After upgrading from 11.04 to 11.10, unity desktop icons do not get keyboard focus. As a result, can no longer rename or delete files from the desktop view, and any keyboard input continues to be directed to the last application with focus, e.g., a text editor.

The text control under each icon receives mouse focus but not keyboard focus, so is not editable, i.e. F2 or selecting 'Rename' from context menu has no effect. As you would suspect, with mouse focus on a desktop icon, the delete key has no effect.

How to repair this please?

  • What permissions and owner has a file which you can't delete? You can click on a file, press Alt+Enter and select the tab permissions. Or you can open a terminal and enter ls -l filename.
    – qbi
    Nov 6 '12 at 20:33
  • read and write. and its all files, not any particular file. and from the unity desktop, can rename and delete fine from nautilus or terminal.
    – jasmann
    Nov 6 '12 at 20:43
  • Odd. What happens if you make a new file (copy an old file, new document or else) and try to delete it?
    – qbi
    Nov 6 '12 at 20:50
  • not possible. keyboard focus appears not to be on the icon. the scary part is, selecting icon, then hitting delete key, or ctrl+V or whatever, the focus remains on the current app, like a text editor or watever currently has focus.
    – jasmann
    Nov 6 '12 at 20:58
  • Maybe you are experiencing the "focus follows mouse" problem under Unity. In Ubuntu 13.04 I have the same problem with "ffm". My desktop does not get the focus.
    – thonixx
    Jul 12 '13 at 8:20

Changing permissions could help for renaming files.

  • True, but could use more detail.
    – belacqua
    Nov 6 '12 at 21:43

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