How To Fix: No Unity, No Launcher, No Dash In Ubuntu Linux

So you were trying to customize your Ubuntu desktop but messed it up to end up with no Unity, no Launcher and no Dash? Don’t panic, there is a solution for this issue.

Fix no Unity, no Launcher, no Dash in Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04

At login time, use Ctrl+Alt+F1 to access the command line interface. You will have to use your username and password here. Once logged in, use the following commands:

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

Hope this fixes the issue with Ubuntu 14.04, 16.04 and Ubuntu 17.10.

Alternative 1:

If the above solution did not work for you, try removing everything from config using the command below. You can still open the terminal using the shortcut Ctrl+Alt+T.

mv ~/.config ~/.config_backup

This will reset everything and your Ubuntu system will resemble to the looks of a fresh install. Installed applications will be untouched.

If even that did not work for you, there is another trick which I used in Ubuntu 12.10. But it still works for Ubuntu 17.10 GNOME.

Fix no Unity, no Launcher, no Dash in Ubuntu

I was installing Ubuntu on my friend’s laptop the other day when I encountered this strange scenario. After the fresh install when I boot into Ubuntu, there was no Unity, no side launcher, no dash, nothing. All it had was just the default wallpaper.

Ubuntu Default Desktop Wallpaper
Ubuntu Desktop Without Unity

Clearly, something was broken. I tried the good old technique to reset Unity and Compiz in Ubuntu, did not work. After looking for hours in the forum, I came up with this awesome one-liner solution.

Use Ctrl+Alt+T to open the terminal. Now use the following command in the terminal:

rm -rf .compiz-1

And that is it. No need to do anything else. You will have Unity back again. Cheers :)


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    • Thank you so much, it worked for me. After 2 days of giving try to all the commands, steps nothing worked. this is worked in few seconds, thanks much

  • I installed 20.04 (works beautifully) side by side with 16.04 on an old laptop. Once again, 16.04 lost everything except its desktop. This time, reinstalling ubuntu-desktop in 16.04 sufficed. On other occasions I’ve had to continue down the list of remedies — thanks for posting these.