This is Ubuntu 14.04. Nautilus version 3.10.1.

I have a "file.desktop" file in my personal "~/bin/shortcuts" directory.

When I look at the directory with Nautilus, it shows the "Name=" field value from the desktop file as the file name rather than the real "file.desktop" name. This is true for both List and Icons view modes.

The files having executable bit cleared or set does not change anything.

However, it shows the real *.desktop names for the files at the standard locations: ~/.local/share/applications

Another effect: When Ctrl+(drag-drop) these files are not copied. However, Alt+(drag-drop)=>Copy does the copy, and the new file name is named "file (copy).desktop", while Nautilus now shows two identical entries with the same "Name=" field. Confusing...

Anyone has a rationale for this, and how can I turn these effects off? I'd prefer to see the real file names for all files.

  • 1
    I think showing the content of the Name= field is the usual behavour of nautilus. Jan 30, 2015 at 10:40
  • @LittleByBlue But then how come at ~/.local/share/applications it does show the real file names anyway?
    – elomage
    Jan 30, 2015 at 10:44
  • That is because they miss the icon. There is a Icon= field, but there is no icon image. so they show up as a textfile. Jan 30, 2015 at 10:48
  • to show the *.desktop name you may need to remove the icon image. Jan 30, 2015 at 10:49
  • @LittleByBlue Removing or presence of the Icon= field and valid value does not make a difference, other than the icon next to the entry in Nautilus.
    – elomage
    Jan 30, 2015 at 10:56

1 Answer 1


It must be specific nautilus behaviour (read: Bug/Feature) as nemo (a fork of Nautilus) shows the Name= regardless of the location of the file (as would be expected)

This was tested in ~/.local/share/applications and /usr/share/application on Nemo.

  • 1
    Well, maybe for nemo, but for Nautilus - not "regardless of the location" according to my observations. Thanks for the answer, but I am looking for a better one. For one, this apparently is a bug/feature, but this does not give me a solution to the stated problem.
    – elomage
    Feb 4, 2015 at 7:35
  • So? Did you ever find an adequate solution? @elomage (Someone just upvoted, so I suppose they moved over to nemo)
    – Fabby
    Oct 7, 2015 at 19:16

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