I am using ubuntu-GNOME 16.04.

I am not able to create any files/folders on my Desktop. I do have a ~/Desktop directory , but any files created inside that folder are not reflected on my Desktop.

mkdir ~/Desktop/abcd creates the folder abcd in my ~/Desktop as expected. But doesn't show up on my Desktop.

I don't even have a right-click menu option to create a file/folder on my Desktop.

How can I fix this?

  • I had a similar issue with my Pi running MATE. Don't remember how I fixed it though :( – You'reAGitForNotUsingGit May 25 '16 at 16:46

You can configure for Gnome if the Desktop should show items/icons or not using several ways

Using gnome-tweak-tool


sudo apt install gnome-tweak-tool

Should look somehow like that enter image description here

Using gsettings from terminal

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons 

You might need to restart nautilus to finish the change

nautilus -q
  • Wow! that was easy. But I still prefer command line. something like gsettings set org.Something related to this behaviour – Severus Tux May 25 '16 at 17:07
  • You could test if gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons true works - i got no ubuntu/gnome box handy right now – dufte May 25 '16 at 17:08
  • It works . Perfect! thankyou very much . That was the exact answer I was looking for. please add this method in your answer as it requires to tool :-) – Severus Tux May 25 '16 at 17:11
  • I added the second method as well – dufte May 25 '16 at 17:14
  • I don't think there's a need to restart nautilus. – marcogmonteiro Mar 9 '19 at 19:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.