Archives For November 30, 1999

Remove Xfce Desktop Icons

Quick tutorial that shows beginners how to remove the shortcut icons from Xfce4 Desktop in (X)Ubuntu 14.10, (X)Ubuntu 14.04.

Xfce4 shows Home, Devices, Trash icons on desktop out-of-the-box. You can’t simply remove them from the right-click context menu. But it’s easy to hide or disable them via the Desktop Settings utility.

1. Open Desktop Settings from the Application Menu. Or right-click on desktop and select it from the pop-up context menu.

2. When the utility opens, navigate to Icons tab. Un-check all the boxes under Desktop Icons.

Note that you might need to re-size the window so that you can see the checkboxes.

This should remove user’s Home, Trash, and Devices icons.

If you want to hide all desktop icons besides removing application shortcuts from ~/Desktops folder, just set Icon Type to None. Note that this also changes the desktop right-click menu.

This quick tutorial shows you how to easily create applications shortcut icons on your Ubuntu’s default Unity Desktop.

Due to permission issue, it’s not possible to drag and drop application shortcuts from the Unity Dash to the Desktop. You will get below error dialog when trying to do so:

As a workaround we can directly copy and paste the application shortcuts from /usr/share/applications directory into desktop.

1.) Open “Files”, Nautilus file browser, from the left Launcher and navigate to Computer (left panel) / usr / share / applications.

You will see all the applications’ icons there.

2.) Select one or more icons and press Ctrl+C to copy it/them. Then click on blank area of your desktop and press Ctrl+V to paste the icon(s). Note that drop and drop won’t work

That’s it, just so easy!

3.) For those who want to place Home, Network, Trash, and Devices icons on desktop, open Unity Tweak Tool (available in Ubuntu Software Center) from the Unity Dash and enable them from Desktop Icons utility.

Want an option in your desktop’s context menu (right-click menu) that hides or un-hides all your desktop shortcuts in Ubuntu Unity or Gnome?

Ramvignesh, the guy sent me two simple scripts with this great idea. If you are interested, below will show you how to do it step by step.

1. How to Create Desktop Shortcuts in Ubuntu 14.04

Due to bug, you can’t drag and drop an application shortcut icon from Unity Dash result to desktop in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS.

But it’s still easy to create a desktop shortcut, all you need to do is:

  1. Open your file browser, navigate to Computer (from left sidebar)-> user -> share -> applications.
  2. Right click on a shortcut icon and select ‘Copy’
  3. Right-click on blank area of your desktop and select ‘Paste’

Finally you’re able to click the desktop shortcut to launch the application without worrying about user permission issue.

2. Create the scripts to show/hide desktop shortcuts

Thanks to Ramvignesh for the simple scripts.

  • Create a new folder called bin in user’s Home folder.
  • Go into bin folder and create 2 empty documents: show-desktop-shortcuts, hide-desktop-shortcuts
  • Edit 2 documents one by one and paste below contents into them. IMPORTANT: Replace handbook in red with your user name.
    • for show-desktop-shortcuts file:
      cd /home/handbook/Desktop
      for f in .* ; do 
      new=`echo "$f" | cut -c 2-`
      mv "$f" "$new"
    • for hide-desktop-shortcuts file:
      cd /home/handbook/Desktop
      for f in * ; do
      mv "$f" ".${f#.}"
  • Finally make the 2 scripts executable by going to their context menu (right-click menu) -> Properties -> Permissions tab -> check the box where it says 'Allow executing file as program'.

    3. Add The 2 Scripts As Options Into Desktop's Context Menu

    Click the button below to bring up Ubuntu Software Center and install nautilus-actions, a graphical tool for configuring Nautilus' context menu.

    Now open nautilus-actions from Launcher and do:

    1. Create 2 new actions in Items list, name them to Show Desktop Shortcuts & Hide Desktop Shortcuts
    2. Under Action tab of both items, check the box says "Display item in location context menu"
    3. Type a name in Context label

    4. Under Command tab of both items, type in (browser) path to the two scripts in Path box.
    5. (Optional) Go the menu Edit -> Preferences, in first tab un-check the two boxes under Nautilus menu layout.

    Finally, your desktop's context menu will look like below after reboot.