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I have a almost minimal installation of Debian 9.3 with Gnome 3 as a desktop environment and lightdm as display manager. It has to run in a kiosk-like mode, so I am getting rid of as much components as possible. I noticed that under the "Activities" menù the user could access some applications and I wanted to remove them, so I removed from /usr/share/applications/ all the *.desktop files. After that, Gnome was no more able to run and I was stuck in a loop: after entered username and password in lightdm, the screen went black and then the system came back to the lightdm greeter. After moving back the *.desktop files to the original location, the problem was fixed. As far as I know, those .desktop files are just link to applications (as the .lnk files under Windows), so they should not affect the Gnome behaviour. Can anyone explain me why that happened?

  • "I removed from /usr/share/applications/ all the *.desktop files" Why do you need gnome DE if you don't need any application ? Those files are not "like windows lnk files" just so you know. Some of them are gnome components like org.gnome.Shell.desktop. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that if you removed them all gnome would no longer start. – don_crissti Apr 26 '18 at 16:32
  • I am no rocket science for sure, maybe I am dumb, but a rocket science would have understood that if I am preparing a kiosk-like box I will launch just a predefined application, and the last thing I want is the user launching applications other than the predefined. – Giorgio R May 3 '18 at 8:38

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