29

As of now, my desktop has begun showing the contents of my home folder (~) instead of the contents of ~/desktop. I must have changed something, but I have no idea what, or what I was doing exactly when it happened.

How do I re-point gnome to the right folder?

I'm running Ubuntu 11.04.

58

If gconf doesn't work, open your home directory and press Ctrl+H to show hidden files. Look in .config for user-dirs.dirs and be sure it resembles this:

XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME/Desktop"
XDG_DOWNLOAD_DIR="$HOME/Downloads"
XDG_TEMPLATES_DIR="$HOME/Templates"
XDG_PUBLICSHARE_DIR="$HOME/Work"
XDG_DOCUMENTS_DIR="$HOME/Documents"
XDG_MUSIC_DIR="$HOME/Music"
XDG_PICTURES_DIR="$HOME/Pictures"
XDG_VIDEOS_DIR="$HOME/Videos"
1
  • Great! This was exactly what I was looking for! May 22 '11 at 23:59
13

Press Alt + F2 and type/copy:

gconftool-2 --set --type bool /apps/nautilus/preferences/desktop_is_home_dir false

You probably need to log out and back in again (alternatively, you can run nautilus -q to restart just Nautilus).

2
  • 1
    An upvote for the hint on nautilus -q =) May 23 '11 at 0:00
  • Much easier to do it this way.
    – wojox
    Sep 28 '13 at 12:30
6

Press alt f2 and type gksu gconf-editor and navigate to apps -> nautilus -> preferences. Have a look at:

im2

1
  • 1
    This didn't solve my problem - the option was already set to false. May 22 '11 at 23:59
5

I think if you run this command:

vim ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs

you'll find:

XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME"

but it should have /Desktop like this:

XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME"/Desktop 

So just run the command mkdir Desktop and then change the line in ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs.

The other lines should look like this:

XDG_DOWNLOAD_DIR="$HOME/Downloads"
XDG_TEMPLATES_DIR="$HOME/Templates"
XDG_PUBLICSHARE_DIR="$HOME/Work"
XDG_DOCUMENTS_DIR="$HOME/Documents"
XDG_MUSIC_DIR="$HOME/Music"
XDG_PICTURES_DIR="$HOME/Pictures"
XDG_VIDEOS_DIR="$HOME/Videos"
1

This is what helped me

sudo -H gedit ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs

And replaced XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME" with XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME/Desktop"

# This file is written by xdg-user-dirs-update
# If you want to change or add directories, just edit the line you're
# interested in. All local changes will be retained on the next run
# Format is XDG_xxx_DIR="$HOME/yyy", where yyy is a shell-escaped
# homedir-relative path, or XDG_xxx_DIR="/yyy", where /yyy is an
# absolute path. No other format is supported.
# 
XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME/Desktop"
XDG_DOWNLOAD_DIR="$HOME/Downloads"
XDG_TEMPLATES_DIR="$HOME/Templates"
XDG_PUBLICSHARE_DIR="$HOME/Public"
XDG_DOCUMENTS_DIR="$HOME/Documents"
XDG_MUSIC_DIR="$HOME/Music"
XDG_PICTURES_DIR="$HOME/Pictures"
XDG_VIDEOS_DIR="$HOME/Videos"
0

Following command works on Ubuntu 12.10.

gconftool-2 --set --type bool /apps/nautilus/preferences/desktop_is_home_dir false
0

Some folders in my $HOME such as Desktop and Templates, were always empty and never being used, so I removed them. Then after upgraded from Ubuntu 18.04 to 20.04, all the files and directories including the hidden ones suddenly all displayed on the desktop. As suggested, edit ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs to point the XDG_DESKTOP_DIR back to "$HOME/Desktop". Of cause, do mkdir ~/Desktop, then logout and login back, voilà, everything is good!

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