Fix user interface (Ubuntu Unity) disappearing problem after upgrade to Ubuntu 16.04

Ubuntu 16.04 User Interface (Unity) not loading
Ubuntu 16.04 User Interface (Unity) not loading

Some users reported that the Ubuntu’s graphical user interface has disappeared after upgrading to Ubuntu 16.04. I personally prefer clean install to avoid such issues, but if you have already hit the upgrade button and stuck with the user interface including all menus, then you are not alone. The problem comes up because Ubuntu’s Unity which is nothing but graphical user interface app fails to start. You are left with only a desktop with wallpaper background and that’s it – no icons, menus etc.. Here is an step-by-step fix to this annoying problem.

Ubuntu 16.04 User Interface (Unity) not loading
Ubuntu 16.04 User Interface (Unity) not loading

STEP 1: INSTALL COMPIZ SETTINGS MANAGER

Launch ‘Terminal’. Now that you don’t have graphical user interface, you try launching terminal in one of following ways:

  1. Press Control+Alt+T or
  2. Right click on the desktop and Select “Open Terminal” from the right-click context menu.
  3. If nothing is working, you may have to change to a “hard” terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1 and log in.

In the terminal, type or copy-paste this following command.

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

You may have to enter root password to complete the installation.

Terminal - Install Compiz Settings Manager
Terminal – Install Compiz Settings Manager

STEP 2: RUN COMPIZ

Enter the following command in the Terminal.

DISPLAY=:0 ccsm &

You will see CompizConfig Settings Manager dialog box. Click ‘OK’ for the warning message.

STEP 3: ENABLE UBUNTU UNITY PLUGIN

Finally, it’s time to enable the Ubuntu Unity Plugin. Scroll down in the settings window to ‘Desktop’ section and click on “Ubuntu Unity Plugin”.

CompizConfig Settings Manager - Desktop Section
CompizConfig Settings Manager – Desktop Section

Click “Enable Ubuntu Unity Plugin” and close the window. Click “OK” for warning, if any pops-up.

Enable Unity
Enable Unity

You should now see all the menus, icons, and all stuff back! If not, restart Ubuntu and you should be fine.

That’s it. Did the solution work for you? Do let us know your feedback in comments below.

Hi there! I’m Kiran Kumar, founder of FOSSLinux.com. I’m an avid Linux lover, and enjoys hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I’m using Linux Mint as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Ubuntu, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities especially during Winter ;). When I’m not writing for FOSSLinux, I’m seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. Hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more, and spread my love for Linux. If you find time, drop me an email or feedback from ‘Contact’ page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!

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1 Comment on "Fix user interface (Ubuntu Unity) disappearing problem after upgrade to Ubuntu 16.04"

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Marta
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This was BRILLIANT!! Thank you very much!

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