This is more of a puzzle than a problem:

Every time I start Firefox, a "Desktop" folder is created in my home folder (home/me/Desktop). I delete it, use Firefox, it comes back.

Am I sure it's Firefox?

I have a basic, default installation (Freya), which has been updated. The only changes I made were to remove Midori and add Firefox. I did some trial-and-error and it only happens (and always happens) after starting Firefox.

I could live with it, I suppose, but the voices in my head are anal-retentive and being all ocd fussy about it. ;-)

2 Answers 2


You can set your $HOME directory as Desktop in xdg-user-dirs config file (~/.config/user-dirs.dirs).

This can be done manually through text editor. Open this file:

scratch-text-editor ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs

And add this line to the end of file:



  • I confess, I was hoping for a way to stop Firefox's annoying behaviour. Your idea is to trick Firefox into thinking it's already been done. Very clever workaround.
    – John
    Commented Jun 23, 2016 at 21:32

This is a re-hash of a very good post about this, but I'm including this for other like me who might stumble here and who want to understand a bit more about why this is happening

The reason why Firefox insists on creating these directories is that it follows a freedesktop.org practice attempting to standardise how applications use “well known” directories.

Fortunately, however, this standard also offers a way to prevent Firefox from creating these directories.

Edit the ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs file so that it has the following contents.


If ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs does not exist, you can simply create it

  • 1
    That link really misrepresents the user-dirs.dirs file as a Firefox thing when it's really a Linux-desktop thing. Worse still, it's advice, would disable all 'known' directories, including ones Firefox doesn't even use. Skip the page you linked and go right to the page it links: freedesktop.org/wiki/Software/xdg-user-dirs.
    – John
    Commented Mar 10, 2018 at 17:48

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