Get your Desktop Icons BACK on Ubuntu 19.04 with Nemo

Gnome disabled OOTB support for managing Desktop icons, and is now handled via a gnome shell extension that is missing many features and not quite usable.

The best solution I found so far was to install nemo (file manager on Linux Mint) and make it the default instead of Gnome Files (formerly nautilus) and let it handle the desktop icons as well.

  1. Disable the Desktop Icons extension (from Gnome Tweaks -> Extensions) if it already exists
  2. Install nemo:
    1. sudo apt install nemo
  3. Make nemo the default file manager and disable nautilus control of desktop:
    1. xdg-mime default nemo.desktop inode/directory application/x-gnome-saved-search
    2. gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons false
  4. Add nemo-desktop to your startup items

That’s it, Enjoy!


About SoCRaT

Systems Engineer, OSS & Linux Geek
This entry was posted in Linux, Ubuntu and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Get your Desktop Icons BACK on Ubuntu 19.04 with Nemo

  1. Pasha says:

    After a recent update against 19.04, stale duplicated icon files (unclickable and unmovable) appeared on desktop. All previous steps used to work up to this. I am finding no solution over the internet…. this nautilus has become inappropriate for ubuntu, they should adopt nemo themselves.


  2. pcofranc says:

    Awesome I just did it on Ubuntu v20. Love Nemo used Mint for quite a while then decided to try Ubuntu in a VM. Linux – always changing core system apps like file manager and also Renaming them from the bizarrely named and hard to spell Nautilus to Gnome Files.


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