Providing you are confident enough with the command line you’ll find that it’s a pretty easy thing to do.
Both Unity, and it’s window manager ‘Compiz’, can be set to their default values with just a command or two…
Why Reset Unity?
Before I get on to showing you how to reset let’s look at some of the reason why you might want to do it.
- You might want the feel of a fresh start, but without the bagge of an actual fresh start
- You may have tweaked some system settings – intentionally or not – and now want to revert them
- You’re experiencing issues and want to see if your settings are to blame
What a Reset Does And Doesn’t Do
The word “reset” sounds scary but in this instance it isn’t.
Resetting Unity only affects the following:
- The number of workspaces
- Launcher size, behaviour & animations
- Multi-monitor behaviours
- Shortcuts for the HUD, Window Spread, Alt+Tab, etc
- Compiz animations and effects
It will not affect files, applications or anything else not directly controlled by Compiz or the Unity plugin.
How to Reset Unity in Ubuntu 12.10 & 13.04
In Ubuntu 12.04 resetting the Ubuntu desktop require the running of one command:
unity --reset . This was retired in Ubuntu 12.10.
Yo get your Unity desktop settings back to brand spankin’ new behaviour in 12.10 and 13.04 we need to do a few things…
Unity, and Compiz, the window manager that powers Unity, stores its settings in a configuration system called ‘dconf‘.
This isn’t a standard bit of software to play with, so proceed with caution.
Open a Terminal and run the following command to reset animations, workspaces, launcher size, etc:
dconf reset -f /org/compiz/
Log out of your desktop session and back into Unity for changes to take effect.
To refresh your Unity launcher with the default set of icons, run the following in a Terminal:
This command will “restart” Unity immediately, running from the Terminal. Closing the Terminal will also ‘close’ Unity, so it’s best to log out and back in after running this command.