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Distribution: RHEL, CentOS, Debian, Oracle Solaris 10
Switch from the Ubuntu (3D) desktop to a virtual terminal using Ctrl+Alt+F1 to F6
Login to the VT and run DISPLAY=:0.0 /usr/lib/nux/unity_support_test -p (to make sure your system current setup is able to use Unity).
In the VT, run DISPLAY=:0.0 /usr/bin/ccsm &
Switch back to the Desktop with Ctrl+Alt+F7
In CompizConfig Settings Manager, see that Ubuntu Unity Plugin is activated. Even deactivating/reactivating it might help.
Either Unity Launcher and panel will immediately appear or ccsm will crash (it is unstable when activating the plugin). You might have to try it a couple times.
Back to the VT you had just used, run sudo service lightdm restart
Login, check if session is looking OK
If not, go back to the VT, run unity --reset Ctrl+Alt+F7 and Check your session.
If not, Back to the VT you had just used, run sudo service lightdm restart
Do again and again until it starts working OK.
I run your suggestions as executable scripts. After some blinking nothing bounced but icons are still gone.
I was unable to locate the ccsm file, never mind its mgr, but saw the dash file (marked as executable) but had no way to make it run.
I opened up another account on the same pc(using my grandsons and all the start dash and launcher icons showed!
Interestingly when I tried to set up new accounts via the terminal it let me do it but then no corresponding start options appeared.(I know that the accounts were actually opened from refusals to use their names in my attempts to open more accounts)!
There must be additional bugs in my Ubuntu 11 10 as on several occasions it refused to power off from the
terminal claiming that I had a wrong password!! I tried both User and user as names.
I would be grateful for any additional advice to help an octogenarian who should perhaps get another job or hobby.