I have an HP Laptop with Nvidia drivers. When I'm running top I can see that unity-panel-service is consuming 100% CPU for about 20 seconds and then the CPU consumption goes down to about 10% CPU for about 5 seconds. And this cycle continues. I tried killing the process. But it spawns a new process and it seems to work without any problem for sometime but after that the problem appears again. How can I fix this?

  • What are you doing when this happens?
    – N.N.
    Jun 17 '11 at 21:51
  • I'm just using chrome (4 tabs open).
    – bonzi
    Jun 17 '11 at 21:52
  • So it only happens when you use chrome?
    – N.N.
    Jun 17 '11 at 21:55
  • I installed Ubuntu 11.04 yesterday on this laptop. Due to overheating issues there was improper shutdown 3-4 times (due to high CPU consumption). As far as I remember chrome was running during all the instances.
    – bonzi
    Jun 17 '11 at 22:00
  • 1
    Maybe it's this bug: bugs.launchpad.net/weather-indicator/+bug/745037 Uninstall the weather-indicator and look if you still get the problem.
    – htorque
    Jun 17 '11 at 22:15

That is a well known bug and I think I saw some progress on it. Actually, I don't think I've experienced that in a while. Make sure to install the newest upgrades. It might have been fixed. If not, until it does get fixed, you can easily "fix it" by pressing alt+f2 and typing killall unity-panel-service. This will restart the indicators and it will be back to normal.

Unless you want to actually fix the code, there is nothing you can do to prevent it, save add some information to the bug report.

  • 3
    This helped me on Ubuntu 13.10
    – morgoth
    Oct 22 '13 at 13:56

Another possible workaround is limiting the CPU usage of unity-panel-service. You can download a simple program called cpulimit with:

sudo apt-get install cpulimit 

Then you can run this command:

cpulimit -e unity-panel-service -l 30

It does not fix the problem, but maybe makes your system usable while the proper fix is released. As Jo-Erlend Schinstad said, it's an old bug. I suggest you report it also affects you at:



I have same problem with unity on Lenovo Y50 and ubuntu 14.04. Cpulimit method (mentioned by @Goghard) had no any effect in my case, so I tried to automate killing the unity-panel-service at the moment, when the log file of this service begins to growing up (sometimes this file can occupy all free space on the disk, if you do not pay attention).

I use such bash script, called, f.e., check-and-restart-ups.sh:

filesize=$(stat -c%s "/home/<username>/.cache/upstart/unity-panel-service.log")
if [ "$filesize" -gt "1000000" ]
    #restart unity-panel-service
    kill $(pgrep unity-panel-ser)
    rm /home/<username>/.cache/upstart/unity*

make it executable and run it every minute by crontab:

*/1 * * * * root /home/<username>/check-and-restart-ups.sh

I hope it will help you.

  • sorry, fixed line: kill -HUP $(pgrep unity-panel-ser)
    – Leo
    Oct 24 '16 at 7:07

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