Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

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 just upgraded and was excited to try Unity. I logged in normally, but got the following symptoms:

  • Although my background image showed normally, all my icons and any windows I opened flickered in and out every few seconds
  • I opened a Terminal window with a keyboard shortcut, but couldn't type anything in it
  • I didn't see any menus for shutting down or logging out, so I had to do so with the power button

After rebooting, I tried Recovery Mode, but that eventually went to a black screen and did nothing else.

I succeeded in booting by doing this:

  • Boot to "normal" Ubuntu (not Recovery Mode)
  • Choose my user name
  • While the password box is on the screen, choose "Ubuntu Classic" from the menu at the bottom
  • Log in

Everything looks fine now, but I'm using GNOME and not Unity. How can I diagnose my issues with Unity and get it working?

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Without knowing your graphics hardware I suspect you cannot run Unity, when you log into GNOME open a terminal and type the following;

/usr/lib/nux/unity_support_test -p

It will let you know if your hardware supports Unity, if you get a NO response at the end you can always install Unity2D:

You can then log out and Select Unity 2D at the log in screen

share|improve this answer
When I ran that test, it showed all passing. Should I report a bug? – Nathan Long May 3 '11 at 1:38
Unity 2D works for me, by the way. Thanks! – Nathan Long May 7 '11 at 1:02

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.