I have a Dell Latitude E6400 laptop. I've had Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit working for years. I decided to update to 11.04 (via 10.10) and it's fine except Unity won't load. I get the backdrop, the WiFi network notification, and I can see the mouse pointer. Ctrl+Alt+Delete gives me the restart/shutdown/etc. options.

If I select Ubuntu Classic at the login screen, it loads fine. I've tried fiddling with a few ccsm settings but it makes no difference. I've disabled GNOME compatibility, and enabled the Unity plugin. If I type:

unity --reset

from classic mode it loads up Unity, suggesting there's no obvious problem with the drivers. There are some error messages but I lose the ability to move windows around at this point and I don't seem to be able to cut/paste the messages.

I did fiddle with Compiz in the past to get the appearance menu to allow me to select none for animations and have it stick. Perhaps I have to uninstall/reinstall something?

This is very annoying - it seems like I'm very close to having it working but I don't know what to try next. Any suggestions?

2 Answers 2


I had to do a clean install from a Live-CD to get a working install. As an online upgrade, both metacity and unity were never started.

  • I was kind of hoping that getting a different set of icons/menus appearing didn't require a full reinstall. That's more a Windows thing, isn't it?
    – user12753
    May 14, 2011 at 13:41
  • I did a reinstall. It works now. I don't like Unity one little bit but I'll check it out and give it a fair chance, otherwise I'll be installing Debian.
    – user12753
    May 15, 2011 at 12:55

Press ALT+F2, type


and press ENTER

Click to preferences from compiz main window

Select Default settings for unity profile, close the compiz window.

Open a terminal and type this:

sudo apt-get --reinstall install ubuntu-desktop unity
sudo reboot

Login to Ubuntu session

  • 1
    Thanks. I tried that, but it's made no difference. I choose 'ubuntu' on the login screen, which used to mean it would try to log on using Unity, but now it just logs on normally; succesfully, but without Unity. I'm going to see if I can find some more settings to experiment with.
    – user12753
    May 14, 2011 at 13:39

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