How do I remove desktop icons from the terminal?

It may seem easier to do it with the mouse but it is not practical for my needs, so I'm looking for a way to do it via the terminal.

  • Which Desktop Environnement are you using (Unity, Gnome, XFCE, ...)? – MrVaykadji Jan 5 '14 at 15:59
  • ubuntu saucy amd64 – Another.Chemist Jan 5 '14 at 16:11

.desktop files : a shortcut.desktop file is a text-file placed in the Desktop directory (~/Desktop) that is used to provide clickable shortcuts on the Desktop.

  1. Check which ".desktop" files are used in your desktop :

    ls ~/Desktop

  2. Identify the ".desktop" you want to remove.

  3. Remove the ".desktop" file you want to remove (replace nameofthefile by the name of the file, ending with .desktop):

    rm ~/Desktop/nameofthefile.desktop

D-conf keys : it's a key stored in d-conf that is used to provide clickable shortcuts on the Unity Launcher bar.

  1. Get the list of launcher items:

    gsettings get com.canonical.Unity.Launcher favorites

  2. This will return something like ['nautilus-home.desktop', 'gnome-terminal.desktop', 'gedit.desktop'] which you can manipulate to remove unwanted shortcuts.

  3. Set the launcher item list with only the launcher you want, example:

    gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Launcher favorites "['nautilus-home.desktop']"

Don't forget the quotes !

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The easiest was would be to use the dconf-editor and remove the unwanted apps from the desktop->unity->launcher->favorites section.

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