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Help test the "Active Desktop" for 19.04


#1

We now have a test PPA available that shows off potentially a key new part of 19.04 Ubuntu Budgie

We would love to get feedback - and thus we have made this PPA available for all 18.04/18.10 and early 19.04 users to test with.

We are calling the new part of 19.04 “Active Desktop”. As you know the next version of Nautilus will no longer support desktop icons … yes I know some of you say yay!..

So we are considering including an Elementary OS project called “DesktopFolder” - which provides desktop icons + lots more. Hence the term “Active Desktop”. We have been working with the project maintainer to make it fully compatible with the Budgie Desktop.

Its very important to say - once you have finished testing you MUST purge the test PPA to return to the stable version of budgie. This test PPA will be eventually deleted and we don’t want to break your install!

To install in 18.04/18.10/19.04:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntubudgie-dev/desktop-icons && sudo apt upgrade && sudo apt install desktopfolder

then logout and login. i.e. once installed it will autostart after logging out and logging back in.

Note - for 18.10 and 19.04 users this will also upgrade nautilus to v3.30 so you can play around with that as well. DesktopFolder is not integrated within budgie-settings - but assuming we move forward with this project, there will be a means to turn the new capability on and off one way or another…

For 18.04 remember to turn off Nautilus Desktop Icons via budgie-settings

To return back to stable after testing:

sudo ppa-purge ppa:ubuntubudgie-dev/desktop-icons

I will reiterate you MUST purge the test PPA to return to the stable version of budgie. This test PPA will be eventually deleted and we don’t want to break your install!


This new capability is NOT intended to replicate one for one the old nautilus desktop icons capability. Hence it does work in a different manner. We hope you like the revised workflow. What we are definitely interested in is any nautilus capability that you may think is more than “just nice to have” but is not possible (yet) with DesktopFolder. Let us know.

cheers


How to add/delete items to desktop right click drop down menu
#2

I installed Desktopfolder on Elementary. I have it so that I can save folders etc outside of the grid box. Is there any way to remove the grid box from showing on the desktop – this appears to be the only drawback.


#3

@makitso - This is a change that has been made in the version in this PPA - so on startup no panel is created.

This is achieved via a dconf entry first-folder in com.github.spheras.desktopfolder


#4

Ahhhh, again your on top of things :+1:


#5

Installed the ppa on laptop running 18.10. This system has several existing desktop folders, icons, and launchers.

How did it work?

  1. After installing the ppa and then logging in, all the desktop launchers, folders, documents, etc. lost their desktop position.

  2. Several desktop launchers had their icons disappear. With a right-click I was able to change the icon to one that was a .png file. However, the other launcher used a .svg icon and I could not select it from the list – only jpg and png files are listed.

  3. Could not right-click on any desktop document to edit it. A desktop launcher would be an example.

  4. Did a drag and drop of the Calculator application in usr/share/applications to the desktop. I could rename it but there was no right-click “Change Icon” option.

  5. Could not copy a desktop document and then paste it to the desktop.

  6. Could not drag a document to the plank panel.


#6

Thanks for mentioning! Indeed we need to add more right-click options like open with / edit icon / paste (previously copied files/folders) / show properties etc. One will be easier than the other, but the code seems to offer good options to extend right-click.
On the restart issues: I can’t reproduce those. I tried both with grid set on and off, .desktop files and all, but all stayed perfectly in the same position. Do you by any chance have a specific (high) resolution or scaling, or a specific (multiple) monitor setup?


#7

Top image is standard 18.10, bottom is with DesktopFolder installed. Don’t forget to delete the .desktopfolder.

FWIW, this thinkpad has a Intel Mobile 943040GML Express IG Controller.


#8

Ah, wait, you are comparing nautilus placement to active desktop placement? The way the latter remembers its placement is different from nautilus (gvfs). The test should be if active desktop icon placement remains between sessions. Nautilus desktop is gone anyway from 19.04.


#9

That’s fine, thanks for clearing that up.


#10

After installing the ppa and then logging in, all the desktop launchers, folders, documents, etc. lost their desktop position.

Doubt we can doing anything here - fundamentally different systems

Several desktop launchers had their icons disappear. With a right-click I was able to change the icon to one that was a .png file. However, the other launcher used a .svg icon and I could not select it from the list – only jpg and png files are listed.

raised this https://github.com/spheras/desktopfolder/issues/135

Could not right-click on any desktop document to edit it. A desktop launcher would be an example.

We are aware - our intention is to push an enhancement for this.

Did a drag and drop of the Calculator application in usr/share/applications to the desktop. I could rename it but there was no right-click “Change Icon” option.

Raised this here https://github.com/spheras/desktopfolder/issues/136

Could not copy a desktop document and then paste it to the desktop.

Similar - We are aware - our intention is to push an enhancement for this.

Could not drag a document to the plank panel.

Talking to upstream - the way this works is to use CTRL + drag n drop. Simply dragging is treated as a move action.


#11

But, as I understand it, using Desktopfolder is a plan “B” right? You are still looking for a Ubuntu solution that keeps the desktop folders and icons? I mean, there are so many distros based on Ubuntu that use Nautilus that there must be a better solution.


#12

all options are open. Right at this moment, there are very few viable solutions - assuming of course we stick with nautilus. Running Nemo for desktop icons + nautilus is a poor choice from a engineering and memory usage point of view.

There are zero plans by any distro to maintain nautilus-desktop on its own - doubtful either Debian or Ubuntu would allow that into their repositories.

Dropping Nautilus is one choice - but really, the choice of caja or nemo as a replacement look pretty out of place on budgie.

A native budgie solution is preferable - but this will take months to write from scratch. That effectively means no 19.04 desktop icon solution if we went down that route.


#13

Ugh, that sounds pretty bleak :drooling_face:. Canonical must know that this is a huge issue for Ubuntu newbies as well as others. Personally, I, as well as everyone I know, uses desktop icons. I could live with Desktopfolder if a few of the issues mentioned above were fixed.

Different question:. How well is Desktopfolder supported? For a key piece of software, it’s important to have a mature support team.


#14

I think we can definitely help the project - we (the team) have the expertise to resolve and add new features. So from a support point of view we can definitely work with the maintainer who has made it clear that he is looking for helpers.

Bringing desktopfolder to both Debian and Ubuntu will expose the project to many more eyes - hopefully much more help.

From my point of view - if we can help (even in a modest way) another project like desktopfolder then that is a benefit not only for UB but for the Elementary users who use the software, other distros that run with budgie-desktop … and potentially to GNOME-Shell users as well who may want to have an alternative to the beta gnome-shell extension.

Hate to say it … potential win win all round.


#15

Clever, I like that👍


#16

Did I miss something, how do you get the trashcan on the desktop – aside from putting on the Plank dock?
Also, what about the UB Applets e.g. showtime?


#17

ShowTime and WeatherShow work just fine with DesktopFolder.

TrashCan et al are all nautilus specific capabilities. So I guess they will need to be reimplemented. Just a question if they are useful - kind of a hangover from GNOME2 days.

Obviously we do have right now the TrashCan applet you can add to the panel…


#18

Personally, I prefer a desktop trash can. However, the UB development team should not be driven by the desires of one or more individuals but on the expectations of your target audience. IHMO, folks upgrading from lubuntu or xubuntu or migrating from Windows would miss this.


#19

I think adding a trash can to the desktop is a matter of a .desktop file, containing the command to move the subject dragged on to it to trash. Should be straightforward. Nice suggestion to make it more complete.


#20

IMMS, the lubuntu team had this same issue about 6 years ago. Their short term remedy was a .desktop file. However, it was very problematic. But, that was a different desktop manager :slight_smile: