I have been using Ubuntu for about 1 year now and I got a problem just two days ago. Suddenly I started experiencing a problem with the window borders (title bar with close, maximize, and minimize buttons).

The problem :

  • The window borders disappear
  • I run "gtk-window-decorator --replace"
  • For like 20 seconds everything is back to normal
  • But it again returns to the problem.

I searched over the Internet and found that my problem is similar to what is specified in this bug report: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/compiz/+bug/814091

This bug report says that the "fix released". I updated everything using the Update Manager, but still the problem remains.

Can anyone let me know whether the problem is fixed? If yes, can you please let me know how to do it?

I have already tried normal replace/reset commands like

  • unity --reset
  • unity --replace
  • compiz --replace

The "window borders" plugin is on in CCSM (CompizConfig Settings Manager) and it points to "gtk-window-decorator".

I use Ubuntu 11.10 on an Intel Core2Duo T6500 with AMD Mobility Radeon HD 4300 graphics card.

If you need more information, please let me know.

  • 1
    Your crash seem unrelated to that bug. The bug is a crash while restoring windows from maximizing, yours problem seem to be just random. – Javier Rivera Dec 19 '11 at 11:34
  • window-decorator in my system has /usr/bin/compiz-decorator may be you should try that without replace. – sagarchalise Dec 19 '11 at 11:34
  • If you are getting a segmentation fault, then that's a crash. This should be reported as a new bug against gtk-window-decorator. – Knowledge Cube Dec 20 '11 at 3:04
  • 1
    @BalakrshnanRamakrishnan If you have solved your question, it would be nice if you posted the steps you followed down below as an answer, then accepted it. This is the proper way to mark your own question as solved. Thanks! – Knowledge Cube Dec 21 '11 at 15:42
  • at least for Wireshark it's related to secondary monitors: lists.debian.org/debian-gtk-gnome/2015/03/msg00005.html – sehe May 22 '16 at 20:57

Solution: I tried many methods to bring it to normal and finally the following worked. I removed the folders

  • ~/.gconf2
  • ~/.gnome2
  • ~/.compiz-1

And restarted X (Ctrl+Alt+Bksp) .

Now window title bars are working as usual .

But if I try to customize my themes, it goes back to being problematic

I am happy with the default - Adwaita theme with Ubuntu-Mono-Dark icons.

Hope this would help someone in the future.

Thanks for all who gave me valuable suggestions..


I fixed this issue permanently by entering CompizConfig Settings Manager (CCSM) —if you don't have it do sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager—, going into the Window Decorations options, and changing the Command setting to compiz-decorator.

Backing out of this menu, then unchecking Window Decoration, allowing the desktop to reload, then checking Window Decoration and exiting out of CCSM.

After doing this, I can no longer reproduce the issue.


As of Saucy there is no similar command, but unchecking 'undirect fullscreen windows' from the 'Composite' menu fixes the issue. The problem lies in that at some point it gets re-checked with no input from the user.

I would appreciate input as to why this happens.

  • I should have added that window decoration loss only happens to me when I am running something requiring Wine. – Christopher Dec 14 '13 at 16:35

fixed missing borders by instaling compiz fusion icon and changing Window Manager to Xfwm4 under the fusion icon menus

borders are back now.

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