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Help test the "Active Desktop" for 19.04


Indeed !

( grid mode + UB 18.04 )
But ctrl+drag’n’drop leads to same.

Well, with new coming applets, I’ve noticed some minor new aesthetic « styles » : some have circle or rounded background on mouse-hover, some just go from transparent grey to full white, some have labels or pop-ups some don’t… Here with desktopfolders, files and folder names have a rounded label whereas it was a square one with nautilus…

Very minor details I agree, but maybe time to define some stylistic choices for global coherence ?

To be honest neither do I ! But panels are… well… panels, I mean this word is used for decade for long horizontal or vertical « boxes » at border of screen. Here with desktopfolder, it kind of equals KDE’s folderview, why not using this already existing name of concept maybe ?


Raised here: https://github.com/spheras/desktopfolder/issues/215

Raised here: https://github.com/spheras/desktopfolder/issues/214


Just installed the “active desktop.”
I find New > Folder and Empty File is enough. Rest are more or less unnecessary, especially the Panel, that is, one panel over the other panel (or desktop). All what is needed is to put some icons on the desktop (which is also a folder). You can drag a note, an image or anything on to that folder (desktop), and they appear on the screen. That is all that is needed.

Anyway, this is what I got. /usr/share/applications doesn’t show any icons, but the desktop shows them, once dragged on to it. But, the files inside the folder Desktop doesn’t.


Continuation from the earlier post…

The Panel can cover the icons, files, folders etc already on the desktop, so only trouble.

Also, there’s no need to take the “newer” Nautilus, just because it has a newer number. The present 3.26 is quite sufficient, for next few years. If there’s a way to block it from upgrading, it’d be all right.

Can the clock be analog, instead of digital?

No. There will not be a way to hold two versions of nautilus in the repository.

Re the panel covering other icons. I don’t see that as an issue. That really is up to you how you organise your desktop.


Don’t really understand your observation. Sorry. What were you trying to do and how?


The 1st image shows that /usr/share/applications doesn’t have any icons after installing the PPA. I dragged the files to the desktop, and the icons appeared. In the folder Desktop, icons weren’t there. I wanted to see, if dragging a file, folder, image, apps etc would appear on the desktop (screen) itself, and they did. Tat was the observation.

I need to put something on the desktop for a while, to do some work, and then I take that away. That’s the need, not an everyday need, but a useful feature to get some work done. Aren’t there any other file managers that would take over the desktop? Nautilus is not the end. Budgie is based on Gnome, but doesn’t have to use every Gnome application. How about PcManFM? Or even Thunar?

If this PPA is going to be implemented in 19.04 or later, its all right.
I have purged it already.


right - I think you are talking about drag and drop. Yes. GNOME devs changed the drag and drop mechanism. That is something we’ll need to look at - it is also something that is broken on GNOME Shell with the proposed gnome-shell desktop icon extension.

Thunar brings too much KDE dependencies with it. PcManFM is just too basic as a file manager IMHO and again brings QT dependencies.

I’m not aware of any other suitable GTK based file-managers that provide desktop icon support.


Thunar is XFCE, by the way


ah - right - my bad. Yeah - we looked at that as well and that also had XFCE dependencies and did not really integrate very well.


Not many dependencies, all about 16.5MB space taken.


This is not related to Active/DesktopFolder. I have noticed the same behaviour on my UB18.04 far before installing desktopfolder.

The .desktop files in /usr/share/applications or ~/.local/share/applications never show icons of their « inner » app. Instead they all show a same generic icon. They only show their « relative » icon once on desktop - I did not try in other folder though.


Errr… Only an opinion but having to use both of them on different machines at work, they are kind of less easy to use than Nautilus. Probably a matter of habit. I often look for « open a terminal here » or the view arrangement ( list, icons, details… ) or the fact a newly created folder is not automatically selected ( thunar ) got me lost more than once. Maybe these are things that can be tweaked also. But true, both do the job.


Drag and drop is a necessity. If it can be done between folders, it should be able to be done between folders and the desktop. If Nautilus 3.30 and newer kills that ability, and cannot be patched, it would be better to stay with 3.26.


It needs investigating.

You can also just copy-paste stuff as well - so its a workaround for the moment whilst the investigation continues.

Staying on 3.26 or jumping to 3.32 is a decision to be made by Canonical devs. In this area we have very little influence.


Ok - updates on issues raised:

the drag outside the panel crash should now be fixed hopefully

Also sort vertically is the default option for the desktop - can be changed by a right-click option.

Naming for the panel issue is being discussed - https://github.com/spheras/desktopfolder/issues/215

Moving of the icon when renamed from files is scheduled for a fix

Localisation of the desktop name/create new folder - I’m fixing that - will be pushed soon upstream after the testing has completed.


Let us know, when the ppa is updated, so to test again.


It is an automatic build - so if there any changes, it will build at some point during that day.

So today’s build has happened and the two fixes mentioned are there. The other issues once fixed and land in upstream will then appear within a day or two.


Hi, I am trying - again- the Active Desktop feature. I find the resource really useful. The UB-team a doing a really great job.

When using the feature, two things came to my mind:

  • When I delete one panel, a new one automatically pops up. I found this annoying, and probably it will be implemented differently;

  • I would find it helpful if there were a possibility to minimize the AD to just a button on the screen, say a hamburger button.

What do you think?


umm - you delete a panel and another appears? Definitely a bug - but I haven’t seen that.

odd - can you please raise that here https://github.com/spheras/desktopfolder ?

EDIT: any error messages displayed in the terminal if you do the following?

killall desktopfolder
desktopfolder &

Then delete the panel.

If you right click the desktop there is an option to hide/show the desktop. Double clicking on the desktop also toggles the desktop as well.