I'm being hit (quite often) by that bug where you can't click on some indicators. It's easy to fix by restarting unity, but that usually also means running to the risk of upsetting some window on re-parenting (rare, but I'd rather avoid any such problems).

So, I know there is `unity-panel-service', and I'm guessing this might have something to do with the solution?

Is it possible to restart the unity panel (or the entire unity plugin) without restarting compiz itself?

  • just in case this happens to someone, if you are using something like VNC or NoMachine, your local computer unity panel may be on top, while the remote one being accessed is below; the fix is to disable fullscreen (demaximize) and go on fullscreen again (maximize), so the application on local machine will be put above your local unity panel again, and the remote one will show properly! (took me some time to figure that out...) Sep 27, 2016 at 4:45

2 Answers 2


To restart the unity-panel-service, just kill it:

killall unity-panel-service

If for whatever reason it's not running at all, you can start it via

  • 4
    In 14.04 this doesn't work for me. Instead, the answer in askubuntu.com/questions/371915/… seemed closer for me: kill -9 $(pgrep unity-panel-ser); compiz --replace
    – Phil
    Oct 20, 2014 at 15:12
  • my unity panel coudn't run with this on 12.04: Indicator-Appmenu-CRITICAL **: Unable to claim the name com.canonical.AppMenu.Registrar
    – Noidea
    Nov 16, 2016 at 11:02
  • In Ubuntu 16.04, it does not find this process although I have a man page for unity-panel-service. Oct 10, 2018 at 16:51

To do the same on Unity2d type

killall unity-2d-panel

or, if just the application launcher on the left fails, type

killall unity-2d-launcher

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