I got a mix of icons and windows display between gnome and unity. I have follow the steps in other forums with that explain how to remove gnome and restore unity, but that did not work as I expect.

This are some of the forums I followed with no success:

How do I reset my Unity configuration?


Unity default settings

Experimenting I seem to have mixed up Unity and Gnome desktop 3 and would like only one of them

1 Answer 1


Completely remove the GNOME desktop and reinstall the Unity desktop from a virtual console.

Boot the PC - on login screen press Ctrl+Alt+F1 - enter user name and password - execute :

sudo apt-get purge gnome
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop  
sudo reboot  

Although restarting the system isn't strictly necessary, it nevertheless is recommended to do so.

  • is this still valid on stock 16.04/16.10 ? Mar 18, 2017 at 18:07
  • 1
    @ScottStensland Generally spoken, yes, it should still work ... but do I recommend to go this way ? No, because some things might not work 100 % perfectly afterwards - I generally recommend to install and use only that one desktop environment which comes as default (Ubuntu with Unity or Ubuntu GNOME with GNOME). :)
    – cl-netbox
    Mar 19, 2017 at 10:11
  • @cl-netbox, and what about 17.04? :) I agree that doing such things is not cool, but sometimes Unity is messed after such experiments and need to be restored.
    – Suncatcher
    Oct 18, 2017 at 16:51
  • 1
    BTW, apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop command helped, without purging GNOME.
    – Suncatcher
    Oct 18, 2017 at 16:55

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