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In Ubuntu 19.04, how can I make it to where the desktop doesn't try to mirror the desktop folder? I don't want to see any icons on my desktop.

I'm not sure how this is suppose to be by default, but my desktop shows a trash bin, a folder with my user name, and a file I put into /home/username/Desktop. Instead I would like it to show nothing.

I have nemo installed, and I can't tell whether nemo or nautilus is responsible for this, but I'm unable to find settings in either that would remove all desktop icons.

  • Neither file manager is responsible. Now it's done by Gnome (new feature). – user880592 May 3 '19 at 13:51
  • I see. That's a sensible default. Is it optional? – Lonnie Best May 3 '19 at 13:52
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    Isn't that handled by a Gnome extension nowadays ? Go to extensions.gnome.org, choose Installed extensions, and find Desktop Icons .. and disable it. – Soren A May 3 '19 at 13:58
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    Use the Tweaks application to disable the desktop icons GNOME extension then. – heynnema May 3 '19 at 14:27
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    I think you can do it with gnome-tweak. Can't confirm right now because I'm in a tablet (Android). – user880592 May 3 '19 at 14:28
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Either go to here to turn off the Desktop Icons GNOME extension, or use the Tweaks application to do the same thing.

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    Tweaks worked. Note: The feature was already turned off, but hitting the gear icon next to the on/off switch allowed me to remove trash-icon and the user-folder icon. – Lonnie Best May 3 '19 at 15:08
  • None of these seem to be working for me... The feature was already turned off. I've also tried the 'dpkg -r --force-depends gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons' method below and I still have icons. Anyone have any ideas? Fresh install of 19.04. – corey_s Aug 14 '19 at 2:23
  • @corey_s did you turn off the trash and home icons in the Desktop Icons settings panel? – heynnema Aug 14 '19 at 2:45
  • Yes... Eventually just gave up and decided it wasn't worth the effort. Installed Mint instead -- problem resolved. – corey_s Aug 14 '19 at 16:53
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This method worked for me:

sudo dpkg -r --force-depends gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons

This will force removal extension, but updating the system will reinstall it and you will have to remove it again. Holding it with sudo apt-mark hold gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons seems to prevent updates from installing.

  • Weird thing for me is that if that extension is installed, whether as the deb or locally, I get desktop icons, even if it's apparently disabled. Doing what you suggest (and removing the local copy I had from before) was required to get rid of them. PS. how to reverse what you did with the dpkg / apt-mark commands if I don't like it ? – artfulrobot Aug 3 '19 at 6:46

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