I have Ubuntu 15.10. Recently I wanted to try Mate so I installed. But after installing it I noticed that some Unity elements behavior changed.

Typically I found that:

  1. When I scroll over the icon on the top-right of the screen representing the sound volume, I don't see the scale indicating the volume changed as I used to.
  2. An error message is shown whenever I login to my account, this message shows that I some applications cannot access my account information. This message is because I changed one of my social media accounts password. So it's an expected message. But what's not expected is that the look and feel of the shown dialog has changed, it shows an orange strip on one of it's side. In the past it was just a gray hovering tooltip look-alike thing which visually integrated well with Unity.

So my question is how to restore how Unity behaved like before installing Mate without having to completely reset it and lose my settings and configurations such as the shortcuts I created on the Unity launcher ?

If reinstalling Unity is the only solution I'm willing to do it. I found someone posting the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop
sudo apt-get install --reinstall unity

But they seemed risky. Would someone please explain how would these commands affect my system ?


If you want to delete Mate and restore Unity, you can try this:

Open a terminal,

Press Ctrl+Alt+T

Run it:

sudo -i
apt-get update
apt-get install --reinstall aptitude deborphan
aptitude remove '?and(?reverse-depends(mate),?not(?reverse-depends(?exact-name(ubuntu-desktop))))'
apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop
apt-get --purge remove $(deborphan)
deborphan --libdevel
apt-get --purge remove $(deborphan --libdevel)
deborphan --find-config
dpkg --purge $(deborphan --find-config)
apt-get autoremove
apt-get clean

This removes the installed packages that reverse-depend on mate and not those for ubuntu-desktop.

  • The command running aptitude remove fails and shows the message Segmentation fault (core dumped). Every other command works but sadly unity isn't fixed. Nov 24 '15 at 19:22
  • A segmentation fault occurs when a process attempts to access memory in a way that the operating system and processor cannot or will not allow. The most common cause is reading from or writing to memory that the process is not authorized to so access.
    – kyodake
    Nov 25 '15 at 0:00

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