We know you can either click on the show desktop icon or use CTRL+ALT+D to ask Ubuntu to show the desktop. Unfortunately, this does not always show the desktop in one action.

Sometime, and this is true for at least the last 4 version of the OS, it brings up first to the front all the windows, THEN, with a second click, show you the desktop.

This is very annoying, as when you show the desktop it generally to quickly click on a shortcut.

To understand what I'm talking about, open 7 windows, minimize some, bring some to the front, maximize one, then show the desktop. Then do that on Windows. You'll see the difference.

  • 4
    If the show desktop is not working correctly for you, then you need to file a bug report. FYI, following the steps you describe above on Maverick alpha, the desktop is show almost instantaneously, without fail.
    – Stephen
    Commented Aug 3, 2010 at 9:08
  • 2
    This is unreproducible. Commented Aug 3, 2010 at 19:54
  • 2
    It is perfectly reproducible. Just open a bunch of windows, minimize some and have one maximized. If you then try to show the desktop, it first unminimizes all Windows, and then if you click again, it'll minimize them. Commented Aug 5, 2010 at 7:08
  • 2
    Why minimize everything? Use ctrl+alt+left/right to switch to a new desktop :)
    – invert
    Commented Aug 5, 2010 at 11:43
  • 3
    Why is it downvoted while it's clearly an ubuntu bug ?
    – Bite code
    Commented Oct 15, 2010 at 11:09

3 Answers 3


There seems to be a problem when compiz ("desktop effects") is enabled: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/gnome-panel/+bug/236376

I'm afraid for now the only workaround is to disable all desktop effects.

  • 2
    Indeed, tested and that's the problem.
    – Bite code
    Commented Aug 5, 2010 at 13:02

On my system I use compiz to show desktop. I install simple compizconfig and open the last tab called "edges", I choose one edge and tell it to show my desktop. So when I move the mouse to that edge, it either hide all apps (screenlets included) or show them all.

  • Yes, but it does exactly the same thing with the same problem. -1
    – Bite code
    Commented Aug 5, 2010 at 13:12

if u r using gnome-shell i installed a gnome-shell extension comes with a icon on the panel toggles shows desktop :

use this link to install : https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/64/show-desktop-button/

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .