We have this canonical post:
Apparently this has been a common problem and this question currently has around ~480 linked posts, many of which are closed as duplicates of it. The score, and the timeline of the top answer showing continuing upvotes suggest that many people have been helped by it over time.
However, as Oli's answer has been updated to prominently point out, this particular problem is becoming at least less likely, particularly with Unity on its way out (I actually thought 16.04 was using Unity with Compiz by default though - am I wrong? Anyway, there are several comments suggesting this fix doesn't work for 16.04). The question has many other answers, but few of them are recent. This recent one seems to have worked for a number of users on 16.04, so probably deserves more prominence.
The reason I'm making this post is that I saw this post in review, and I don't think the OP there is having this problem, or at least there is not enough evidence to conclude that they are.
Here are a few more posts closed against this question which seem not to have been helped by it (though perhaps askers just didn't scroll down far enough) or to seem to me to lack evidence that it is really this particular problem, and should have been closed as unclear or not at all:
- Dash, top panel and title bars of windows are not being displayed
- On the desktop of my Ubuntu 16.04 the icon bar on the left and the top title bar do not appear
- Ubuntu 16.04 Desktop Menu Bar and upper panel missing, windows cannot be dragged, closed etc
- No Side Toolbar
- Desktop with no 'sidebars' and cannot get out unless switch off computer
I do not know what we should be doing about this, but I do think we should avoid closing against the canonical post questions that merely look somewhat similar to it, since these similar-looking problems seem likely to have different causes and to be unlikely to be solved by at least the majority of answers there, including the highest voted ones. I feel we should no longer be assuming that people are using Unity, especially after the imminent release of a non-Unity LTS.
My first thought was that we should try to get an updated answer by offering bounties etc but I feel that would be misguided, because I don't think an updated one-size-fits-all answer is going to be found for the seemingly various contemporary problems that look a bit like this one. Oli wrote
I'm not sure modern builds of Ubuntu even suffer from this problem. If you are having this problem on a modern install of Ubuntu, it's most likely a graphics driver issue.
But there are no new answers to the question that talk about graphics drivers, as far as I can see.
If we are not sure that a new question is going to be solved by answers to this old question and don't know how to update the answers to fix that, I don't think we should be closing against it...
Continuing to close against this question seems likely to be more frustrating than helpful for many current and future visitors. What should we do about it?