Sunday, 3 August 2014

Installing MATE as an Afterthought: How to avoid icon clutter and set the desktop to $HOME/Desktop?

Things have been rather busy with non-tech related stuff, completing my dissertation and writing an article for a journal so apologies for the very infrequent postings. However, we've got a small update today. You might have come across the same problem when adding the MATE desktop environment to a pre-existing install, instead of just using Point Linux or the Salix Mate spin which already come all set up for you and polished. If you install yourself, small niggles may remain.

The problem is that on my Debian Openbox that started out as CrunchBang the entire contents of the home folder was visible on the desktop, with icons taking up most of it. Not being able to see our beautiful wallpapers is clearly unacceptable. I thought it might be a Dconf setting but was unable to find it. As often though, the solution is quite simple and only an internet search away if you type in the right key words. In this case the answer was on AskUbuntu.

Basically, we need to edit the hidden file ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs. As is stated there, change the entry for XDG_DESKTOP_DIR to your new desktop folder, or add it, if the entry does not exist. In Crunchbang, and possibly any straight and vanilla Debian install, this entry reads

XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME"

Change it to

XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME/Desktop".

In Crunchbang/Debian and probably most vanilla distributions the directories are all set to "$HOME". As set out on AskUbuntu, you may wish to change all directories to their special folders.

XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME/Desktop"
XDG_DOWNLOAD_DIR="$HOME/Download"
XDG_TEMPLATES_DIR="$HOME/Templates"
XDG_PUBLICSHARE_DIR="$HOME/Public"
XDG_DOCUMENTS_DIR="$HOME/Documents"
XDG_MUSIC_DIR="$HOME/Music"
XDG_PICTURES_DIR="$HOME/Pictures"
XDG_VIDEOS_DIR="$HOME/Videos"`

A simple log out and back in again as stated there did not suffice and resulted in an infinite spawning of minimized windows on the panel, making the system unresponsive. The solution is to shut down and reboot for a clean start and all was fine. This is the result. I didn't know I liked GNOME 2 that much. It's been a long time since 2006.

The NOX Gtk 2 theme employed and AlaDelta window border scheme are in the Debian repos, OSX-Nostalgie-1.2.4 icons are from gnome-look.org.



As I can't recall where I got the background from I'll consider uploading it if anybody should request it.

Edit: Added a screenshot because we're all visual beings. Removed the link to forum post and added theming details.

1 comment:

  1. It was very nice article and it is very useful to Linux learners.We also provide Linux online training

    ReplyDelete

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