I tested nemo on Ubuntu 12.04. I made it the default file manager. When I uninstalled it, desktop icons disappeared and I can't do a right click on desktop to open menu.

How can I make Nautilus the default file manager, may this solve the problem ?


You can try with launching dconf-editor then go to:

org -> gnome -> desktop -> background

and put the tick on show-desktop-icons as explained in the image below:

dconf editor window with show desktop icons option


I was with the same problem as yours. Besides Michele tips, I also tried:

xdg-mime default nautilus.desktop inode/directory application/x-gnome-saved-search
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons true
gsettings set org.nemo.desktop show-desktop-icons false

To make Nautilus the default manager, make sure that Nautilus is installed, if not you can install it. Just press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open Terminal. When it opens, run the command(s) below:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:adabbas/1stppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nautilus

Once its done, install a package called Exo Utilities. To install:

sudo apt-get install exo-utils

Once its done, run it by typing in terminal:


When it opens, click on the utilities tab, and make sure that nautilus is chosen as the preferred file manager, and then click close.

enter image description here

  • Thanks. I did what you have mentioned, but, same problem I can't see desktop icons.
    – Nasreddine
    May 29 '13 at 12:55
  • @Nas Did you reboot?
    – Seth
    May 30 '13 at 13:49
  • Thanks, problem solved by checking show-desktop-icons as @Michele has explained.
    – Nasreddine
    May 30 '13 at 16:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.