How do I activate the desktop manager? I'm getting the error message "desktop manager inactive" after installing, then removing Cairo.

When looking for alternative desktop pictures, I installed something called "Cairo" or maybe "Cairo Desktop". I didn't like the way it took over the desktop so I tried to uninstall it, but this didn't work.

Eventually I ran purge in terminal, I don't have the details. I got rid of the nuisance program, with all the buttons at the bottom of the screen, but an icon "Cairo-Dock" remains.

Now when I try to install alternative "desktop" programs, I get the error message "desktop manager inactive" and the install fails.

Sorry if I'm using Windows terms, relatively new to Linux.

  • Could you elaborate on what exactly you did and worked your Ubuntu installation before? – Raphael Ahrens May 12 '14 at 6:48
  • 1
    Which packages did you specifically remove and why? – phoops May 12 '14 at 7:03
  • New to Ubuntu. Looking for good desktop picture-installed something called "Cairo" or maybe "Cairo Desktop". After the install I got two new icons - Cairo and Cairo-Dock. Didn't like and tried to uninstall. Had trouble and eventually ran "purge" in terminal- Don't have details. I've still got "Cairo Dock", it didn't go away. Now get "desktop manager inactive" when I try other packages. – user277685 May 14 '14 at 1:35

It's bad that you don't know the details. Please check ~/.bash_history for them. Use this command when you are in your home directory:

cat .bash_history | grep apt-get

This will get you the apt-get commands you used to purge.

Quick fix to your problem: try running

sudo apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop

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