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Some nautilus, empathy etc windows are having some lost graphic elements:

See the titlebar

See the messages

But some apps such as Xfce Terminal still looks normal

This is proper

Is this because of some package missing?


After sudo apt-get upgrade the empathy theming is fixed, but nautilus is looking worse Menu bar

This problem does not appear in Unity 2D

I've tried gnome-tweak-tool and switching themes and also, reinstalling the light-themes package

Launching any gtk+ app gets me this warn:

Gtk-WARNING **: Theme parsing error: gtk-widgets.css:1597:20: Invalid animation description
share|improve this question
No, Thats not needed :D – Amith KK Jan 30 '12 at 12:54
... similar error reported here (…) - have you got kernel 3.2 installed? – fossfreedom Jan 30 '12 at 12:57
Can you quote the line 1597 in gtk-widgets.css in Ambiance theme folder (gtk 3.0)? – jokerdino Jan 30 '12 at 13:12
Does it work with the default ambiance? – medigeek Jan 31 '12 at 0:46
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You haven't mentioned your ubuntu version and your window manager (unity 3d/compiz, unity 2d, metacity/gnome classic etc.)


  1. Backup your important data.

  2. Please create a new user, then grant admin privileges and check if it works there. If it works, then the problem is somewhere in your user's home directory. Some program settings must have been altered.

  3. (a) If you also have problems with the new user, try purging packages:

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo dpkg -P --force-all ubuntu-desktop ubuntu-standard ubuntu-minimal
    sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop ubuntu-standard ubuntu-minimal
    sudo apt-get -f install
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

    This is mostly harmless and will install any important packages you may have removed. Restart your pc and see if it's fixed.

    (b) If you do not have any problems with the new user, then some settings in your home configuration are causing trouble. Close any windows that you don't need and do not open anything.

    The following commands will reset your gconf and dconf settings. This includes window positions, default theme, desktop wallpaper/backgrounds, only very basic preferences in programs (e.g. nautilus will be in default view, not list view). but NOT your data nor any folder-specific settings.

    There is a small chance that something will go wrong, so please backup (#1) and have a live cd/usb somewhere in case you need to reinstall. Or use your new administrator account to fix the issues.

    The commands are:

    gconftool --shutdown
    killall -r -I -9 dconf
    killall -r -I -9 gconf
    mv .gconf gconf-backup
    mv .config/dconf config-dconf
    mv .cache/dconf cache-dconf

    Then reboot (do not do anything else, do not open/close any windows):

    sudo reboot


To recover your old settings:

gconftool --shutdown
killall -r -I -9 dconf
killall -r -I -9 gconf
mv gconf-backup .gconf
mv config-dconf .config/dconf

And reboot (do not do anything else, do not open/close any windows):

sudo reboot

If it didn't work

  • Did you by any chance install packages from any PPA or third-party repositories?

    These packages are not all checked, nor are all safe. Some exist for testing purposes only. I suggest you reinstall your system without any PPA until you become acquainted with the linux system (and how to recover).

share|improve this answer
yeah it worked i was also having some unusual window, by the reset of gconf and dconf settings , it worked thanks a lot friend – gunjan parashar Jan 31 '12 at 12:32
It didnt work :( – Amith KK Feb 1 '12 at 11:57
Does the new created user have the same problems? – desgua Feb 3 '12 at 11:36

Have you tried resetting GNOME UI settings?

If you open up a terminal and type:

tar czvf gnome-backup.tar.gz .gnome .gnome2 .gconf .gconfd .metacity

And then run:

rm .gnome .gnome2 .gconf .gconfd .metacity

That should hopefully restore your GNOME window settings back to normal. The above command first backs up the files about to be deleted, and then deletes them. You can always extract them back by running:

tar -zxvf gnome-backup.tar.gz
share|improve this answer
Nope.. Doesen't work – Amith KK Feb 3 '12 at 9:59

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