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As per How do I restart Unity? But I guess unity --replace would start the 3D variant.

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

unity-2d has some of its own processes and some processes that derive from unity (unity-2d uses unity libraries).

You can find these processes with:

ps aux | grep unity

This yields these (see the right-most tokens in the above command output):

  • unity-2d-launcher
  • unity-2d-panel
  • /usr/lib/unity-place-applications/unity-applications-daemon
  • /usr/lib/unity-place-files/unity-files-daemon

Each of these can be individually stopped (and each will automatically restart) with:

sudo killall <process>

So to kill them all, list them all in the above command:

sudo killall unity-2d-launcher unity-2d-panel \
/usr/lib/unity-place-applications/unity-applications-daemon \
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This will kill the processes. Will they restart automatically? – Rafał Cieślak Aug 4 '11 at 17:20

Since it won't let me post a comment to answer the question, it's necessary to add an answer:

This will kill the processes. Will they restart automatically?

I can confirm that "killall unity-2d-panel" does in fact restart it, with no noticeable losses. I haven't tried the other ones though. (This command is necessary periodically if you're dealing with memory leaks like

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