How to enable adding Files and Folders to desktop in Elementary OS Freya

Elementary OS with right-click context menu on desktop
Elementary OS with right-click context menu on desktop

Elementary OS doesn’t allow file manager to access desktop, and I would rightly think so as I prefer it that way to avoid clutter on the desktop. Users who have come from Windows will find it very frustrating for not being able to access the desktop on the elementary OS. Fortunately, it is very easy to add using Nautilus tweaking tool. This tutorial also shows you how to enable right-click context menu on desktop so that you can create ‘New Folder’, ‘Copy’, ‘Paste’, ‘Change desktop background’, and more. Let’s get started.

Step 1: Install Nautilus Dconf Tools

Launch ‘Terminal’ and enter these commands one-at-a-time to install the Nautilus Dconf tools. This utility gives plenty of options to tweak your elementary OS in addition to enabling access to desktop and enabling right-click context menu on desktop.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nautilus dconf-tools
Terminal elementary OS - apt get install
Terminal elementary OS – apt get install

Step 2: Configure Dconf

dconf-editor

In the left pane, click through Org > gnome > nautilus > desktop and configure the following:

  • home-icon-name: Home
  • home-icon-visible: check the box
  • network-icon-visible: check the box if you want this icon on desktop
  • trash-icon-visible: check the box
  • volumes-visible: check if you want all the hard disk partitions to show on desktop
dconf editor - nautilus
dconf editor – nautilus

Now let’s add the nautilus to startup:

click Org > pantheon > cerbere and add ‘nautilus -n‘ to monitored-processes.

dconf editor - pantheon - cerebere
dconf editor – pantheon – cerebere

Step 3: Launch Nautilus

Open ‘Terminal’ and type following command,

nautilus -n

Finally, go to dconf-tools again and Org > gnome > desktop > background and check the box ‘show-desktop-icons’ box.

dconf Editor - show desktop icons
dconf Editor – show desktop icons

You will immediately see icons on the desktop. You can even right-click and see plenty of options.

Elementary OS with right-click context menu on desktop
Elementary OS with right-click context menu on desktop
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of FOSSLinux.com. I'm an avid Linux lover, and enjoys hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Linux Mint as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Ubuntu, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. Hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more, and spread my love for Linux. If you find time, drop me an email or feedback from 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!

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2 Comments on "How to enable adding Files and Folders to desktop in Elementary OS Freya"

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mrbean
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does this work on 0.4 Loki?

MaxTwax
Guest

Yes. But i dont know how to switch icon text color.

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