 'repair' Unity (from brandon-bertelsen's answer to Unity doesn't load, no Launcher, no Dash appears):

    dconf reset -f /org/compiz/   unity --reset-icons &disown  


Solution:11

The original poster of the duplicate question, solved in editing his own question:

Solution found : Delete .Xauthority in my home (or rename it)


Solution:12

For 13.10:

Just to insure everything is installed:

sudo apt-get install --reinstall unity ubuntu-desktop  

Next, reload everything:

dconf reset -f /org/compiz/ && unity --reset-icons &disown  

I just tried this and it works!

Source:

https://askubuntu.com/a/204784/54037

If all else fails:

Remember, always make backups! However, sometimes a fresh install is good, reinstall Ubuntu?


Solution:13

It seems there's a problem with 12.04 Unity 3D and the current Nvidia drivers.

See this post (Unity 3d no longer works after installing 12.04) for details of how to work round the problem.

I have a 32 bit Pentium 4 3.06 GHz Compaq D520SFF, with an Nvidia GeForce 6200, running kernel 3.2.0-24-generic-pae, and had exactly the same problem (2D works, 3D doesn't), and downgrading the Nvidia drivers got 3D working for me in a couple of minutes.


Solution:14

For the icons, it is due to Nautilus. Write nautilus & in a terminal, do not close it, and the icons will be back.

EDIT 10/10/2013: for Nautilus you can also type Alt + F2 to open Unity command line prompt and write nautilus in the global search/prompt CLI. A file explorer will open. You can close it if you want.


Solution:15

I had a similar problem:

unity with 14.04 in combination with IBM Notes9 resulted in some strange behavior (mouse clicks would stop working). My workaround for that was to open a terminal and restart unity by typing unity &.

The last time I did that, it totally corrupted unity - the no dash, no launcher no nothing. I think I tried EVERY suggestion that is listed on this page - none of it did help.

But a coworker finally had the answer that worked for me:
I installed the unity-tweak-tool; than I ran unity-tweak-tool --reset-unity and rebooted.

Afterwards, unity was back alive. Obviously all prior configuration changes to unity were gone, but that is what --reset-unity is about.

And the big advantage of this solution: it requires you to only add a single package and to redo your unity config changes - but you do not have to reset compiz, install ccsm, or follow all the other lengthy activities.

Update:

the other solution I find very helpful nowadays comes from here - the point: sometimes you have to remove (or even better: pull in a "working" backup) of your ~/.config/dconf/user file.


Solution:16

If you hope into a tty (Ctrl+Alt+F1 through F6) and run:

DISPLAY=:0 unity --replace  

It will reset Unity back on tty 7 (Ctrl+Alt++F7).

You can also try just:

DISPLAY=:0 unity  

But that won't work if a windows manager is already running on display 0 (it will give you an error, just use unity --replace in that case).

If Unity absolutely refuses to restart try this:

Install gnome-panel:

sudo apt-get install gnome-panel  

Than run it on display 0:

DISPLAY=:0 gnome-panel  

You should then have Gnome 2 style panels on your desktop, which you can use to logout.

I find Unity to be really buggy on 13.04 with my Nvidia card.. YMMV.


Solution:17

I have had about 3 times where I needed the Ctrl+Alt+F1 to not loose work and it messed up... I have nvidia also. I would like to suggest this:

Ctrl+Alt+F1 (ok, blank screen) Type your login, hit Enter, then password (all in blank screen) type this now:

sudo startx -- :1  

will have to type password again and Enter this will open a X session at Ctrl+Alt+F8 (will jump to it automatically) now create a new empty text file called runBash.sh, and type on it:

bash  

save it, change its permissions to executable, and run it, you will get a truly relieving terminal that makes you remember why Linux is good ! :D

after you finish, remember to Ctrl+Alt+F1, hit Ctrl+C (will end the new X session), type exit, Enter, will end the terminal (blank screen) session. if you think you missed typing exit, just hit Ctrl+C and type again, don’t do it too fast.

so you can improve it, make a script to let you type as little as possible, but anyway you will still have to type a lot while the screen is blank, but it is better than nothing :)

Still looking for definitive Ctrl+Alt+F1 proper solution Ubuntu 12.04 + nvidia.


Solution:18

If you use an acceleration graphics card alongside the default graphics card, it's possibly due to the installation of their drivers. A few updates of acceleration graphics cards drivers in systems that have two graphics card tend to present unstable behavior in some systems. I have an Nvidia card and an Intel card. It used to happen with me when I installed Nvidia drivers. Launcher and panel would disappear from the the desktop. If you use an Nvidia card, installing Bumblebee could be a temporary solution: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Bumblebee


Solution:19

The first answer works fine, except I needed to install Unity itself:

sudo apt-get install unity  

then run:

ccsm  

and enable Unity :)


Solution:20

I had pretty much the same problem under 12.04. Unity was slow with my aged GPU, so I was using Unity 2d as my desktop for months. For no apparent reason, it suddenly refused to display launchpad and title bar (for all users). Reenabling Unity in CCSM as sugggested here was part of the solution, but none of the other measures suggested here, there or in several other related threads, including, but not limited to:

  • Reinstalling unity

  • Reinstalling ubuntu desktop

  • Removing all relevant (e.g. compiz, gconf, etc.) configuration information

helped me to completely resolve these symptoms under 12.04 (64 bit).

unity --reset  

would not work for me. After delivering a variety of error and information messages, it would always hang at:

Setting Update "run_key"  

as shown in the log posted in the thread titled "unity has vanished" for unity run with no arguments.

I noticed that the error message delivered by:

/usr/lib/nux/unity_support_test -p  

was similar to some of the errors reported by unity --reset:

error while loading shared libraries: libGL.so.1: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory.

After extensive searching, I found the following solution:

  • Get the path of libGL.so.1 by using the command locate libGL.so.1.

  • Add a link to the library in /usr/lib/ as shown in the following example:

    sudo ln -s /usr/lib/i386/mesa/libGL.so.1 /usr/lib  

    (courtesy of J.D. Bartlett)

  • Restart the computer.

This not only allowed both unity_support_test-p and unity --reset to run, it also allowed Unity 2D to start. I have no idea what caused my problems, but since creating the links above (several weeks now) I have had no further problems.


Solution:21

When I accidentally upgraded from 12.04 LTS Ubuntu to 13.04, I too had to face the same issues such as missing side menu bar, no window options, not being able to switch between applications (alt-tab) and I couldn't even drag windows on the screen. After following so many options I ended up with the following set of commands to fix these issues.

sudo apt-get remove aspell #may not be relevant  sudo apt-get remove dictionaries-common  

reboot (you can use sudo reboot)

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager  sudo apt-get install dictionaries-common  sudo apt-get install lightdm  

reboot (you can use sudo reboot)

dconf reset -f /org/compiz/  unity --reset-icons & disown  

I actually removed aspell because of conflicting dependency. This might not have any correlation between this issue. I think re-installing lightdm and resetting compiz helped me in fixing this.


Solution:22

It happens when you login with another tty and try, as the same user, to start X (with startx or initx) .

For example, Ubuntu runs in tty7. With Ctrl+Alt+F1 tty1 opens. Log in as the same user, and run startx. Go back to tty7, logout and login. You only get the desktop wall paper.

To solve the problem, choose tty1, login, remove the .Xauthority file in your home directory, logout, login. Solved.


Solution:23

I am having the same issue, and solved by following using pycharm's terminal.

 - Go to my-computer -> user -> share ->     - open pycharm and its terminal   - sudo apt-get update   - sudo apt-get upgrade    - sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop  


Solution:24

I tried many of the solutions mentioned in this thread as well as others. Finally this worked for me:

dconf reset -f /org/compiz/  

then

setsid unity  

Thanks everybody for contributing.


Solution:25

Today I've encountered situation where user of my script has decided to launch it by placing the call to script into his $HOME/.profile file. As a result , Unity couldn't launch.

Scripts by nature are sequential, so .profile basically was waiting for the script to finish , and Unity couldn't start if .profile didn't finish running.

I've done the same thing,called the script from .profile, and received the same result - my login screen wallpaper stayed there, no dash or launcher appeared, could not right click on desktop or perform any action other than login to TTY1.

The solution was to remove appropriate line from the .profile. It's possible to detach a command from .profile using the ampersand, <command> & form , but the problem is that every time user opens terminal or logs in to TTY, a new instance of that command is spawned. Hence, I would strongly advise not to launch any programs from .profile unless you know what you're doing.

Link to original script and discussion here: https://askubuntu.com/a/739631/295286


Solution:26

This happened to me as well in Ubuntu 16.04 after an upgrade of unity and compiz packages. None of the above worked.

The only way I found to have launchers and dashes back was to remove (while NOT logged into Unity) the directory .cache in my home.


Solution:27

I had the same issue after doing sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop which broke my lightdm install for some reason. I'm running 16.04 here.

Press ctrl - alt - F1 to get to the terminal, then:

sudo service lightdm stop  sudo apt-get remove lightdm  sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install lightdm  sudo reboot  

That fixed it for me after hours of pulling my hair out.


Solution:28

I had this Problem, I tried a load of things and even enabled unity, but nothing worked. First, you need to open TTY (ctrl+alt+F1) and login. Now use

    env DISLAY:=0 gnome-terminal          

Close TTY with ctrl+alt+F7, then use (in terminal)

dconf reset -f /org/compiz/  

After that, use

sudo reboot  


Solution:29

I had the same problem and all the suggestions above failed for me.

I made the following steps:

  1. Installed kubuntu-desktop as an user interface alternative for Unity (login via ALT + Ctrl + F1, then sudo apt-get install kubuntu-desktop). Sure, you can choose other Unity alternatives.

  2. Restarted the machine and logged in via KDE.

  3. Created a temp user (let's name it alice) with admin rights.
  4. Copied my files in Alice's account.
  5. Deleted the original user (including the files)
  6. Created again the original user (same username, same rights)
  7. Copied the files from backup.
  8. Deleted the temp user (alice).

Then, you don't need KDE anymore. ;-)


Solution:30

I had recently edited my .bashrc file with the line guake -r $(hostname) to automatically rename tabs whenever I opened a new tab in guake and everything was working perfectly. Then I restarted my computer a few days later and encountered this problem. I can only assume that trying to start guake without a valid display resulted in some error that completely destroyed something in the unity pipeline.

So if you've recently modified your ~/.bashrc try undoing changes.


Note:If u also have question or solution just comment us below or mail us on toontricks1994@gmail.com
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