Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I upgraded from xubuntu 13.04 to 13.10. Everything seemed fine. Then I turned the computer off... rebooted and signed in and the desktop wallpaper and icons and files on the desktop are gone. Replaced by a grey void. the top and bottom panels are still present and I can run programs from the menu or the launcher along the bottom of the screen.

If I go into settings and try to change my wallpaper it shows the correct image selected yet the desktop stays grey. I change the ocons that are to be listed on the desktop and it stays empty grey.

Please someone help me.

share|improve this question

do you have any conflicting Xorg packages? I had been using the oibaf PPA to get upstream Mesa stuff but they aren't building for Saucy yet so when I upgraded I had to manually go into synaptic and force the "older" versions of some of the packages which would've been installed with 13.10 by default to stop getting some graphical corruption.

share|improve this answer

I doubt you still have this problem, but for anyone else reading--

I just had the same problem, and was about to give up and revert to Ubuntu (I initially had Ubuntu, but didn't like the Unity thing, so I downloaded and ran Xubuntu desktop, which pretty much acts like you're using Xubuntu) when I stumbled on a really odd solution. If you restart your computer, you'll get to the bootloader. I'm not sure if it's the same with real Xubuntu, but mine had the options: "Ubuntu" and "Ubuntu advanced options". I hit enter on "Advanced options" and it kinda gave me a list of previous releases. I selected "Ubuntu 13.10 w/ Linux kernel 3.13 yadayada.." and everything went back to what I had (expectedly so). But when I rebooted and went back to the current 14.04 release, everything was back to normal. The desktop background was there, icons were there, right-clicking worked, everything.

TL;DR try restarting and enter a previous release, then restarting again and enter the current release.

share|improve this answer

Also just stumbled on another possible answer. I right-clicked the desktop background and hit "properties". It gave me an error message saying "Thunar was not found" so I re-downloaded Thunar (I'm sure I had it before, at some point it must have been deleted). So that might have something to do with it too.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.