Recently I deleted the folder Desktop from my $HOME directory. When I logged in again all files and directories in $HOME were shown on the desktop. So I wanted to get the folder back. What is the recommended way to achieve this? I edited ~/.config/xdg-user-dirs.dir and added the correct variable. But I guess there must be some other (more easy?) way.

  • 1
    install ubuntu tweak 0.5, there is a Section under "Desktop" category called "Desktop icon settings",simply uncheck the "Show content of home folder on desktop..." and logout – Prasad RD Mar 27 '12 at 0:57
up vote 27 down vote accepted
+50
  1. Create a new folder that you want to use as your folder.

    For example, type mkdir ~/Desktop in a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T to open one) to create a folder named Desktop in your home directory.

  2. Edit your configuration.

    Edit the file ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs. You can do this by opening a terminal, then enter:

    gedit ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs
    

    Change the entry for XDG_DESKTOP_DIR to your new desktop folder, or add it, if the entry does not exist. After your edit, the file should look like this:

    XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME/Desktop"  
    XDG_DOWNLOAD_DIR="$HOME/Download"  
    XDG_TEMPLATES_DIR="$HOME/Templates"  
    XDG_PUBLICSHARE_DIR="$HOME/Public"  
    XDG_DOCUMENTS_DIR="$HOME/Documents"  
    XDG_MUSIC_DIR="$HOME/Music"  
    XDG_PICTURES_DIR="$HOME/Pictures"  
    XDG_VIDEOS_DIR="$HOME/Videos"
    
  3. Log out and then log in again and your desktop should show the specified folder.

  • It works for RHEL too, thanks! – netawater Jun 5 '16 at 4:00
  • If you don't want to logout the following appears to work in gnome-shell/nautilus (tested in Centos 7) after modifying the file. nautilus -q && nautilus & Here's another [question][1] for reference. [1]:askubuntu.com/questions/19979/… – Keith Roberts Dec 6 '16 at 16:43

Just create an new folder with the name Desktop.

  • I forgot to mention this. This was my first try and it didn't work. Logged out of my GNOME session and after logging in again I had all icons on the screen as before (plus the new Desktop folder). – qbi Mar 27 '12 at 7:34
  • 1
    @qbi: And what if you add a folder named 'Desktop', but in your native language? GNOME likes to play around with translated folder names. – Rafał Cieślak Mar 27 '12 at 20:40
  • This I took for granted. – qbi Mar 28 '12 at 8:42

You can use xdg-user-dirs-update command to set Desktop.

 xdg-user-dirs-update --set DESKTOP $HOME/NewDesktop

But at first check out your locale names

 cat  ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs

For English locale they are:

 XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME/Desktop"
 XDG_DOCUMENTS_DIR="$HOME/Documents"
 XDG_DOWNLOAD_DIR="$HOME/Downloads"
 XDG_MUSIC_DIR="$HOME/Music"
 XDG_PICTURES_DIR="$HOME/Pictures"
 XDG_PUBLICSHARE_DIR="$HOME/Public"
 XDG_TEMPLATES_DIR="$HOME/Templates"
 XDG_VIDEOS_DIR="$HOME/Videos"

You can set any of the above

 xdg-user-dirs-update --set DOWNLOAD ~/Internet

in order for the changes to take effect nautilus -q.

For more info check out https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/XDG_user_directories

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

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