I upgraded from Ubuntu 18.04 to 20.04 but desktop files and icons are missing, How do I should solve this problem?

  • if i remember well, desktop folder is handled in a different manner since 19.04 - if this is the only issue you are facing, good to you, in other case i would go for a fresh install of Focal. – cmak.fr Apr 27 '20 at 15:35
  • Indeed, an upgrade may be hit and miss. Check whether the gnome shell extension Desktop Icons is installed and active, which is the case in a fresh install. – vanadium Apr 27 '20 at 15:37
  • @vanadium I checked for Desktop Icons extension, which wasn't active and even installed. I did try to install it but couldn't. – The Mir Apr 27 '20 at 18:43
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    OK, you will then need to install the Desktop Icons extension yourself: "sudo apt install gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons", and then activate the extension in Gnome Tweaks (or the new "Extensions" app). – vanadium Apr 28 '20 at 8:44

This worked for me:

  • Install gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons:
sudo apt install gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons
  • Log out of Gnome.
  • Log back in.
  • Yeah, It worked but there are a bunch of other problem/bugs. I can't open or remove a file on desktop using keyboard, do you have the same problem? – The Mir May 4 '20 at 11:04
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    You don't need to log out. Simple ALT-F2 R will do the job aswell. – Galvani May 5 '20 at 15:54

The problem might be that the installation did not go according to plans, not to worry though! The simplest (and most effective) operation you can do is:

sudo apt dist-upgrade

This will automatically install / update / repair all the needed packages for your current version.

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    worked perfectly. – Abdeali Chandanwala Oct 13 '20 at 6:00
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    The accepted answer does not for me. After sudo apt install gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons, I cannot gui login ubuntu again :( Since I missed lots of packages, gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons just one of them. But sudo apt dist-upgrade works perfect for me. – new2cpp Dec 15 '20 at 11:52
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    By far should be the accepted answer! – yossico Jan 11 at 0:33

Try switching desktop manager.

I also just upgraded my stable 18.04 to 20.04. Initially I can't even see my initial login prompt and I have forgotten that I installed lightdm and made that the default vice gdm (gnome desktop manager) which is version 3 now (gdm3).

I followed this nice how-to: Switch Display Manager in Ubuntu 20.04

You can have both gdm3 and lightdm installed but one can only be set active.

Good Luck!

  • Also, you can always drop to TTY mode from the desktop manager GUI by [Ctrll-Alt-F1 to F4] depending on the run level you need to be. Try run-level 4 first with your sudoer password. – Quantanglement Apr 29 '20 at 18:11
  • Return to the desktop manager GUI with [Ctrl-Alt-F7] from the TTY – Quantanglement Apr 29 '20 at 18:12

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