The other day I noticed one of the icons in the left dash was missing. Today I noticed most of them are missing. What causes this, and could the miniSSD be going bad?

I have Icon-theme set to Human (the old icons) using Ubuntu Tweak Tool on 14.04 but this setting hasn't caused this issues for months now.

The home (on a hdd) is encrypted and maybe there is an error in reading it, as I see this in the system log:

compiz: pam_ecryptfs: seteuid error

Empty Icons

Empty Icons

  • 1
    I see it again today... but just one icon (Files) right now.
    – NoBugs
    Feb 17, 2017 at 6:16
  • Message me when you are online.
    – MathCubes
    Feb 18, 2017 at 5:15
  • What's the output of ls -l /etc/shadow?
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Feb 20, 2017 at 2:50

2 Answers 2


You can check /usr/share/icons to see if all icons are present.

Further you run following commands:

[1] This will reset the Unity Launcher icons to their initial state:

unity --reset-icons

[2] Then you need to reset the Unity Settings in order to eliminate any unknown discrepancy. This will not affect any of your other CCSM settings.

unity --reset

Reboot the system and hopefully your problem will be solved.

  • well now all the icons are all showing... as they do >90% of the time... it would appear that shutting and opening laptop may fix (or un-fix) this?
    – NoBugs
    Feb 19, 2017 at 4:06

It seems this is the intermittent graphical glitch in Linux 4.3-4.4 described various places, not just Ubuntu. You can install Ubuntu's older 4.2 version to fix it:

Missing letters in menus and folder names

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