Ubuntu upgraded from 18 to 20 but desktop loading is NOT automatic and window freezing problem persists

Hi Folks,

A few months back, I took up the prompted offer to upgrade from Ubuntu 18 to 20. I now am left with two infuriating problems that occur every time I boot the computer.

Problem 1
After loading, the taskbar at the bottom appears as I have configured it to but the desktop is blank. I found out from a bit of research that I can hit ALT + F2 then r and Enter to get it to “Restart.” This does work consistently and gets me going but why do I have to do this every single time I load the computer? A permanent solution would be appreciated.

Problem 2
If I move my mouse onto the taskbar at the bottom then cross the mouse onto one of the preview popup windows, this results in all of the windows being locked open but being unresponsive. The only way to clear them is to maximise and then minimise ever single open window by clicking on their taskbar buttons in order to get back to a clear desktop again. Hitting the “Minimise All” button at the bottom right of the screen does not work while the windows are locked.

All help appreciated.

I appear to have a workaround for Problem 2.

Seems it is specifically related to the Dash to Panel feature of Tweaks. I’ve solved the problem by turning off the misbehaving preview feature.

Tweaks → Dash to Panel → Show window preview on hover → Enable window peeking (Set to OFF)

I’m running a fresh-installed XUbuntu 20.04 instead of an Ubuntu 20 upgraded from release 18 as you are, but, in the past, when I was still trying to appreciate Ubuntu’s interface, I’ve experienced some issues with such interface and I recall creating a new user account and logging in with it, which strangely used to solve most of the issues that I experienced with the “original” account after an upgrade from a release to the next.

So, in other words: despite the many years passed since the last time that I used Ubuntu and dealt with its interface (since 2014, I’ve been consistently using only XUbuntu and I’m more than happy with its simpler and much less buggy interface: Xfce), I believe that creating a new user account and then logging in as such user may still be a good way to test/verify how much of these Ubuntu’s GUI issues are user-specific instead of GUI-related, i.e. caused by e.g. now-obsolete settings/configurations stored in files and folders such as ~/.cache/, ~/.config/, ~/.local/, ~/.Xauthority and ~/.Xdefaults (these last 2 are hidden files, the first 3 are hidden folders, and ~ is a shortcut to your home folder e.g. /home/cameron/). Release upgrades are problematic and this btw is a reason why I always back things up, format the drive, perform a fresh install and then recover my backup. If you keep experiencing these issues, I’d suggest backing everything up, performing a fresh install on a clean (i.e. formatted) unit, and then restoring your backup.

Lol… Only getting back to you after exactly 2 months. Sorry about that, I’ve been very busy.

I think your suggestion is the same as travelling around the world in order to avoid some road works on the road you live.

If its a user related setting causing the issue, surely we can make some good inferences about which setting it might be that needs to be purged?

Ubuntu’s interface has several bugs and many of them manifest during release upgrade procedures such as the one your system’s gone through. E.g. the Problem #1 that you mentioned seems to be related with this 1-decade-old issue, so if you happen to fix it with a command such as:

sudo apt-get purge ubuntu-desktop -y ; sudo apt-get clean ; sudo dpkg --configure -a ; sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop -y

…then it shows how these bugs stick with the system for years, unfixed.

If the command above solves Problem #1, awesome. If not, then, talking from experience, the next things that you try in order to fix it will likely not fix it, either. You’ll likely end up coming to the conclusion that creating a new user account and moving your files and folders to such new account’s folder (provided that you check and confirm that such new user account is functional i.e. it shows no sign of the reported problems) will be the actual shortcut that will save you from a lot of time spent in a travel around the world of forums, blogs, tutorials, reading and analyzing log files located at /var/log etc. in an attempt to understand what went wrong during the upgrade and, therefore, what’s either missing or misconfigured.