The command for restarting Gnome2 is:
sudo /etc/init.d/gdm restart
What is the equivalent for Unity?
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The Upstart way is
sudo service lightdm restart for newer versions using lightdm
sudo service gdm restart for older versions using gdm.
Update: Another option, which isn't using the terminal but using a key combination, can be found at How to set keyboard combination to kill the X server?
unity can be used to restart unity. It restarts the window manager, so your open programs will stay intact and you will not be logged out.
If you run the command from a terminal app, you should add
& disown to detach it from the terminal. If you don't, then the unity program will become a child process of the terminal app such that when you close the terminal, unity will also close.
It might also be worthwhile to add
&> /dev/null (before the disown bit) so that text and error output does not clutter your terminal.
So, the command is:
unity &> /dev/null & disown
If you can't open the terminal application due to the desktop being extremely unresponsive (or any other reason), you can open a purely text-based terminal by hitting
There you will get a text terminal, you have to login first.
Then you can run the command above, then hit
alt-ctrl-F8 to come back to the graphical desktop.
This tends to fix "hanging" problems.
As a side note: since Unity is a compiz plugin, you can restart unity by restarting compiz using the command:
If you run it from the
alt-ctrl-F1 terminal, you will need a
compiz --display :0 --replace
You'll still need to add
You don't need to open a tty. In most cases Alt-F2 still works. Just enter "unity". That's it. No & disown needed.
In Ubuntu 13.04 you can use the following:
sudo service lightdm restart
In a terminal, run nohup compiz --replace. The nohup command will make sure compiz isn't closed when you close the terminal.
The command to restart GDM is
sudo stop gdm followed by
sudo start gdm, and should be done from a tty.
If you are trying to restart unity itself just run
unity (but remember you need to do this from the run dialog.
I like to change GNOME's font size attribute depending on the monitor. I've been shutting down the programs directly so the window position is saved. I put this in the script which probably does pretty much the same thing:
nautilus -q && sleep 2 && bgcmd nautilus -n pkill unity-panel pkill unity-window sleep 1 unity-window-decorator &> /dev/null & disown