Ubuntu – Unity notifications messed up after installing Gnome


I made a fresh installation of Ubuntu 14.04 and then decided to try Gnome and installed its packages. I didn't like it and came back to using to Unity.

After this experiment the notifications became messed up. For the text messages they appeared in the plain text mode without any borders, in a plain rectangle in the different part of the screen. Also the notifications of the change of volume and brightness are also gone. Where can I restore them? I checked the content of:


[D-BUS Service]

Best Answer

  • It seems there is no priority or a single setting point to set which freedesktop notification daemon to run. I got such problem with XFCE installed on Ubuntu 14.04.

    Unity notification launch xfce4-notifyd (XFCE styled notifications) as it was the default.

    • Check for available notification services, example:

      $ grep -r org.freedesktop.Notifications /usr/share/dbus-1/services/
    • Disable non needed ones, leave only the one you want, add a name extension suffix .disable:

      sudo mv /usr/share/dbus-1/services/org.xfce.xfce4-notifyd.Notifications.service /usr/share/dbus-1/services/org.xfce.xfce4-notifyd.Notifications.service.disable
      pkill xfce4-notifyd
    • Check

      notify-send test

    If there is no Gnome service file /usr/share/dbus-1/services/org.gnome.Notifications.service. Try adding notify-osd to start up applications. See How do I start applications automatically on login?. DBUS will try to launch the service only if there is no process already took that bus address ownership (org.freedesktop.Notifications).

  • Related Question