If I am currently logged in to Unity, is there a way for me to switch my current session to Unity 2D or Gnome without logging out and in again? I know I can restart Unity by running unity --replace. Is there an equivalent command for Unity 2D or Gnome that I could run to switch to it? If I am currently running Unity 2D or Gnome, will unity --replace switch me back to Unity?

3 Answers 3


Honestly, I would just log out and log back in. Even if you got a script to switch you mid-session, there could potentially be some Unity code still in RAM that might conflict with whatever session you are in. Also, whenever I switch from logging out / in, the Adwaita theme becomes default for Unity.

It would honestly be screwy. May I ask why you would want to switch environments mid-session?

  • Mostly I was just wondering if it was possible. Feb 27, 2012 at 1:15
  • For Live runs, it would be useful to switch without having to log out, since logging out isn't trivial. Dec 30, 2012 at 3:32

I think the better option is to logout and login with the chosen option .. after some logins with the one of the options it will be the default


I haven't tried it, but you could try metacity --replace to go to Gnome.


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