Fix Unity Freezes After Login In Ubuntu 14.04 [Quick Tip]

If you upgraded Ubuntu 13.10 to Ubuntu 14.04, you might end up with Unity freezing at login time. You boot in to Ubuntu 14.04, enter your credential and the system just hangs up, freezes. If you are lucky, you might see mouse cursor, background wallpaper but nothing else. No Unity launcher, no top panel etc. Basically you will have Ubuntu in an unusable state.

This problem of missing Unity launcher, panel and system freeze can be solved by re-installing Unity. Let’s see how to do that:

Reinstall Unity in Ubuntu 14.04 to fix system freeze issue

Well, since you are stuck with a frozen system, use Ctrl+Alt+F2 key. This will take you to command line interface (instead of the default graphical user interface). You will be asked to enter your credentials. After you enter your username and password, use the following commands one by one to reinstall Unity desktop.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop
sudo apt-get install unity
sudo shutdown -r now

The last command will reboot your system. After the reboot, you should have Unity working as normal.

Fixing Unity freeze issue with Nvidia graphics:

I don’t have experience with Nvidia graphics but I found some people mentioning additional steps for system with Nvidia graphics card. While the above trick worked for my system, I cannot verify the one below. People with Nvidia graphics, please confirm that the steps below work for your system:

Press Ctrl+Alt+F2 to use command line. And after entering username and password, use the following commands one by one:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop
sudo apt-get install unity
sudo apt-get remove --purge nvidia*
sudo shutdown -r now

Once you have Unity back to normal at next reboot, just reinstall the Nvidia drivers (you had just removed them).

I hope these quick tips help you to recover your Ubuntu 14.04 from a frozen Unity to a working Unity. Any questions or suggestions are always welcomed.


  1. I have tried this but I still have the same problem. After I log in on Ubuntu it takes some little (and anoying) time to show icons and top bar, is there any other way to fix this?

  2. i’m running ubuntu 14.04 on a dell inspiron N5521. The freeze problem occurs only an attempt to wake up from suspend. so if i shut down and switch on my laptop, no problem. but if i suspend and try to wake it up, the cursor will only work for 1 or 2 seconds, that’s it. nothing will work from then, not even the keyboard. i have to force it power off by pressing the power button and i lose my work :/

    i wanted to know if this fix will work for such an issue. if not, is there any fix?
    i looked it up online and mostly found that it’s a bug related to the kernel… but i haven’t found any real fix…

  3. Thank you very much! I almost spent 1,5 days to get ubuntu start panel running again. After looking in several forums and faqs, trying different solutions like re-configuring compiz, re-configuring apps/panel with gconfdtool, restart Xserver, moving ~./config folder… at the end it was the command to remove the nvidia driver.

    Have Ubuntu runnning on laptop with nvidia graphic card in a VirtualBox. Thank you very much, once again :-)

  4. Possible fix:

    ctrl + alt + f1

    login with the user problem

    Then run:

    sudo apt-get install gnome-panel

    sudo mv ~/.Xauthority ~/.Xauthority.backup

    Then reboot and select gnome to session start

  5. I’m running Ubuntu Desktop in a VirtualBox VM on my Dell laptop (Windows 7) … and had this problem after the recent round of OS patching. I was able to get up and running after doing the “–purge nvidia version*” of this procedure.


  6. Neither of these options worked for me (Compaq CQ60-211DX Notebook). I had the same problem earlier; it works for a while, then fails. I’ll try Lubuntu next — it doesn’t have the Unity desktop.


  1. […] Just upgraded from 12.04 to 14.04 – using update manager, not a fresh install. Unity freezes after logging in. Not in itself tragic as this is my wife’s computer and she doesn’t use unity, opting instead for gnome/metacity. However, in case this is a "canary in the coalmine", I have tried the following as per…-ubuntu-14-04/ […]

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