My Ubuntu 16.04 does not display the sidebar (which displays my files, Firefox, Ubuntu software center, etc.) and the close button bar. This started when I was working in terminal and installing some python dependencies and suddenly the terminal was struck. I waited for a long time but it did not get fixed. So I manually restarted my laptop through the power button and the next thing I see is this:


  • Image Credits: Google Images

P.S: I cannot open the terminal by any means. Is there any fix to this error?

1 Answer 1


1. I suppose that you have mixed the permissions in your home directory. Try to open tty1 by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1, login and execute the command:

sudo chown -R $USER:$USER $HOME
  • chown -R will change the ownership of the user's home directory recursively to the current user and its :group;
  • $USER is environment variable that contains the username of the current user.
  • $HOME is environment variable that contains the path of the current user's home directory - execute echo $USER $HOME to check the values.
  • You could try to use Ctrl+Alt+T to open gnome-terminal window instead of tty.

Then restart the system (sudo systemctl reboot). Or kill all user processes (kill -9 -1), press Ctrl+Alt+F7 and login to see the result.

2. If this doesn't help you, could try to fix some broken packages. Press Ctrl+Alt+F1 and execute the commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install -f

3. If all of the above does not take an effect, you could try to reinstall the desktop environment:

sudo apt update
sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop
sudo apt-get install --reinstall unity
sudo apt install -f
  • I got back the sidebar but the shutdown buttons on the top right corner are still missing and even ctrl+alt+T does not open terminal. I have to manually open it from search. Any fixes for that?
    – ZER-0-NE
    Mar 5, 2018 at 14:20
  • @ZER-0-NE: Which from the above suggestions (1, 2 or 3) helped you? Have you restarted the system? Does the problem exist within a Guest Session (if this is enabled)?
    – pa4080
    Mar 5, 2018 at 14:32
  • 1
    I managed somehow with this link
    – ZER-0-NE
    Mar 5, 2018 at 14:51
  • And before I restarted I ran the command sudo apt update as you mentioned(2). It all came back. Thank you! :)
    – ZER-0-NE
    Mar 5, 2018 at 14:52
  • I'm happy to help, @ZER-0-NE. Regards.
    – pa4080
    Mar 5, 2018 at 15:09

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