After I upgraded to 13.04 my desktop background has been a black screen, i.e.: enter image description here

EDITS: Ubuntu tweak doesn't seem to be able to change the window theme either (although all other themes like icon themes are all easily modifiable). Tweak tool can change the window theme, however.

I have tried the following:

  • Changing desktop backgrounds (including back to default)
  • Rebooting
  • Running the commands in terminal: (Which were obtained from the answer to the question, Unity does not start in Ubuntu 13.04)

dconf reset -f /org/compiz/ && unity --reset-icons &disown

and then rebooting (which just changed the colour and size of the unity launcher)


2 Answers 2


The following line pasted into a terminal did recover the background image for me:

gsettings set org.gnome.settings-daemon.plugins.background active true

Hope that helps you too...


I recommend to anyone still with this black desktop problem unsolved, to try logging in to another account and checking both Unity and GLX plugins are activated. IE 'opengl' & 'unityshell'. Use the following command with the get option, instead of reset, to list them:

gsettings reset org.compiz.core:/org/compiz/profiles/unity/plugins/core/ active-plugins

But no guarantees!

  • Didn't work I'm afraid
    – Josh Pinto
    Commented May 4, 2013 at 16:35

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