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I was playing around in Unity 2D, and I messed up my configuration. How can I reset it, preferably without losing other config files? (such as Empathy config, Firefox/Chrome config, etc)

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@type: That restarts - I want to reset. For Unity, a simple unity --reset will do the trick - I want the equivalent for Unity 2D. – James Sep 9 '11 at 18:49
@jrg - can you clarify what you mean "messed up my configuration" - what is wrong? Can you post a picture in your question? – fossfreedom Sep 9 '11 at 21:49
@fossfreedom It's a hypothetical question - similar to How do I reset my Unity configuration and How do I reset GNOME? - it's a legitimate question though. – James Sep 10 '11 at 0:48
Purge unity-2D and reinstall it – Tachyons Oct 27 '12 at 4:09
@tachyons That answer has been given on several occasions, but it doesn't remove user specific configuration. – James Oct 27 '12 at 16:38

Open a terminal and type

dconf reset -f /


unity --reset

to reset Unity (3D).

If default Ubuntu Nautilus theme is also missing, close all instances and type

rm -R ~/.gconf/apps/nautilus
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THIS RESETS EVERYTHING - do not use this on a casual basis! – fossfreedom Dec 17 '11 at 17:04

Although this link may seem off topic, it covers some of the information I believe you are looking for.

Edit: Whoops, I see fossfreedom was already on the case.

Changing Unity Default Settings

User: fossfreedom points out,

The list of sessions is described in the directory:


For unity-2d the session file is called:


fossfreedom goes on to explain how to reset this to default. Hopefully, this method would leave your files intact.

Regards, SomaComa

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if the close, maximize and minimize disapeared, try this:

  1. press Ctrl+Shift+F2;
  2. Login with your username and password;
  3. type this command: sudo restart lightdm
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I think you mean Ctrl+_Alt_+F2. Your solution will simply restart the login manager, which a reboot will also do. – Ramchandra Apte Dec 18 '13 at 13:01

To reset unity type the following in the terminal:

unity --reset

To reset the unity icons type:

unity --reset-icons

To reset Compiz type (NOTE: this will reset ALL compiz settings):

   gconftool-2 --recursive-unset /apps/compiz-1
unity --reset

The above command will reset the respective elements back to their default configuration.

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Nope, that's for normal Unity. This is for Unity 2D, not 3D. Thanks for the answer though, it's already documented here – James Sep 9 '11 at 16:38
Also, resetting compiz doesn't apply here, since Unity 2D uses metacity - Unity 3D is just a giant compiz plugin. – James Sep 9 '11 at 16:45
Yes. I wasn't thinking at the time I guess ;) – Adam Thompson Sep 10 '11 at 4:34

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