I have a standard Ubuntu install with an Xmonad install on top of it [1].

Now, when I run nautilus from the command line a view unexpected things happen. While Nautilus does appear, there is now also some form of desktop environment present were only a default wallpaper used to reside. My unity wallpaper is loaded and I can create icons, drag with the mouse to select them. When I right click on the new desktop, I can: (New Folder | Paste, Organize Desktop by Name, Keep Aligned). None of my Xmonad environment breaks and everything is still completely functional.

I'm confused. None of the other unity options are available on right clicking. Also, when I man nautilus, it explains nautilus is from GNOME, yet my Unity desktop seems to load. I also discovered the --no-desktop option which seems to avoid all these things happening. Running xprop on the desktop gives me this information:

_GTK_WINDOW_OBJECT_PATH(UTF8_STRING) = "/org/gnome/Nautilus/window/1"
_GTK_APPLICATION_ID(UTF8_STRING) = "org.gnome.Nautilus"
WM_CLASS(STRING) = "desktop_window", "Nautilus"
WM_NAME(STRING) = "Desktop"

Now My question is, what exactly happens when I run nautilus without the --no-desktop flag in my Xmonad -> Ubuntu environment?


[1] Here are the xmonad configs in case they are relevant: https://github.com/ZirconCode/config/tree/bedc1b0c4d76a202d01ae41662b1a21838648713/Xmonad

  • Do you happen to have PlayOnLinux installed? I recall the same kind of problem, and when Nautilus loaded, the icons of the PlayOnLinux programs I installed wanted to show themselves by starting a desktop background. – Gauthier Dec 15 '14 at 9:34
  • @Gauthier, Hmm that's interesting, but no, I never installed PlayOnLinux. – ZirconCode Dec 15 '14 at 17:02

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