Recently, volume and sound stopped working. Soon after I lost the ability to go into System Settings other than through the console. Then many of my launcher icons vanished. Now my workspaces have become disabled and I can't find the Appearance app from which to re-enable them. How can I access Appearance so I can get my workspaces back?

On a related note, are my troubles Ubuntu's fault or is there something I'm doing that's causing the problem? I don't know of anything that I'm doing other than automatically installing updates. I haven't manually apt-get installed anything recently, either. I would normally assume that these problems were abnormal and my fault, but others in my department are experiencing similarly frustrating interface problems (e.g., workspaces breaking, windows becoming inaccessible, etc.); quite frankly, we're all getting good and fed up with Ubuntu 14.04's apparent instability.

  • What hardware are you using, and can you open the appearance app with unity-control-center appearance? And do the settings launchers exist in /usr/share/applications/? Also, are you using PPAs / unoffical software
    – Wilf
    Aug 11 '14 at 20:19
  • How can I tell you the hardware that I'm using? Aug 12 '14 at 15:07
  • what computer make/model, cpu & graphics etc from lspci -v, posted in a comment.
    – Wilf
    Aug 12 '14 at 16:05
  • The whole output is here. I'm not sure what specifically will be of use, so I haven't omitted anything: pastebin.com/J0mTB9uq Aug 12 '14 at 20:47
  • I am also unable to use gnome-control-center appearance (unity-control-center doesn't exist on my machine). There is no launcher for gnome-control-center or anything similar. The full list of those is found here: pastebin.com/ztteXs9f Aug 12 '14 at 20:51

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