I accidentally erased the plymouth package which removed many more packages. The system would still boot but the console hung. I added the packages lightdm and lightdm-gtk-greeter, and now I do get a kind of graphical desktop. Still things are not what they should be:

  • I do not have the vertical line of icons at the left of the screen, isn't that called the "launcher"? Well, it is missing.

  • I can start a terminal after right-clicking in the desktop, and from that terminal I can start an application, Firefox or whatever. The application is however started at the same screen position as where it was at last closure, and I cannot drag it around. It also doesn't have the top line where I can click to close/minimise/maximise it;

  • the mouse cursor looks normal inside an application; but when hovering over the desktop it becomes a big X like in the early days of X

  • the desktop doesn't show the usual top line, where the time and such are displayed

How to get back to my usual desktop? Environment is ubuntu 16.04.5 / lightdm 1.18.3

Things tried: dpkg-reconfigure lightdm , dpkg-reconfigure lightdm-gtk-greeter. Both returned silently, no errors, no messages.


All actions with apt (apt-get) are logged. These files are available in /var/log/apt/. To view the most recent history log, execute:

less /var/log/apt/history.log

Than you can install all of the packages that are removed manually

apt install package1 package2 package3 ...
  • Thanks, that helped. I re-added unity and unity-greeter and now the windows get their top bar, and can be dragged around. Still missing the launcher, though. – Karel Adams Jan 1 at 0:03
  • And now the launcher is back, too. Somehow, the option "auto-hide the launcher" had got active, unchecking it was the solution. I think all is completeley repaired. – Karel Adams Jan 1 at 0:12
  • Glad to hear it friend. Happy new year! – JonLord Jan 1 at 2:17

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