My PC has recently received a fresh Ubuntu 13.04 install. There is nothing else on the PC apart from a very basic setup of 13.04.

After rebooting, I noticed so many problems with the way Ubuntu looked:

  • Mouse pointer very large, blurry
  • Applications don't have a global menu bar
  • Font is all weird... is it open sans instead of Ubuntu?
  • Right click context menu has little coloured icons in it
  • Most applications look like Windows 95

I've tried:

  • unity-revamp
  • unity --reset
  • changing the theme from Ambiance and back again
  • creating new user account (looks ok in other account, but switching back is the same)
  • removing custom themes directories (there were none at ~/.theme, ~/themes)
  • Installing proprietary drivers (this made everything much faster and smoother, but didn't fix the weird theme)

Here's some screenshots of what things look like now:

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Can someone help my Ubuntu get back to its beautiful self?

  • Did you install anything before rebooting ?
    – Suhaib
    Apr 29 '13 at 10:58
  • 1
    Yeah, just the usual: google chrome, sublime text, gimp, inkscape, openshot, audacity, xchat, mysql, php5, lighttpd
    – Greg
    Apr 29 '13 at 11:00
  • This is an error whth your graphics driver. To get the beautifull theme work again download your graphic card driver.
    – user153609
    Apr 29 '13 at 11:10

A colleague fixed this for me:

We basically went through all hidden directories within the home directory and moved them to a backup folder...

It was after removing ~/.gconf I noticed that everything, slowly, started fixing itself.

Once booted, I first noticed the font was back to the normal Ubuntu font, and then in front of my very eyes the global menu bar popped up to the top-bar, and then the colours popped magically back to life.

The last thing to fix itself, was the mouse pointer, which reduced in size as I was typing this answer.

As much as this fixed my problem, I really don't have a clue why this occurred, or what file within gconf was the culprit...

  • 1
    I'm keeping this answer open for now, as after returning from my lunch I have a big fat mouse pointer again ... let's see what happens...
    – Greg
    Apr 29 '13 at 12:34

Removing ~/.gconf didn't fix it for me. I found that my particular case was probably due to a crash of upowerd.

What I did to fix it:

  • sudo apt-get install libimobiledevice-utils
  • Unplug all USB devices (for me it was a headset, Windows Phone, and iPod)
  • Reboot

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