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Here's what happens.

  1. Boot up into Ubuntu (Nothing out of the ordinary).
  2. Login to Ubuntu Desktop, accepts password.
  3. Password is accepted, wallpaper stays for ~1/2 second before it turns into a black screen. Unity, at first, seems normal otherwise.
  4. All windows open, closed, or moved get these stamps on the background. They are in order of use. They seem fine inside the application (I'm on Firefox right now). Here's a picture of what it looks like:enter image description here

I have tried starting the X server in Ctrl-Alt-F2, rebooting, purging and installing ubuntu-desktop (reinstall refers to purging then reinstalling from now on.) Reinstalled gnome-shell, and reinstalled xserver-xorg. Any ideas? I think I'm just missing the proper Google search term.

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  • @david: That's a good one! ;-) – Fabby Jan 29 '15 at 11:40
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I had this same problem. Did you disabled the "Show desktop icons" for nautilus with ubuntu-tweak or unity-tweak-tool or some other tweaking application? I so, re-enable it. Then kill nautilus and restart it (or simply log-out and log in).

It seems to be a problem with nvidia cards, for some reason if nautilus is not handling the desktop drawing, the image doesn't get refreshed.

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  • The "Show desktop icons" was not enabled in unity-tweak-tool, but enabling it and restarting did nothing. – markubiak Oct 14 '13 at 11:53
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I had also the same problem like you guys (Ubuntu 14.04).

The problem was indeed into enabling desktop icons like @darent said. I just enabled desktop icons by running:

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons true

and desktop with: background wallpaper, context menu under the left mouse button, and all icons came to normal.

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