Purge All the Things! Wait, Where'd My Desktop Go?

I am now at a point in my career as a personal computer owner where virtually every screen I sit in front of is a Linux machine. I’m trying out Fedora 18 on my Dell D620, Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) on the mid-2000s desktop I plan to turn into a virtual server, my workstation is the latest Ubuntu update, and this computer only runs Windows out a partition.

I’m comfortable with Linux at this point.

The old desktop was handling the Quetzal very slo-o-o-w-l-y. So I decided to get rid of a few programs to help it out. Then with my personal desktop I decided to try out Conky and Gnome-Shell for a bit to use those incredible looking configurations on Deviant art. Conky wouldn’t cooperate and Gnome was terrible, so I got rid of them both. sudo apt-get remove gnome as always, right? Move on and log back in to good old Unity.


So, I, uh….accidentally erased my desktop environment. It was definitely a panic inducing moment. Fortunately, I’m used to doing most of my work out of the terminal at this point and I was able to access all of my resources. The internets said that my answer was a simple unity-reset

The computer responded with Reset function is now deprecated


My panic quickly turned to rage. I was told to go into the virtual terminal with Alt + F1 and reset the configuration files mv -v ~/.compiz-1 ~/.compiz-1.BACKUP This led me to an endless loop of logons.

A Reset!

Turns out there’s a python script to reset Unity.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:freyja-dev/unity-tweak-tool-daily
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install unity-tweak-tool
unity-tweak-tool --reset-unity

And the Unity toolbar reappears! Hooray! Except not. The reset didn’t last and after logging out and back in again I found myself staring at a blank screen once more. Poop.

The Actual Solution

You should really thank me, I saved you a whole lot of keyboard smashing and angst.

dconf reset -f /org/compiz/
compiz --replace & disown

You’re force reseting your windows manager (compiz) and configuration (dconf) system, replacing your reset file configuration dropping the broken config files like bad news.

Ta Da! Now was that so bad?

Yes. Yes it was.