Finished the upgrade last night, logged into a black desktop. The launch bar and top bar is there and working, and everything else in the system works as normal.

I was able to specify a wallpaper file in settings and it displays, but still no icons, no action if I right-click on the desktop. There's just nothing there.

Any ideas of things to try?


  • 1
    Are you in Unity or in GNOME? Unity is no longer supported and was replaced by GNOME in 17.10. Please post a screenshot. I think under GNOME there are no icons on the background any more. – dobey Oct 20 '17 at 14:23
  • Added i.stack.imgur.com/8BfeH.png screenshot. – DFarmerTX Oct 20 '17 at 18:48
  • Huh, that's Unity. How weird. What version did you upgrade from? – wjandrea Oct 20 '17 at 19:03
  • This was upgraded from 17.04. I selected "Unity" from the login options. – DFarmerTX Oct 20 '17 at 19:28

If you are using Gnome install gnome-tweak-tool and make sure that Show Icons is set under Desktop.enter image description here

If you are still using Unity, you can use the Terminal to do this:

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

  • Hi, that tool is shown in the original screenshot, those settings are already in place. – DFarmerTX Oct 22 '17 at 14:50
  • Hey. Didn't see that screenshot before. Check out my updated answer. – mniess Oct 23 '17 at 11:33
  • Thanks for the update, yes, these settings are one of the first things I tried. The desktop is nothing, there's no response, no right-click, nothing. Still no icons. – DFarmerTX Oct 23 '17 at 14:12
  • @DFarmerTX Have you tried opening nautilus? If the icons don't display then, you seem to be experiencing a bug. – mniess Oct 23 '17 at 14:24
  • Hi, nautilus works fine, I can open my desktop folder and see my launcher icons. There's just nothing where the desktop is supposed to be. I'll dig though the syslog and see what its saying. – DFarmerTX Oct 23 '17 at 21:04

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