Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My Ubuntu Gnome install creates the folders ~/Videos, ~/Desktop, and ~/Public on every boot. I do not need these folders and they are cluttering up my home directory. What program does this? How can I prevent this?

System info:

  • Ubuntu Gnome 13.10 (64 bit)
  • GNOME Shell 3.8.4
  • Linux 3.11.0-15-generic #23-Ubuntu
share|improve this question
Not really sure but it could be xdg-user-dirs-gtk-update in start up applications. – xangua Jan 20 '14 at 3:59
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can disable this feature

  • system-wide: by editing the /etc/xdg/user-dirs.conf file and changing enabled=True to enabled=False.

  • per-user: by editing/adding the file ~/.config/user-dirs.conf to have the line enabled=False

Or if you only want to disable some of those directories but keep others then you have to edit the

  • /etc/xdg/user-dirs.defaults file for a system-wide solution. Just remove the lines you don't need. Or the

  • ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs file for a per-user solution. Here to disable a directory point it to the user's home directory, e.g. XDG_VIDEOS_DIR="$HOME".


share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.