I have noticed some important features of the 18.04 Desktop are not evident in 20.04. These are: ability to drag files to and from the Desktop. Copy and Paste from other directories to Desktop. Desktop icon alignment are fixed in a grid whereas I like to position them myself. I like to edit Desktop icons under "properties", ie I like to replace Desktop icons by my own icons. Is it just me who is missing something, or are these features not present in 20.04?

3 Answers 3


The significant part of these features of new GNOME Shell are really missed. Some of mentioned issues are partly reported to launchpad. Some people are using Nemo to manage desktop, but it is not expected workaround for enterprise-grade desktop system which Ubuntu is.
If you want to change something more - you can try to report missed features by apport-bug gnome-shell.

As a final remediation fix I would recommend to install Unity or MATE DE instead of GNOME Shell with one of the two solutions below:

  • sudo apt-get install ubuntu-unity-desktop

  • sudo apt-get install ubuntu-mate-desktop^

then select one of these sessions on the login screen and as the result to forget this new GNOME sHell nightmare (the Desktop without DESKTOP is a pain, but not the real desktop).

  • 1
    Thank you for your prompt reply. The problems are still there with Nemo, and Thunar. I've tried various other flavours of Ubuntu Desktop Manager. One didn't have the problem, I forget which one, but the others did, but I was not impressed by any for other reasons. I interpret your reply as accepting that it is an endemic problem with 20.04, and in my view an important one. My solution is to revert to 18.04, and hope that in the three years life it has left is time enough for these useful features to be re-introduced. Apr 29, 2020 at 15:05

I faced the issue not so long ago. Try to install the gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons package by running:

sudo apt install gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons

You could try the newer Desktop Icons extension called Desktop Icons NG. It's made by the same author, rastersoft, and is working great.

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