Relatively new install of 16.04. Last time I rebooted, all that was displayed was my desktop background (no launchpad). I right clicked on the blank desktop, opened a terminal, and typed unity. This opened unity desktop and now things seems normal after reboot.

The issue is that that applications (e.g. terminal, file manager, etc) position themselves in the upper left hand corner beyond where I can move them via the title bar. If I hold down ALT, I can manually move them, but when an app is reopened, the app is again positioned in the upper left.

Also, I can no longer auto-scale windows by dragging them to the right edge of the screen (or top of the screen for that matter). Any ideas?

  • I did find one similar post here, but the user's "solution" was to delete your user account...
    – Drew
    Feb 8 '17 at 18:36
  • any solution guys ?
    – gtzinos
    Nov 9 '17 at 20:27
  • FWIW, I had exactly the same problem: on one reboot (after an update), the desktop apeared (with one the one icon I have on the desktop showing), but none of the menu bars, etc. After a reboot, I experienced exactly the symptom you describe. Applications like gnome-terminal open in the top level, with the window close button obscured by the menu bar. I guess it is some kind of corruption with the unity/xorg settings? I installed ccsm as described below, but it seems like a weird workaround...
    – BeeOnRope
    Jan 18 '19 at 22:38

Never really found the reason why this happened, but the accepted answer at this post fixes the issue if you install CompizConfig:

Why are windows going to top left of the screen?

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