I have recently installed Ubuntu 11.04 for the purpose of testing the new Unity interface, however; I can not boot into unity, all I get is GNOME. I have goggled this and read many forums, but there seems to be nobody with simple instructions on how to enable Unity. Can anyone help me get Unity working on my Ubuntu installation?


You graphics card is not powerful enough to run Unity, or at least Unity 3D. You will have to install the Unity 2D version. It looks identical, but it is much more lightweight. It should be in the Ubuntu Software Center, but if that doesn't work out then follow this guide. :)


Some graphics cards are known to have problems with Unity, and are, therefore, blacklisted. You can bypass the blacklisting (just add UNITY_FORCE_START=1 to /etc/environment), and then try dealing with the problems. Posting the specs of your graphics card might also help.

  • This worked. I installed the proprietary ATI drivers via Additional Drivers and it wouldn't load me load Unity. After setting this environment variable, it loaded up. – Travis Reeder Jul 4 '11 at 20:47

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