Unity is currently the default window manager on my system, a window manager that's available for many Linux distributions, meaning this question isn't Ubuntu-specific. I have disabled the dock's autohide using debconf, but apart from that I haven't altered any of the default settings. My usage pattern is centred around the Windows key; whenever I wish to start something, whether it be Firefox, GVim, or a terminal window, I just hit the windows key, start typing the name, and hit enter when Unity guesses what it is I want.

This use means I have no need to keep anything in the launcher. Given that I only start applications using the keyboard, I only need the dock to show me currently running applications.

Naturally, my response was to simply remove everything I could from the dock, meaning all that remains is running applications.

It doesn't work though. If I remove all 'pinned' applications from the dock, the system repopulates it to the defaults on restart of Unity. I assume that Unity thinks everything being removed is either a user error or a clobbered configuration file somewhere, and as such 'repairs' it by restoring the pinned applications.

How can I suppress this setting so I can have an empty dock?

  • Did you ever solve this?
    – Jason C
    Commented Jul 12, 2014 at 21:50

1 Answer 1


This page suggests the libdconf0 package may be corrupt, and can be fixed by running this command in a terminal:

sudo apt-get install --reinstall libdconf0

This bug report suggests to me that an update might even fix the problem.

There's some additional information here on that particular issue: https://askubuntu.com/questions/49766/unity-launcher-does-not-remember-favorites

If the above doesn't help, this person (http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1842493#post11429491) suggests deleting the unity config folder may fix the problem. They didn't specify which folder needed to be removed, but if it's a matter of a corrupt Unity configuration, the solutions here might help:

If there is a .unity or .compiz folder in your home folder, removing those (after backing them up) may work as a last resort, although that could mess up your entire gnome/unity/compiz configuration. It might be best to back up your entire home folder first in that case.

  • Here's what I tried from your list: reinstalled libdconf0; updated to a version past the one mentioned in the bug fix report; removed all configuration files and folders I could find; reinstalled the whole of Unity; and deleted Compiz configuration using the defaults. None of them fixed the problem -_- Thanks for the suggestions though.
    – Louis
    Commented Jan 28, 2012 at 0:02
  • Just to add, do you think I should file a bug report? It's subtly different to the forgetful-settings being detailed in the above bug fix page.
    – Louis
    Commented Jan 28, 2012 at 0:11
  • 1
    @Louis did you also try unity --reset, unity --reset-icons, and gsettings reset com.canonical.Unity.Launcher favorites? Are you using Unity or Unity 2D? Because it seems that where the settings are stored differs between the two. Before filing a bug, you might want to try removing all of the applications except one to see if that sticks. It also might not hurt to ask this on askubuntu.com.
    – bmaupin
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 17:35
  • Out of those three I've already done the first two suggestions, but to no avail. The latter I tried just now, with the same result. I just tried Unity and Unity 2D, finding that both have the same problem. I also removed all graphical applications I've installed, which included DWM, LXDE, and Exaile. The problem remains, which is to be expected since it had this issue before I installed any of them. Thanks for the help so far though.
    – Louis
    Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 17:49

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