"No desktop icons" already arrived in 19.04?

My question is: how do I get rid of the desktop icons in 19.04? Manually setting

show-desktop-icons = false

in dconf doesn’t work, it’s ignored. Probably the override is stronger. What can I do?

Just disable the extension in gnome-tweaks should be the easiest solution. Or remove the extension, but better just diable it.

There is no extension. Or better: the “desktop icons” extension is to show the desktop icons, as by default they are hidden in GNOME. Nothing useful there to hide the icons.

Unfortunately it is unsafe to remove gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons because:

$ sudo apt remove gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons 
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  gnome-shell-extension-desktop-icons ubuntu-desktop ubuntu-desktop-minimal

So don’t try that.

But this works:
Gnome Tweaks > Extensions > Desktop Icons :gear: > Show … in the desktop = OFF


Well that can also be done in dconf-editor which is a better place for this particular activity. People using Gnome Tweaks > Extensions > Desktop Icons … may happen to click on the extension itself which leads to an offer to install the extension. Installing a 2nd version leads to poor behavior…

Thanks, but it does not really work as even after turning off the two “show … in the desktop”, the files in ~/Desktop are still shown. Only the trash and link to the home directory can be disabled.

You could keep ~/Desktop empty, yes, but it’s not a real solution and sometimes programs put files in there. I’d like to have a switch to turn off all the desktop icons.

The issue about being unable to disable default Ubuntu extensions is handled by this proposal:


Maybe it can be reviewed and accepted for GNOME 3.34.

Otherwise, our official answer is that you can install gnome-session, reboot, and then click one of the GNOME options from the gear button as you log in. That will give you a vanilla GNOME session and you can then enable the extensions you want. I understand that’s not ideal either for many users who like most of the Ubuntu customizations.


Not ideal but it works! And by setting the theme to Yaru in tweaks I have almost the original Ubuntu look and feel. Thanks!

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I think that if you have new files landing in a folder called ~/Desktop then correct behaviour should be to display them on the desktop. From there you can move or delete them.

Longer term after release, I suspect more people would complain if any files in ~/Desktop didn’t appear on their desktop.

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The standard procedure since 1990 – use the desktop as your work desk (Windows 3+) – do your work on the desktop and put the stuff away. Ubuntu still allows users to have that. Something positive.

Would be a great to have an option to show or not show in Gnome Settings in the future. :slight_smile: