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

Since installing 11.10 I've noticed that often when I login the following sequence:

  • login screen [hit enter]
  • light gray screen (0.5 - 1 sec)
  • my background appears
  • Unity loads
  • Guake loads

I'm running on a fairly beefy i7 so I don't think it's a lack of hardware, unless its that the Intel card can't cope but the NVidia would. (I'm running one of those hybrid graphics machines.)

Is there any way to stop this flash from happening? Can I change the color? Is it a bug?

share|improve this question
It started happening to me as well, but only after I installed gnome-shell. And I have an ATI card. Weird. – Paulo Lieuthier Nov 21 '11 at 20:10
The gray screen is simply indicating that you are (automatically) being downgraded to Unity-2D. So your issue is: Why is my graphics setup not supporting Unity (3D)? – david6 Nov 21 '11 at 21:11
Are you using Unity-2D? Unity 2D has this problem already reported: <I can’t find the bug right now> – fitojb Nov 21 '11 at 21:49
@david6 you're right, for some reason I had this account set to unity2d – d3vid Nov 22 '11 at 5:36
@fitoschido thanks for confirming that, I couldn't find it either but I've noted it in my answer below – d3vid Nov 22 '11 at 5:37
up vote 1 down vote accepted

This is a known Metacity bug visible when logging in to a Unity 2D session.

Switch to Unity 3D, or wait for the bug to be resolved.

share|improve this answer
one bug on – doug Nov 22 '11 at 5:53
@doug thanks! I've added the link – d3vid Nov 22 '11 at 5:54
Presumably this is ONLY cosmetic, and does not otherwise effect used of Unity-2D? – david6 Nov 22 '11 at 5:58
@david6 clarified wording – d3vid Nov 22 '11 at 6:08
yes, just a 'cosmetic' issue – doug Nov 22 '11 at 6:40

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.