After upgrading from Ubuntu 18.10 to 19.04, Gnome has upgraded from 3.30.2 to 3.32.0. My handy desktop icons, links, and mounted volume icons are gone, the Desktop tweaks are gone to bring them back, and the Desktop shortcut is gone in the sidebar of Nautilus (Files). The actual files and Desktop are still there when you navigate under Home obviously, but this makes them so inconvenient to get to or use.

I found and installed the Gnome extension called Desktop Icons and that works...but not well. They're difficult to size, sort, and arrange. And they used to be clickable on top of or through my Conky stuff. Now they are below Conky and I cannot click on them. So it really renders Conky unusable for me. I have to turn off Conky to use my desktop icons. I really want the old Gnome desktop back.

I realize it's too late or extremely difficult to go back to Ubuntu 18.10 at this point. Can I stay on 19.04 and revert back to Gnome 3.30.2? If so, how?

1 Answer 1


You can install nemo (Linux Mint's default file manager, which still supports desktop icons) with

sudo apt install nemo

Then, open the Startup Applications program in your Applications menu. Click Add, and enter nemo-desktop into the Command: field. Click Save, then Close. Restart. You should have desktop icons!

  • Thanks! This works satisfactorily, not quite to perfection. The only thing missing was you used to be able to show mounted volumes automatically on the desktop as icons. I liked that visible indicator that mounts were okay, or if any had issues.
    – ticotexas
    Apr 20, 2019 at 23:22
  • 2
    @ticotexas gsettings set org.nemo.desktop volumes-visible true Jun 5, 2019 at 22:26
  • Why on Earth would they do this? I feel completely lost without native support for desktop icons!
    – Coder Guy
    Dec 22, 2020 at 6:37

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