Fix Ubuntu Boots Into Desktop Background Issue


When I boot Ubuntu it loads and shows only the desktop background. I have a black cross cursor and can right click to show the expected context menu for the desktop.

I can use Ctrl+Alt+F1 to get a terminalF1toF6 (tty1 to tty6) from which I have tried a lot of things suggested to others with similar issues on here.

I tried the basic sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get upgrade which didn't help. I tried restarting lightdm. Updated nvidia drivers. Nothing made a difference.

One post said the issue was to do with the ccsm unity plugin being disabled. I managed to get that program to run and the plugin was disabled but enabling it has made no difference.

One suggested that unity needed reinstalling so I ran sudo apt-get install --reinstall unity. It reinstalled but didn't fix the problem.

Another said to install GNOME then switch back to unity which didn't work (though I could load gnome without any problems). I also ran a few commands which were supposed to set the defaults and reset settings though I can't remember what they were exactly. As you may have guessed those had no effect too.

Anyone have any ideas? I would just reinstall Ubuntu from usb but I have no way to get it onto a USB to do so.

Edit: The linked duplicate answer is one I had already tried and found didn't solve my issue.

Best Answer

I ran into the same problem using MATE 1.8 under Ubuntu 14.04 and after hours i ended up installing Cinnamon (which i'm more than happy now with, btw.), to get a working desktop to find out what's going wrong.

The solution was to disable all the autostart programs from MATE inside my user profile. I've moved all .desktop files out of ~/.config/autostart/ and then been able to login to MATE again.

I'm 99% sure your problem will be fixed by disabling your autostart items.