I upgraded to Ubuntu 20.04 yesterday from 19.10. Now, I can't access any .desktop files. The icons are no longer showing in /usr/share/applications nor on the desktop. They show as executable icons instead, which usually means it doesn't trust the file, which is normal if you haven't used the .desktop file before.

Strangely enough, double-clicking the icons does nothing. I don't get a prompting to allow it. Everything on the dash (items in my favorites) loads with the right icon and in the right place, and ctrl+alt+t still opens the terminal. For now, I've been using the terminal to open programs like Zoom and WPS Office. As long as I know the command to open the program, I can launch it in the terminal. Also, I think the system uninstalled Steam because Settings doesn't find it in the list of applications and steam won't work in the terminal.

Should I roll back my system to 18.04?

EDIT: It did uninstall steam. Using DPKG (The only way to install a .deb now), I installed the .deb file from their website. It is now recognized in settings. Everything (Steam account, games, offline progress, etc.) is still there.

EDIT: I still have Unity from when I originally installed Ubuntu as 16.04. Logging into a Unity session shows that all icons are in the dash as normal! Clicking on an icon in the dash opens that app instantly, like it should.

EDIT: I reinstalled 20.04. I'm still getting the same problem. Note: I did a reinstall with the option to keep my files. Also, clicking "Frequent" in the launcher will crash my session. I no longer have Unity.

EDIT: I've been using 18.04 for a while. I decided to toy around again and see if I can get 20.04 to work. I installed some updates and it looks like the only thing missing is the proper launcher functionality.


I noticed steam launcher icons were silently missing. After I debugged a issue a bit I noticed /usr/bin/steam had been removed during upgrade. It appears than steam-launcher package was automatically removed.

Fix for me was installing steam package from Ubuntu repository. The package provides /usr/games/steam which works if steam launcher files use plain steam like my steam had created.

My theory is that gnome-shell started checking if application can be found from path. If executable files isn't found then gnome-shell hides the launcher icon. I don't know if there is some log where gnome-shell reports hidden .desktop files.

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