When i log out and then log in again, the applications shown in Unity launcher are the default applications, neither can i add an application nor can i hide a default application. How to make Unity remember my apps?


3 Answers 3


I've found the answer: dconf-tools and libdconf0 were not installed, so unity couldn't remember settings.

Use Software Center or apt-get to install:

  • This was the problem, without these packages it cannot save settings.
    – Florian
    Apr 17, 2011 at 17:56
  • Oops, sorry! Only dconf-tools is optional. libdconf0 is part of the default installation and I see your symptoms when it's removed.
    – htorque
    Apr 17, 2011 at 21:10
  • 1
    having the same issue. None of the solutions work. i'll go back to 11.04. Unity drives me insane and effin' sucks. arrgggggg Oct 17, 2011 at 18:15

You may have a bug. I simply right click on the items in the launcher to pin or unpin them.

  • it works indeed for out-of-the-box applications like terminal, shotwell, etc. However, you can reproduce the problem if you, e.g. launch Eclipse application from unpacked tar-package (not from deb-package installation). Also you will face the problem that the application icon is not found.
    – vak
    May 2, 2011 at 12:19
  • you have to create a desktop file for this application. unity launcher just remembers desktop files, not applications
    – Florian
    May 2, 2011 at 15:00
  • I see. It would natural and user-friendly though, if in such a case those files could be created on-fly when "Keep in Launcher" is selected.
    – vak
    May 2, 2011 at 15:33
  • 1
    Yes it would be :) File this as a bug on bugs.launchpad.net/unity :)
    – Florian
    May 2, 2011 at 16:00

For those who're looking for a solution to make Unity remember settings after a GNOME3 update and reverting back to Unity, I have a solution which uses the above Q&A as a start.

If you've installed dconf-tools and libdconf0, you can run into a problem which is:

  • when you try editing Unity's Launcher settings with sudo dconf-editor, you can find the right values under desktop > unity > launcher, but it seems to be read-only;

  • when you try to use use gsettings, it says

GLib-GIO-Message: Using the 'memory' GSettings backend. Your settings will not be saved or shared with other applications.

then don't give up, you're only one step away from solving the problem!

This solution is quite fun; you will have to re-add the gnome3 team repo and install a package from there:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gnome3-team/gnome3
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install dconf-gsettings-backend

[I don't really know why this works, but it seems installing GNOME3 stuff messes up the GSettings backends so much that it can't be repaired by only installing dconf-tools and libdconf0.]

You can check whether the settings are writeable by running

gsettings writable com.canonical.Unity.Launcher favorites

If everything is fine then it returns true and after a logout/login Unity will remember the settings.

  • 1
    it does return true, but only after : "GLib-GIO-Message: Using the 'memory' GSettings backend. Your settings will not be saved or shared with other applications."
    – HongboZhu
    Dec 9, 2013 at 12:00

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