Does anyone have a foolproof way to display desktop icons in elementary OS 5? I am not a big fan of tweaking via the Terminal (reason why I am on elementary); so any other way would be preferable. I have Gnome Tweaks installed as well as dconf. Cheers, Fred

  • OP try the other option I just added to my answer, it works quite well (but the theming is a bit off). – dsSTORM Feb 15 '19 at 16:57

Search the appstore for "desktop folder" and install it. It's pretty basic though (it doesn't support dragging a file from an application to the desktop and vice versa for example EDIT: this can sort of be done by pressing the ctrl key before dragging the file).

Another option (that has drag and drop) is to run

sudo apt install xfdesktop4 thunar

Then open a terminal and run xfdesktop to get desktop icons. You can set the command to run at boot if you like too (and so you won't have to have the terminal open).

  • What would be the command for it to run at reboot? – Fred Constant Feb 21 '19 at 6:32
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    xfdesktop should be it, just go to settings---> applications--->startup applications and add it as a custom command – dsSTORM Feb 21 '19 at 7:54
  • OK got xfdesktop going but it changed my desktop to a bluey-green background, how can I access that setting? – Fred Constant Feb 22 '19 at 12:36
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    Doesn't right click on the desktop let you select "choose wallpaper"? – dsSTORM Feb 22 '19 at 20:12
  • Sure, but now the login wallpaper is independent from it and remains the green mouse one – Fred Constant Feb 23 '19 at 6:06

Yes I found Desktop Folder a bit too basic, for example it does not display the bin. Thanks anyway!

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    for the trash can icon you can put it in the dock, press ctrl and right click on the dock while keeping ctrl pressed. Then select preferences, go to the docklets tab and move the trash can onto the dock – dsSTORM Feb 13 '19 at 12:45
  • Oh right! I had no idea about these dock preferences, thank you so much! – Fred Constant Feb 14 '19 at 13:08

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