I'm trying to run Unity 2d in xubuntu, I installed the packages but when I try to run it I get

[FATAL] Settings schema 'com.canonical.Unity' is not installed

How can I get it to run? I'd like to install as little stuff as possible.

  • What packages have you installed and how? If you've used coomand line, can you provide the commands. Sep 18, 2012 at 19:11
  • I used synaptic, I searched for unity-2d and installed the main package. Since it did not work, I tried to install all the other packages found with this name but to no avail.
    – Borsook
    Sep 19, 2012 at 7:28
  • 1
    @AntoineRodriguez - I am running 12.04 and it will be supported for years to come. And it's faster than Unity, computer I'm using runs very fast with XFCE and very slow with Unity, I wanted to test it with Unity 2d
    – Borsook
    Sep 23, 2012 at 16:59

3 Answers 3


I think unfortunately you will have to install more dependencies, and the one you are missing is gnome-session, without which unity 2d can't run, and you get the error message you received. This is actually detailed at Launchpad; installing unity 2d manually from Synaptic does not automatically pull in the correct dependencies.

Running an apt-cache rdepends unity-2d proves this:

Reverse Depends:

If you don't want absolutely everything that gnome-session includes, you could try installing it with the --no-install-recommends flag and this will install just the essential elements needed for unity-2d.

Run in terminal

sudo apt-get install gnome-session --no-install-recommends

It should not be necessary to install the ubuntu-desktop package as well, but keep that in mind if all else fails.

Using unity-2d should now be possible and it should be a login option at the Xubuntu screen and if you have any visual defects in it is also worth installing the following, according to this Launchpad report.

sudo apt-get install light-themes ubuntu-mono ubuntu-wallpapers-precise gnome-themes-standard

As the two bug reports at Launchpad have proven, you do need to install a fair amount of things to run unity-2d on Xubuntu.

  • "then run it again without the --no-install-recommends", I think it cannot be done in that way after installation is done. Because you will be given a message like "gnome-session is already in the newest version"
    – Anwar
    Sep 21, 2012 at 11:41
  • @Anwar Yes you are correct- I was thinking of something else at the time-will edit my answer.
    – user76204
    Sep 21, 2012 at 11:59

Check out your dependencies, when I saw this in the past I used dpkg to list them and it turns out some of the dependencies were wrong and somehow unity-2d-places and unity-2d-spread were not installed.

  • 1
    can you elaborate your answer a bit? I think, it would be very helpful
    – Anwar
    Sep 21, 2012 at 11:46

I think you should install ubuntu-desktop package if you want to be sure to have all packages for unity:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

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