Here is the problem, today i started updating my ubuntu 16.04 laptop, to my surprise i got some packages that are marked as "Kept back", here are these packages

compiz compiz-core compiz-gnome compiz-plugins-default libcompizconfig0  libdecoration0

After some googling i tried to run sudo apt-get dist-upgrade i got some info on the kept back packages, like how many are there, how much memory will they use, the standard stuff and after that, the surprise i got

The following packages will be REMOVED:  ubuntu-desktop unity unity-tweak-tool

is this normal? i mean uninstall ubuntu-desktop unity ??? wont that uninstall my DE ???

  • I'm having the same problem. I decided not to proceed with the update. There's something wrong going on...
    – Felipe
    Feb 15, 2018 at 21:53
  • This happened to me as well. Unity and ubuntu-desktop were removed. Feb 15, 2018 at 23:32
  • It is not normal. You are right. See askubuntu.com/questions/1006621/… for how to revert back.
    – user68186
    Feb 16, 2018 at 3:58

3 Answers 3


You were more observant than me, as I just happily removed Unity using apt-get dist-upgrade! Sure enough it was gone after I rebooted, and apt-get install -f unity was also rejected. I had to install aptitude then aptitude install unity, which undid the damage caused by dist-upgrade.

dist-upgrade is still wanting to remove unity though.

  • I wasn't able to reinstall unity due to a missing dependency. Feb 15, 2018 at 23:33
  • To conclude, the aptitude solution to this problem which I promoted, has had no knock-on effects for me and now dist-upgrade has finally happily ran and updated without needing to remove anything.
    – user795750
    Feb 17, 2018 at 21:18

I had the same problem. The following steps fixed it for me:

  1. Right-click on desktop and open a terminal
  2. Execute sudo aptitude install unity
  3. Answer the first question with "no"
  4. Then confirm the downgrade of packages
  5. After the operation finished, reboot with sudo reboot

Hmm what ever was the problem is now resolved. Today i was able to upgrade with no issues.

  • I'm glad they fixed this bug in one day. Feb 16, 2018 at 13:17

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .