Since updating to 20.04 LTS I've noticed some differences in desktop functionality compared to 18.04 LTS. Here are a few:

  1. Can't drag and drop a file from the desktop to anywhere else. Drag and drop from other locations appears to work as before.
  2. Can't rename a file using F2, need to right click and use the pop-up menu.
  3. Can't open a template on the desktop. I have to create a folder on the desktop and open the template in this new folder.
  4. The Del key won't delete a desktop file or folder. I have to right click and move it to trash via the pop-up menu.

I'll bet there are other differences that I haven't yet come across.

For my style of using the Desktop (keep a clean Desktop, do all current work there, then put things away) these changes degrade the utility of the Desktop.

Are these changes to the desktop intentional or are they bugs that will be fixed.

  • @Don maybe you can also add the fact that icons can no longer be arranged on the desktop since the drag action can't be initiated. There's a dozen critical bugs in Xfce in 20.04. I'm glad I made a full backup. I will probably revert later today.
    – Wil
    May 2, 2020 at 19:32

1 Answer 1


I believe these are bugs related to GTK4. With 20.04 the Xfce desktop is being ported to GTK4/3 from GTK3/2, and Thunar (Xfce's desktop uses that as a component to render the desktop) has the same issues as the GNOME Desktop.

Among the bugs I have seen:

  1. Desktop zoom is broken - partial window updates while zoomed update an area much smaller than the actually updated area, breaking zoom for everything but video playback. ie Widgets get partially rendered, scrolls affect a small window within the scrolled region, text editing happens invisibly... so this Accessibility feature now renders the desktop unusable.
  2. No drag & drop on the desktop / can't re-arrange desktop items
  3. Desktop backgrounds spuriously switch between different scaling methods
  4. Vsync option removed from Window Manager Tweaks; Xfce no longer offers tear-free video
  5. Brutally flickering mouse pointer when window below it is being updated, worse than DOS days.
  6. Turning font smoothing on/off no longer takes effect immediately
  7. Xfce panel config backups disappeared after update
  8. New dekstop layouts settings tool doesn't remember display scaling
  9. Desktop icon font shadow/outline is low-contrast, creating a readability/accessibility issue worse than if the shadow wasn't there, when it's primary purposes is to increase contrast.
  10. XUbuntu, on the download page, has a link to Launchpad for their bug tracking and problem reporting. Their IRC is not working, they encourage you to sign up to Launchpad to report bug and join the release testing team. Well, having joined the team there's no code, no issues, no FAQ, nothing at all. No wonder we have all these quality issues.

Those are the issues that are motivating me to return to 18.04. There's regressions with the Intel display driver too. GPU-accelerated video presentation and scaling is broken. VAAPI works if you replace intel-media-va-driver with intel-media-va-driver-non-free, but I'm getting segfaults from all presentation methods other than X11-shm, VAAPI, and xv, so no shader-accelerated interpolating/sharpening scaling :-(

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