Lost Menu bars in Ubuntu 8.04

Asked by ChrisCS on 2008-09-11


I have installed Ubuntu 8.04 on a memory stick and can boot my computer with it. I was playing around with it recently to remove Evolution with a view to replacing it with Thunderbird.

The next time I booted I got a desktop without the top menu bar and the bottom bar. Reading some of the answers here I tried the solution that seemed the most likely one for this problem which was to press ALT+F2 with a view to typing in the commands that were suggested in the answer but there is no response to ALT+F2. The desktop resembles to one obtained with a live CD, with the Install icon and the Examples folder but without the menu bars

While it was booting a message flashed by to the effect that Gnome (or maybe something else - it was very quick) didn't reply. It was too quick for me to read properly and when I tried re booting the message did not reappear and neither did the menu bars

What can I do to get the menu bar and the bar at the bottom of the screen back?

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Best Andrew (and471) said : #1

Right I believe I know what happened. Basically due to the way that the some software packages are linked to eachother in the ubuntu repositories, you can't remove evolution without getting rid of other packages, such as the gnome-panel, which you must have removed.

The best way to solve this is to do the following

Before your computer boots into Ubuntu, you should see a message like

GRUB loading,
press Esc to see the menu

When you see this, press the Eascape key on your keyboard and you will be greeted with a menu. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to highlight the uppermost entry in the menu that has '(recovery mode)' in it. Once oyu have highlighted the correct entry, click Enter.

Then another menu will appear, make your selection like before, but choose the 'root' option. Click Enter.

Once you have booted in the command line interface, run the following command:

apt-get install --reinstall ubuntu-desktop

Once you have done that, let the command finish (it may take a while) and then type the command

shutdown -r now

Then your computer will reboot into the normal desktop mode and your problem should be gone!

Now if you want to install thunderbird, you can do that, but just don't remove evolution!

ChrisCS (chriscro) said : #2

Hi rugby471

Thank you for your message and thank you for your help. You were spot on in that the problem was caused by trying to remove Evolution; I went through the motions of removing it from my laptop to see what was going on, and there is one point where it says that removing a certain package will result in the desktop being removed also. I must have been dozing when I was removing Evolution for real and obviously missed that point. Needless to say, I didn't press the "Apply" button on the laptop!

Your suggestions all worked and I have now got the desktop back how it was, so thanks again


opcn (bwhite-fortlewis) said : #3

I never see anything like grub loading, and despite me hitting esc repeatedly at various times it does nothing to slow the startup process.