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Since a recent Ubuntu update, I have the problem that no icons show up in the desktop (no possibility for me to launch any program / software centre from the desktop...

How could I solve this? Would installing "vanilla Ubuntu 13.04" work?

How to do this from terminal? I tried typing sudo apt-get vanilla Ubuntu 13.04 but does not work.

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marked as duplicate by Radu Rădeanu, Eric Carvalho, Jorge Castro, gertvdijk, belacqua Jul 1 '13 at 22:53

This question was marked as an exact duplicate of an existing question.

Try sudo startx – Mitch Jun 29 '13 at 6:41

Judging by your question only, I can suspect it's got something to do with your graphic card. Please have a look at this thread:

After upgrading to 13.04 Unity interface is not showing

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