Trying to make Nemo take over the desktop in Mint Xfce I found that very difficult, even if Thunar is uninstalled. Therefore, it is not Thunar by itself that handles the desktop (the icon desktop I mean), but something within the Xfce desktop environment different from the file manager Thunar. After removing Thunar though, some desktop context menu actions stop working, like creating folder or document, with an error about
nemo-desktop is the Nemo equivalent, not dependent on the Cinnamon desktop. What is that for Xfce if not Thunar?