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I am running Ubuntu 12.10 on a Dell Dimension 3000 desktop computer. I removed all partitions from the hard drive before installation, installation was flawless, but when I log in, I only see the desktop background and the normal pointing cursor (does not indicate loading, etc.). The first time I noticed this, a few error messages would appear saying that some program had closed unexpectedly (the first one said compiz had closed and asked if I would like to keep it remain closed or relaunch). After pressing the console power button one time, it prompted me to shut down, log out, or hibernate, etc. After restarting, it does the same thing, although I do not see any error messages.

I have been able to boot Lubuntu's LXDE on the same computer in the past, so a roadblock of this error was not entirely anticipated.

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It looks like Compiz has crashed for some reason. That's why you don't see normal Unity bar and dock - Unity is a Compiz plugin. But without more data it will be hard to help you. Try to boot your PC again from install media and find relevant logs (like /var/log/Xorg.0.log; I don't know where to find Compiz logs). If compiz will crash in Live mode too, try to use something else - Kubuntu, Xubuntu, Lubuntu... –  user31389 Jan 14 '13 at 17:04
Moderators: please feel free to edit and then place this response into an appropriate format; I don't have an answer (in fact, I have exactly the same question and almost exactly the same experience as the original poster.....but I cannot find an option on this page to simply piggyback my response). My experience: restarts result in the same wallpaper-and-cursor-only display; using the installation DVD in live mode does bring up a normal-looking desktop. As I type this, there have been 250 views just of Fig's question; seems like lots of folks cannot get this distro to work properly, as many s –  user138238 Mar 7 '13 at 0:58
As my experiences with different versions of Ubuntu on different hardwares, I’ve found that this happens when Unity 3D are not supported by graphics in both 12.10 and 13.04. Running 12.04 on the same systems results in Unity 2D. I really wonder why Unity 2D is removed from Ubuntu. –  AliNa Mar 7 '13 at 1:15
possible duplicate of Unity doesn't load, no Launcher, no Dash appears –  Eliah Kagan Oct 10 '14 at 0:20

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