I've got a bug that is reoccuring (no window chrome close/minimize/maximize buttons) that is solved by changing the visual effects level (e.g. from none to normal).

Unfortunately, the desktop is relatively unusable until I change that setting upon each login.

I have the inkling that it might be solved by resetting compiz to its default settings. How would I go about resetting compiz (or whatever is in charge of those visual effects) to its defaults?


GUI Option

For 11.04 and below:

  • Log into a recovery console,
  • gnome-settings-daemon && gnome-appearance-properties && metacity and press enter.
  • When the appearance properties dialogue comes up, change your settings to normal under the effects tab.
  • Close this window, and metacity will run (so you can close the terminal)
  • Close the terminal to log out from recovery mode, and log back into your desktop.

For all versions:

  • Install ccsm (Compiz Config Settings Manager).

    sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
  • Log into the recovery console,
  • Launch ccsm from the terminal, (you may also optionally run metacity).
  • Create a new profile (if you want to use this method) by going to preferences, and clicking on reset to defaults:

enter image description here

  • You can also select the individual plugin causing the problems and reset its values.

Command-Line Option:

Run this command in a terminal (on 11.04 and up):

  • gconftool --recursive-unset /apps/compiz-1

On 10.10 and below:

  • gconftool --recursive-unset /apps/compiz

Credits to James Gifford for the command.

  • I can't find compiz user settings in ~/.gconf/, um.. I've used to rm -fr .config/compiz/compizconfig. Well, you may backup this dir once you've done with ccsm. May 11 '12 at 0:53

Roland Taylor's GUI answer broke Unity for me in Ubuntu 12.04. Presumably the "defaults" are the wrong "defaults". Instead, this worked (via the terminal or run prompt):

unity --reset
  • Hmm, I shall try that out.
    – Kzqai
    May 11 '12 at 2:14
  • The method I had mentioned previously wasn't really for Unity specific settings.
    – RolandiXor
    May 11 '12 at 3:57
  • unity --reset actually freezes my whole system...
    – Heisenberg
    Dec 5 '13 at 9:36
  • @Anh I'm no longer using Unity/Compiz, but after the freeze, are the settings reset? If so, then it might be worth running the above when Unity isn't running. (e.g. boot into a command line.)
    – Sparhawk
    Dec 5 '13 at 10:12
  • 1
    Using 14.10, "unity --reset" is deprecated, and does nothing.
    – michael
    Feb 19 '15 at 14:23

I know it's a very old question but it ranks high on Google and newcomers can benefit from this update. As GConf is deprecated, dconf should be used instead. To reset compiz to default settings you can run the following command:

dconf reset -f /org/compiz/

This should work on 14.04 and up.

  • Per instructions here, you should also run setsid unity to restart unity.
    – aaaantoine
    May 11 '16 at 0:38

The reset in the ccsm breaks the system For that you need to

  1. Open terminal Ctrl+Alt+T
  2. Then type sudo apt-get install unity
  3. And then reset the unity unity --reset

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