(update to 14.04) unity is not loading after I login to the admin profile after upgrade


Solution 1

I had a similar problem, I solved it by switching in terminal (CTRL+ALT+F1) then removing the configuration file ~/.config/dconf/user like this :

(! this action will remove your gnome 3 settings !)

sudo service lightdm stop
rm ~/.config/dconf/user
sudo service lightdm start

Solution 2

I had the same problem. The only way I could solve it was this:


ctrl + alt + F1

to access a terminal. You have to log in with your user. Then run

sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool

and finally

unity-tweak-tool --reset-unity

If you get errors try running it again. You should then be back at the welcome screen. Log in and unity should be there, albeit without any custom settings you may have had.

Solution 3

I sometimes had a similar issue in Saucy and Raring. I was able to fix that with re-enabling the Unity plugin in Comppiz Config Settings Manager. Using CTRL-ALT-T you should be able to open a terminal. There you can install the Compiz Configuration Settings Manager

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Then you can start it using


where you should be able to find a plugin named Unity. Click the checkbox to enable it and Dash with the sidebar should reappear.


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Author by


Updated on September 18, 2022


  • 272932
    272932 11 months

    After upgrading to 14.04 and after the final reboot, I logged in the admin account but unity won't start, I have only the 14.04 background.

    No shortcuts work. I can login and use the guest and other accounts on the machine.

    I think I might have opted to keep one of the settings that I was asked to select during the upgrade to 14.04.

    What other info can I provide?

    My chipset is Intel GM45 mobile.

    Why does unity on the other accounts (guest, etc) login and work normally?

    I have only been using ubuntu since 13.04, so im not that familiar with it. My setup is dual boot with windows 7 on a laptop. Can someone help?

  • 272932
    272932 over 9 years
    [OP] No this didnt work. No shortcuts work. a. CTRL+ALT+T is not working (only CTRL+ALT+F1 works)
  • RSG
    RSG over 9 years
    I am also having the similar problem
  • Leandro
    Leandro about 9 years
    that was the only tip that worked for me. Thanks.
  • Damian Nadales
    Damian Nadales about 9 years
    This solution worked for me as well. As it happens I have Gnome-shell (Gnome 3) installed alongside Unity. In case you cannot run a terminal when you log into unity you can switch into a tty (Ctrl+Alt+F2) and then issue: DISPLAY=:0 gnome-terminal Once in the terminal type the commands given by @user273077
  • Gediminas
    Gediminas over 8 years
    this worked for me. after running for a while, it was saying "can't detect monitor name" and nothing happened for ~15min. based on iotop and top seemed like there's no activity, so I rebooted the machine. everything works fine now. thanks!
  • Theo
    Theo almost 8 years
    After all attempts at reinstalling/resetting Unity, this is what finally got me going.
  • RattleyCooper
    RattleyCooper over 7 years
    Make sure you back up ~/.config/dconf/user in case this isn't the actual solution or you will have to reorganize your desktop and whatnot. Minor annoyance, but you can avoid it.
  • friedi
    friedi almost 7 years
    Great solution! Thank you so much for sharing it with us.