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On the upgrade from 11.10 to 12.04, my XMonad + Unity configuration no longer works. When I attempt to log into this session, I get "failed to load session 'xmonad'". Where can I look to figure out what's going wrong?

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What worked for me was to remove the references to unity-2d-launcher entirely from my /usr/share/gnome-session/sessions/xmonad.session (which I had configured for 11.10 the way Mark Hansen suggested):

[GNOME Session]
Name=Xmonad Unity

I always use the shellPrompt instead of the unity launcher anyway, so I don't miss the launcher at all.

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I was able to get the XMonad + Unity configuration to work. I examined the relevant configuration files in /usr/share/xsessions/ and /usr/share/gnome-session/sessions/ (for more info see, and tried to run the various executables they reference. I thus discovered "gnome-panel" had been uninstalled on the upgrade, so I reinstalled it.

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I installed gnome-panel and I still get failed to load session error – Raptrex May 12 '12 at 18:30
thank you installing gnome paneil worked for me – KIMA May 25 '12 at 7:16

The best place to look would be in ~/.xsession-errors you could also try /var/log/syslog.

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Didn't see anything in those files. Did find some references to xmonad in the /var/log/lightdm directory, but nothing to do with the reported error message as far as I can tell. – emchristiansen May 1 '12 at 1:05

The problem is that Unity-2d-launcher no longer exists in Precise. You can change it to unity-2d-shell in gnome-session/sessions/xmonad.session and in ~/.xmonad/xmonad.hs

However, even after doing this, I'm seeing a lot of weird behaviour.

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Possibly relevant: I recently upgraded and found I needed to delete the file ~/.xmonad/xmonad-x86_64-linux, and all was fine. I run gnome + xmonad, but this step is relevant to any upgrade. See here for more notes on my experience.

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