I'm wondering if it's possible to hide a folder without renaming it with a dot on the Desktop.

Ubuntu 12.04


  • I dont think there is, the only way is to start the file name with a dot for example .desktop in a file browser.
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 13:21
  • Maby a different file file browser will handle this differently Google something like best Linux file browser
    – Mark Kirby
    Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 13:24
  • @markkirby I don't think a new file browser is necessary., or even will integrate well. The best idea right now is to try to use filesystem metadata.
    – nanofarad
    Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 13:42

2 Answers 2


You can create a file called .hidden and write the names of the files you want to hide in it.


  • /home/user/Desktop/file1
  • /home/user/Desktop/file2

CREATE .hidden file, echo file1 > /home/user/Desktop/.hidden


  • /home/user/Desktop/file1 (HIDDEN)
  • /home/user/Desktop/file2
  • /home/user/Desktop/.hidden (HIDDEN)

No file got moved nor renamed.


Yes, it is possible. But the problem is that then you won't be able to see any icon on your desktop, but will be able to see everything in /home/user/Desktop.

The trick is fairly simple and straightforward:

  • Install gnome-tweak-tool:

    sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool
  • Run gnome-tweak-tool and click on Desktop option. Turn "Have file manager handle the desktop" to off.
    gnome-tweak-tool disabling icons

And you're good to go!

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