For the purpose detailed below uninstalling Thunar is not a solution. The behavior described below stays the same if Thunar is uninstalled. So, it is not Thunar as such that handles the Xfce desktop. So, when here I say "Thunar desktop" or "Thunar icons" (in relation to desktop icons) that should mean the Xfce desktop handler, whatever that is.
For various reasons I want to use Nemo as default file manager in Xfce (Mint 19.2). Just installing Nemo and making it the preferred file manager in
exo-preferred-applications is not making Nemo handle the desktop too.
So, trying to make Nemo handle the desktop, I know that the needed command is
Simply running that at startup doesn't make it happen though, as seen when running the command in terminal
** (nemo-desktop:9781): WARNING **: 16:50:30.626: Desktop already managed by another application, skipping desktop setup. To change this, modify org.nemo.desktop 'ignored-desktop-handlers'.
At this point
nemo-desktop is not listed in running applications.
Going to dconf Editor, I have added
['thunar'] there. (The same effect as
['org.xfce.FileManager'] it seems;
org.nemo.desktop show-desktop-icons which is specifically described as intended to "allow Nemo to manage the desktop" is marked as "Deprecated", and changing its value makes no difference.) At this point, if in (
xfdesktop-settings) Desktop -> Icons -> Appearance -> Icon type is set to File/launcher icons, after restarting session the desktop shows desktop icons twice (once through Nemo-desktop, once through Xfce/Thunar desktop), with the Nemo icons on top, while those of Xfce/Thunar are not accessible.
This mix is bad, but at least confirms that
nemo-desktop is running, as seen in the System Monitor list, and can be temporarily rectified by setting Desktop -> Icons -> Appearance -> Icon type to none. This gives me what I want, but only till the end of the session: all icons go away (as set in
xfdesktop-settings) after restarting session. (This works for me sort of, as I rarely log out or restart, but simply suspend.)
Only if Desktop -> Icons -> Appearance -> Icon type is already set to File/launcher icons during session startup do the Nemo icons appear on the desktop. -- Nemo follows the
xfdesktop-settings that are in place at session startup, while changes made during session only affect Xfce/Thunar icons. (Nemo-desktop icons stay visible until logout even if
xfdesktop-settings says differently.)
The solution would be to set Desktop -> Icons -> Appearance -> Icon type to File/launcher icons but to completely stop Xfce-desktop-manager (whichever that is, because it's not Thunar) from handling the desktop.