I'm running

  • Ubuntu 16.04
  • compiz
  • unity 7.4.5+16.04.20180221-0ubutu1

I have 0 packages to update.

I have an empty screen. The background colour is correct, but the rest of the UI has not loaded. I can open a terminal and then run programmes such as firefox, but I can't change the window sizes or summon their menus by pressing alt. The top bar with the time, internet connection status, etc. is not visible. I can't see the Ubuntu equivalent of the start menu.

Basically unity is not running.

When I log in I get a crash report regarding compiz-config-profile-setter with the error message as in the title. The screen was as I described above. I ran apt-get upgrade but unity is still broken.

I tried running compiz --replace but nothing changed.

Has anyone encountered this? How can I fix it?

  • 1
    That did not fix it for me.
    – Matt Ellen
    Nov 1 '18 at 9:13
  • In the end I updated to 18.04. That cleared up this issue, but left me with a bunch of others
    – Matt Ellen
    Feb 3 '19 at 14:35


Try this: In ~/.config/compiz-1/compizconfig/config, change profile = unity-lowgfx to profile = unity and reboot.

(Tested on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS)

  1. Open terminal with Ctrl+Alt+F1

  2. Find config file in compizconfig directory somewhere in your home directory. (In my case, the path was ~/.config/compiz-1/compizconfig/config)

  3. Edit this file with your favourite editor (like vim or gedit)

gedit .config/compiz-1/compizconfig/config 
  1. You should find there something like:
profile = unity-lowgfx

Change unity-lowgfx to unity so it looks like this:

profile = unity
  1. Save changes and reboot Ubuntu (try reboot in command line)

Solution source: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/unity/+bug/1758009/comments/5


I've fixed it by removing compiz settings directory:

rm -rf ~/.compiz/compiz-1/

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