How can I make the desktop show icons again under 64bit Debian 9.0 Cinnamon?

I switched from the nemo file-manager to the nautilus one and now my desktop doesn't show any icons/folders and I can't right-click it either.

I already tried the gnome-tweak-tool which only has an option "Desktop"->"Icons on desktop" which I set to "On" and which didn't help. I also ran gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons true and tried replacing "nemo" with "nautilus" in /usr/share/applications/x-cinnamon-mimeapps.list.

Also I'd like to know why desktop icons are apparently hidden by default when switching file-manager? Isn't that severely counterintuitive. Who wants the desktop to only display the wallpaper but no files on it? And is that just the case with nautilus?

Edit: I now switched from Cinnamon to KDE and from Nautilus to Dolphin: both are way better!

  • 1
    Same problem here. Killing nautilus and switching, with gnome-tweak-tool, icons on desktop on and off has worked for me. – Quora Feans Aug 7 '17 at 1:26
  • @QuoraFeans If that causes the desktop icons to show permanently (even after a restart) I would have marked this as the solution if you had posted it as an answer. – mYnDstrEAm Aug 7 '17 at 11:26

I had some similar problems after upgrading from Debian8 (where I'd been using gnome flashback) to Debian9 where I've decided it was high time to make the jump to "modern" Gnome.

However, a big annoyance with the otherwise slick and shiny new gnome shell was no desktop icons and no amount of toggling the "Icons on desktop" in gnome-tweak-tool or hitting gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background show-desktop-icons true seemed to affect it.

The breakthrough came from removing "Files" from the "Startup Applications" (also via gnome-tweak-tool). Next login, there were all my desktop icons, as expected.

I didn't then try putting "Files" back in "Startup Applications" (but with the desktop now appearing populated with a bunch of stuff, I don't see the value in also having a file-browser window come up by default on login).

No idea why doing this has the effect it does. Wild guess: some sort of race/conflict between nautilus-desktop and the nautilus instance started by "Files"?

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