window (title and icon) sometimes doesn't appear. As a solution to this, I have to logout and login again. Is there something wrong with my system? How to make sure that this doesn't happen again?


4 Answers 4


You can try couple of things:

  1. Resetting Unity

    Hit Alt+F2 and run:

    unity --reset

    Please note that this will "reset profile parameters in compiz and restart the Unity shell with default settings." That is to say, you may lose some of your customizations (if you've made any), including to the notification area.

    However, this is still much safer than CCSM (described below), and it is a good idea to reset Unity before implementing a CCSM-based solution.

  2. CompizConfig Settings Manager

    Install CCSM (If you don't already have it) by running following command in terminal

    sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

    Open it by searching "CCSM" in Unity dash.

    enter image description here

    Once open, Click on the "Effects" category and make sure that "Window Decoration" is enabled.

    enter image description here


When window borders are missing you can still perform some basic functions like, minimise, maximise and move. Press and hold Alt and right click on the window.

  • I have this problem occasionally (running Ubuntu 12.04LTS in a VMWare Player VM). In my case, CCSM shows window decoration enabled (even though the borders aren't there): unchecking and then checking it 'resets' it and restores the borders. Nov 3, 2014 at 16:25

Type the following in terminal:

nohup gtk-window-decorator --replace &

Hopefully, the above command should solve your problem.

  • 1
    It solves the problem for me, but only temporarily. The process remains active and has to be backgrounded (if you want to use the terminal for anything else). If it gets killed, window borders are gone again.
    – Confusion
    Jul 11, 2012 at 6:22
  • 1
    To keep the process running in background and allow to close the terminal I use this command: nohup gtk-window-decorator --replace &. Then you can safely close your terminal window.
    – Lynch
    Dec 28, 2012 at 21:57
  • 2
    This should be marked as the correct answer!
    – Dave
    Jan 3, 2013 at 22:54
  • Or press Alt+F2 and run the command there. Jan 29, 2014 at 17:54

I just disabled Window Decoration and restarted the PC since Unity seemed not working anymore (and to be sure that everything restarts properly). Then I re-enabled Window Decoration and restarted again (for the same reason).

After that, Window Decoration works again!


I pressed ccsm/preference/profile "Reset to defaults"

and then did:

sudo compiz-decorator restart

and everything worked.

"Windows Decoration" is not selected.

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