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I have just installed Ubuntu 11.04, and I am surprised to see icons cluttering up my whole desktop. All the folders and files under Home are represented. But if I delete the icons, the folder or file itself is deleted - the icon is not just a link. How can I clean up the desktop? None of the screenshots advertising Unity look like this.

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Was this an upgrade or a fresh install? – Takkat Jun 22 '11 at 7:32
It was a fresh install, from a DVD out of Ubuntu User magazine. – Fanie van der Walt Jun 22 '11 at 8:35
The error may come from a custom DVD setup then. Try installing using the original CD or DVD image from Ubuntu. – Takkat Jun 22 '11 at 8:49

Check the following configuration key:

gconftool-2 --get /apps/nautilus/preferences/desktop_is_home_dir

If the output is true, then set it to false:

gconftool-2 --set /apps/nautilus/preferences/desktop_is_home_dir --type bool false

then restart nautilus:

killall nautilus
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When I set desktop_is_home_dir to false and restart nautilus, the icons disappear for a couple of seconds, but then they re-appear! – Fanie van der Walt Jun 22 '11 at 8:33
The flag come back to true? In your home exists the directory Desktop, or the equivalent as it would be in your language? – enzotib Jun 22 '11 at 8:37
No, the flag remains false. Yes, there is a Desktop folder; I have deleted its contents - the icons o n the desktop disappeared for a second, then came back. – Fanie van der Walt Jun 22 '11 at 8:41
I got an e-mail from Bilal Akhtar. My reply: I found this line in user-dirs.dirs (without the leading "#"): #XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME/" On adding the "#" to the start of the line, all icons from $HOME disappeared from the screen! Thank you very much. Problem solved. Fanie van der Walt. Bilal's solution: On 06/26/2011 11:22 AM, Bilal Akhtar wrote: > Could you check if XDG_DESKTOP_DIR in ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs is set to > "$HOME/Desktop" ? Seems like a configuration issue from your side > – Fanie van der Walt Jun 26 '11 at 18:41
@Fanie, could you add this as an answer? – enzotib Jun 26 '11 at 18:44

As mentioned in another comment you need to edit the ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs file. What I saw was something like this:


And I changed it to something like this:


Then restart nautilus:

killall nautilus


nautilus -q

Then, open nautilus via Unity menu (press the Super key) or using the run command (Alt+F2)

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