I'm using 16.04 and I can't see my items on my desktop. Doing gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons true in the terminal does nothing and in Dconf show desktop icons is enabled. I know my folder is still on my desktop because cd /home/desktop shows it there. Any ideas?

  • Is the file/directory not hidden? Hidden file/directory's name start with a "." . Check if your file/directory/folders name doesnt start with a dot? – Tshilidzi Mudau Apr 14 '17 at 19:37
  • When you run ls, do you see you folder listed? If not, then it is a hidden folder, in which case just remove the dot at the start of the name :) – Tshilidzi Mudau Apr 14 '17 at 19:43
  • Linux is case sensitive therefore Desktop is not the same as desktop. You want the former and it should be under your username. /home/desktop is just a folder named desktop, not your actual desktop folder, and it has nothing to do with your user. – user589808 Apr 14 '17 at 19:43
  • It shows up in ls and it's not a hidden file either. – Hershey Gamer Apr 15 '17 at 18:58
  • @CelticWarrior /home/desktop is my desktop folder, I'm not using xubuntu or any other re-spin I'm using Unity therefor /home/desktop is my actual desktop folder, also there is not /home/Desktop there is only a /home/desktop folder – Hershey Gamer Apr 15 '17 at 19:03

One possibility is a little known glitch in 16.04 that produces an effect similar to the issue you describe. This glitch is activated by moving files from a directory that has a hard linked icon on the desktop.

The most common "fix" for this glitch is to simply:

(1) close or minimize all windows [ Alt+F4 to close individually; Ctrl+Super+D to minimize all windows simultaneously ];

(2) press and hold the Super key until your launcher displays numbers atop its icons;

(3) release the Super key

If this particular glitch is responsible, your desktop icons should immediately become visible. NOTE: This is not a permanent resolution but will work the same way every time it is used.

  • Please read the new comments under the question. It's the OP's mistake, that's all. – user589808 Apr 15 '17 at 19:29

Install gnome-tweak-tool by typing this in a terminal:

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

Then you can run gnome-tweak-tool, go to Desktop, and then turn on the switch in the upper right hand corner.

enter image description here

I have this problem when using the Wallpaper feature CompizConfig Setting Manager to control my wallpaper. Turning on the icons in gnome-tweak-tool restores my desktop icons.

  • Nope not working. Nice try. – Hershey Gamer Apr 15 '17 at 18:55

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