Please throw me a bone here...I did something like this last night and ended up having to reinstall 16.04 because I completely hosed Unity/Compiz.

I was messing with some hotkeys in the Window Spread tab of Unity Tweak Tool, clicked "Restore Defaults" and my panel & launcher disappeared again. I'm literally not logging out or anything until they reappear on my screen again, so I don't have to lose everything again.

What can I do to fix this that doesn't involve logging out and trashing my install? At least for now I can leave the computer on forever, and just use terminal to open things.

Here's an identical situation. Looks like the last guy was forced to reinstall as well all because he clicked one seemingly innocent button: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2313458

  • My Q is...WTF? This just happened to me too this is horrible behavior it should not do this, at least without a warning! Wow. My god now I am starting to remember why i rage quit linux 15 years ago. – neuronet Jul 11 '16 at 14:05

I faced same problem and I really don't know why it happens? & what is its solution?

But, here is what I did: I created new user account, logged in the new account & checked everything is okay in it. Then I moved my home directory from my older account to the newer one. Finally, I deleted my old account.

My another suggestion is: If you only want a convenient way to handle applications and if you are not addicted to unity launcher, then you can try gnome-panel as well. To install type the command in terminal

    sudo apt-get install gnome-panel

Try it with command


If you are happy with gnome-panel, then add it to the start-up applications, so that it get automatically invoked whenever you login.

I know these are not exact solutions to fix the problem, but these will bypass the problem.

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I got it back. After fighting an unbelievable level of Compiz-founded PTSD, I opened ccsm and turned on Unity again. Last night, checking that box sent me back into a warzone of flashing windows and glitching panels.

It popped up several horrifyingly familiar conflicts about key bindings, which I cautiously maneuvered like land mines in Vietnam. I disabled every conflicting binding to be on the safe side.

By some miracle of the powers above, my launcher and panel are back. Time to run yet another backup.

PS I logged out and back in without flickering login loops. Thank God for LTS releases and this website's extensive resources! Have a great Sunday ya'll.

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  • I can't tell what you actually did from this... – neuronet Jul 11 '16 at 14:19

Here is what I did to solve this problem, and I stole it from here: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2236849

Ctrl+Alt+T to open a terminal, if terminal does not open try ctrl+alt+F1

sudo apt-get install dconf-tools
dconf reset -f /org/compiz/
setsid unity
unity --reset-icons  #might need to be done in a new terminal

Unfortunately the launcher was all reset, so all the icons had to be redone, and Amazon removed, etc.. But it's better than nothing!

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Just run the following commands

  1. unity-tweak-tool reset every setting to the default value,

    unity-tweak-tool --reset-unity

  2. Reset the compiz configuration

    dconf reset -f /org/compiz/

  3. Restart unity

    setsid unity

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