My Ubuntu Gnome install creates the folders ~/Videos, ~/Desktop, and ~/Public on every boot. I do not need these folders and they are cluttering up my home directory. What program does this? How can I prevent this?

System info:

  • Ubuntu Gnome 13.10 (64 bit)
  • GNOME Shell 3.8.4
  • Linux 3.11.0-15-generic #23-Ubuntu
  • Not really sure but it could be xdg-user-dirs-gtk-update in start up applications. – xangua Jan 20 '14 at 3:59

You can disable this feature

  • system-wide: by editing the /etc/xdg/user-dirs.conf file and changing enabled=True to enabled=False.

  • per-user: by editing/adding the file ~/.config/user-dirs.conf to have the line enabled=False

Or if you only want to disable some of those directories but keep others then you have to edit the

  • /etc/xdg/user-dirs.defaults file for a system-wide solution. Just remove the lines you don't need. Or the

  • ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs file for a per-user solution. Here to disable a directory point it to the user's home directory, e.g. XDG_VIDEOS_DIR="$HOME".

source: http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/xdg-user-dirs/

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