Desktop icons integration problems

There are many problems with the Desktop icons extention and Ubuntu should probably choose Desktop icons NG instead

Translations are unfinished with Desktop Icon and the menu isn’t coherent with Nautilus.

This is with Desktop icons NG:

Translations seems to be more complete and menus are coherent with Nautilus.

Desktop icons NG is still actively developed, have new options and support Drag’n’Drop with Nautilus. The original Desktop icons development is too slow.

Integration with gnome-control-center would be great too. This has been discussed here: Show Desktop Icons


That’s a good suggestion. If it works better at this moment, it should go in the LTS instead.

NG is a complete rewrite by Sergio Costas who happens to maintain the old extension as well. I think that he should be sonsulted.


I absolutely agree and I often miss the drag-n-drop feature! BUT this is an LTS release and we’re approaching freeze in the cycle, so it’s highly unlikely for 20.04.

The readme on the gitlab page says:

But it is still an alpha development, so it probably still have a lot of bugs. Use with care.

Once this is stable, we should definitely switch.


It’s an excellent extension for desktop icons in ubuntu because it has the major drag and drop facility. But there still problems. Size of desktop icons are monstarily big for this extension in focal fossa and there is no option for icon size adjustment. And there are still very minor bugs too


The desktop icon extensions are always creates the worst desktop experience ever. Because desktop icons extension and the default file manager has no connection with each other. So, desktop hasn’t even the basic facilities like drag and drop files to desktop. The problem can be solved when ubuntu developers allow the default file manager to handle and show desktop icons because both desktop icons and files are handled nautilus


Simply use MATE. Do not use GNOME or Unity. See my post in other thread.

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As we are in the early stage of Ubuntu 21.04, please this time take in consideration to replace Desktop Icons with Desktop Icons NG (DING).

As already explained by JerareYoshi it brings a better experience:

  • first of all… drag & drop!!
  • better integration inside GNOME (see for example the right click option “Open with other application”
  • Settings are easily accessible by rigth click in a empty space of the desktop. NO NEED to change Gnome Settings or, at list, properties will not be “hidden” inside the Extensions app.

Anyway, the most important thing is a working “drag & drop” between desktop and folders. If it doesn’t work, it isn’t just annoying, it’s also a very bad advertise!
I don’t know if the default extension will be improved. If not please change it with Desktop Icons NG :wink:


I really enjoy how 20.04 ended up for the most part, but the desktop continues to “catch” me as I attempt to use it and keep being reminded of this missing functionality. Others I know have mentioned the same problem. I think either improving the current extension or replacing it with a better one is a great idea.

A pie in the sky, perhaps, but a back-port of any improvement to 20.04 would be absolutely wonderful.


I am on 20.04 LTS, and I did a test. Was able to right click on the desktop and create a new folder. Had a text document already on the desktop and was able to drag that text document into the new folder I created without any issue.

Try dragging to and from nautilus. That’s my main missing feature wish.

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Ah yeah, that never worked.

Although Desktop icons NG has better functionalities like drag and drop to desktop, It has a lot of bugs those are wanted to fix. The extension’s experience on 20.04 is not good at all. I hope Ubuntu developers will let their mind to work on it

Sure, there might be bugs (actually I didn’t experienced any particular issue).

But… on 21.10 20.10 the official extension freezes the desktop if you try to drag icons from desktop to Nautilus!!!
That’s a bad issue.
Off course drag & drop from desktop to file manager is not supported, but at least it shouldn’t freeze gnome shell. This can easily happens to newcomers that take for granted this functionality or old users who are used to dragging files (…this happens to me :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:).


what a luck that there is still nearly a year left to fix it until 21.10 gets released then :wink:


Sorry, of course I meant 20.10

The NG version of the desktop icons has been uploaded now hirsute now

The package should be in the archive tomorrow after being accepted from the binNEW queue,

Doing some testing it seems to behave correctly, the bugs fixed in the current version are not present in the new version and the dnd to applications and refresh flickers problems are resolved.


So we need to install extension to get normal traditional desktop behavior?
Is it pre-installed or not?


No, that will be installed automatically for you once all the components will be in place.


Great! :slightly_smiling_face:

Is there any plan to make NG desktop icons available as .deb in Ubuntu 20.04 as well?
And… maybe replace the original extension for the next point release?

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Not at this point but depending of the feedback we get this cycle we could consider bringing the change back to the LTS