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I'm wondering if it's possible to hide a folder without renaming it with a dot on the Desktop.

Ubuntu 12.04


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I dont think there is, the only way is to start the file name with a dot for example .desktop in a file browser. – Mark Kirby Aug 15 '12 at 13:21
Maby a different file file browser will handle this differently Google something like best Linux file browser – Mark Kirby Aug 15 '12 at 13:24
@markkirby I don't think a new file browser is necessary., or even will integrate well. The best idea right now is to try to use filesystem metadata. – hexafraction Aug 15 '12 at 13:42

You can create a file called .hidden and write the names of the files you want to hide in it.


  • /home/user/Desktop/file1
  • /home/user/Desktop/file2

CREATE .hidden file, echo file1 > /home/user/Desktop/.hidden


  • /home/user/Desktop/file1 (HIDDEN)
  • /home/user/Desktop/file2
  • /home/user/Desktop/.hidden (HIDDEN)

No file got moved nor renamed.

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I know that but I already have folders that I don't want to rename, but would like to have them not show up on my desktop. I guess it's not possible. – Matt Aug 15 '12 at 14:07
I don't get it. If you don't want /home/user/Desktop/wtf to show up on your desktop, create the .hidden file on your desktop and write 'wtf' in it. – user55822 Aug 15 '12 at 14:18
they said without using a dot folder. just say either "It can't be done," or tell them how to do it. -1. – Matt Aug 26 '12 at 16:34
@Matt The OP simply said they didn't want to rename their individual files. This method involves no renaming. They will need to create a new .hidden file, but nothing else would be affected. This looks like a perfectly valid answer to me. – Christopher Kyle Horton Sep 1 '12 at 19:21
By renaming, I mean move. I know the OP. They mean they want to know if you can hide /home/USER/Desktop/This from showing up. Not ./Desktop/.hidden/This but ./Desktop/This. – Matt Sep 12 '12 at 21:27

Yes, it is possible. But the problem is that then you won't be able to see any icon on your desktop, but will be able to see everything in /home/user/Desktop.

The trick is fairly simple and straightforward:

  • Install gnome-tweak-tool:

    sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

  • Run gnome-tweak-tool and click on Desktop option. Turn Have file manager handle the desktop to off.

gnome-tweak-tool disabling icons

And you're good to go!

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