I have upgraded to Ubuntu 17.10 from 16.04.

Since everything has changed with the that release regarding the desktop manager, I could image there being some trouble. But it seems, Ubuntu is back to 'a lot of trouble during upgrading' again.

I have the following problems:

  • My closing buttons are not on the right side
  • I do not have a dock visible on the left hand side.
  • I have no dock settings, which is kind of logical, because I have no dock
  • I have no transparency
  • I have still the old ubuntu settings dialog (unity7)

What I have tried

  • Installing gdm3 by hand (sudp apt install ubuntu-session gdm3), which changed the login screen, but leaves the desktop etc. broken as described
  • I have purged unity8, which somehow brought ubuntu-system-settings over me, which I have also purged
  • Changing the used manager on the login screen, which works as far as it changes the desktop from unity8 to gnome or gnome on wayland.

Can I somehow trigger the repair of the Ubuntu installation? I figure it is broken somehow? Or did it just ignore some packages, because there were packages installed for that purpose already?

  • 1
    Did you upgrade 16.04 -> 16.10 -> 17.04 -> 17.10 ? Or did you skip releases ? Does 17.10 work from a live USB ? – Panther Nov 1 '17 at 23:28
  • Straight from LTS to 17.10. haven't tried live usb. Why? – func0der Nov 1 '17 at 23:34
  • Are you sure you're not using gnome-shell, which is the default in 17.10? – muru Nov 1 '17 at 23:39
  • From what I've seen from the freshly installed Ubuntu 17.10s on YouTube, mine is different. How may I check if I use the correct one? – func0der Nov 1 '17 at 23:41
  • 2
    Boot a live 17.10 usb and see, lol. With all those upgrades and significant changes you may be best off with a fresh install. You can try deleting all you gnome and unity settings in $HOME and log out and back in – Panther Nov 1 '17 at 23:43

It may be that your login is still set to Unity.

At the login screen, click on your username, then click the small cog wheel icon, and select either Gnome, or Gnome on xorg, or Gnome on wayland. Then proceed to enter your password to log in.

You'll know that you've reached the new software because the calendar/clock/notification area will appear in the center of the top panel.

To make the dock appear, review your installed gnome extensions at https://extensions.gnome.org/local/ and enable the built-in Ubuntu Dock extension. The Ubuntu Dock is a paired-down version of Dash to Dock, and if you prefer more customization options then disable the built-in Ubuntu Dock and install/configure Dash to Dock which is found at:



Recommend (re)installing 17.10 to cure the various problems.

  • There may be another choice, Ubuntu on Xorg, which seems to be Gnome with the dock set up for you. – ubfan1 Nov 2 '17 at 15:33
  • I figured that the dock was an extension, but could not install it via apt, because it was not found. I do not have the option "Gnome on Xorg" though. But I have the clock centered as you say, when I chose a "gnome option" – func0der Nov 2 '17 at 17:16
  • What about the missing transparency and the old settings menu though? – func0der Nov 2 '17 at 17:25
  • @func0der The Ubuntu Dock and the Dash to Dock are not installed using apt. Either use the extensions.gnome.org/local or use the Gnome Tweak Tool. The second link that I gave will take you directly to the Dash to Dock install page. – heynnema Nov 2 '17 at 17:26
  • 1
    @func0der well, you upgraded, and didn't follow the recommended path of performing all of the intermediate upgrades, and have multiple problems, including none of the standard gnome extensions showing as installed. Ubuntu Dock is not an apt package. Reinstall is VERY indicated. Believe what you will. – heynnema Nov 2 '17 at 21:56

Likely there's an issue somewhere where it isn't flipping over to the new software defaults. It may be from skipping significant releases, it really could be a number of things.

If you can't flip everything over by just installing some new packages or resetting some defaults or switching to the new shell when starting up (from the login screen)... it may just be best to do a fresh install.

Sometimes fresh installs are just better that way, even though it can be annoying to have to set it all up.

  • 1
    That is not a satisfying answer to me. I do not want to install fresh. There has to be a way to make this work without going fresh. Instead, please list 'a number of things'. – func0der Nov 2 '17 at 6:55

Answer is simple: I had Ubuntu 17.04 installed, which was Ubuntu's safest update way apparently.

Ubuntu does not seem to upgrade from 16.04 directly to the newest release.

It works all fine now after another upgrade to from 17.04 to 17.10.

If you are nevertheless stuck in a situation where your upgrade did not go as planned, I suggest you have look at the Ubuntu manifest file for your version of Ubuntu. It contains all the packages that SHOULD be installed with a fresh installation and might help you to figure out which ones are missing for you or which ones you could trigger a reconfigure for. You can find a good answer for that here: How do I list the default installed packages?

  • So, are you saying that you really went from 16.04 to 17.04, instead of to 17.10? Then another Software Update should be able to bring you from 17.04 to 17.10, yes? – heynnema Nov 3 '17 at 8:09
  • @heynnema Yep. Updated the answer accordingly. – func0der Nov 3 '17 at 8:13

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