After upgrading to 14.04 LTS, my gnome-flashback session starts, but without the top and bottom panels.

Logging with compiz, I can use CTRL+SHIFT+T to start a terminal and run "gnome-panel", which starts both panels. I'm using this workaround, but it is very annoying to login without the panels.

.xession-errors shows nothing related to gnome-flahback, just stuff like this:

init: indicator-bluetooth main process ended, respawning init: indicator-bluetooth respawning too fast, stopped

Any ideas?


Delete $HOME/.local/share/applications/gnome-panel.desktop

For some reason the old system copied its gnome-panel.desktop to your own $XDG_DATA_HOME (by default on .local/share). After the upgrade, /usr/share/applications/gnome-panel.desktop (belonging to gnome-panel package) was updated, but not the copy, which still has the old contents and is thus shadowing the global file (per the XDG Base Directory Specification).

As the old file is incompatible with the new version (which seems a bug), gnome-panel is not started.

Just by deleting this copy, the /usr/share instance will be found, properly launching gnome-panel without having to run it by other means.

In case you prefer to fix the existing file instead of removing it (although there's nothing important there), open with a text editor and:

  • Change OnlyShowIn=GNOME to OnlyShowIn=GNOME;Unity;
  • Remove the StartupNotify=true line

Save and restart the session.


gnome-session dying because no compiz? I've seen this, have a look in /var/log/syslog for anything suspicious. I solved it on a 4 screen, 2 nvidia card rig by hand editing the xorg.conf so that

Option "Composite" "Enabled"

Then I could use gnome-flashback without 3D effects and everything started ok. Weird bug.


I had this problem as well, using gnome-flashback with compiz in Ubuntu 14.04. To make gnome-panel start automatically on login, I did:

cp /usr/share/applications/gnome-panel.desktop ~/.config/autostart/

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