Desktop folder gets created sometimes and is recognized by pantheon-files

Bug #1088260 reported by Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff
198
This bug affects 47 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
elementary OS
Confirmed
High
Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff
0.2-luna
Fix Released
Undecided
Linda Lesser
0.3-freya
Incomplete
High
Linda Lesser

Bug Description

Desktop folder is still recognized by pantheon-files and get created by applications sometimes. We should ditch it completely and redirect all requests to it to home folder. That's the default fallback for any nonexistent folders, but desktop folder has special handling. Our OS patches remove it, but it seems that's not sufficient.

Changed in elementaryos:
milestone: none → luna-beta2
status: New → Triaged
Revision history for this message
Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff (shnatsel) wrote :

This is weird because "/usr/bin/xdg-user-dir desktop" prints the home folder but pantheon-files treats "~/Desktop" as a desktop folder

summary: - Desktop folder gets created sometimes and is recognized by xdg-user-dirs
+ Desktop folder gets created sometimes and is recognized by pantheon-
+ files
description: updated
Revision history for this message
Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff (shnatsel) wrote :

I've committed the required changes to the OS patch of xdg-user-dirs, it was incompletely cleansed indeed.
I wonder if it will build in the recipe now.

Changed in elementaryos:
status: Triaged → Fix Committed
assignee: nobody → Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff (shnatsel)
Revision history for this message
Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff (shnatsel) wrote :

And yet this doesn't seem to be sufficient.
Perhaps we should patch xdg-user-dirs-gtk too.

Revision history for this message
Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff (shnatsel) wrote :

Oh my. The folder is present in live session and it's localized even with the latest patches...

Revision history for this message
Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff (shnatsel) wrote :

XDG_DESKTOP_DIR is still present in ~/.config/user-dirs, so I guess my latest patch has actually regressed things.

Changed in elementaryos:
status: Fix Committed → In Progress
Revision history for this message
Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff (shnatsel) wrote :

Ah, that was caused by the workaround for bug 1089615 suggested by Launchpad devs causing the patches to not be applied at all. Should be fixed now.

Changed in elementaryos:
status: In Progress → Fix Committed
Revision history for this message
Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff (shnatsel) wrote :

That's still not sufficient. I've patched xdg-user-dirs-gtk too, let's see if that helps.

Changed in elementaryos:
status: Fix Committed → In Progress
Revision history for this message
Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff (shnatsel) wrote :

STILL not sufficient. Man, in how many places did they manage to stick this special handling code?!

Revision history for this message
Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff (shnatsel) wrote :

I'm afraid I'm out of ideas. Somebody else should have a look at this.

Changed in elementaryos:
status: In Progress → Triaged
assignee: Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff (shnatsel) → nobody
Revision history for this message
bwat47 (bwat47) wrote :

If this can't be done we should at least get the desktop icon added back to the elementary theme. When the desktop folder shows up it has a super ugly gnome icon. It wouldn't be a big deal IMO if it at least used a normal elementary folder icon...

Revision history for this message
Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff (shnatsel) wrote :
Revision history for this message
Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff (shnatsel) wrote :

According to a duplicate bug 1092658, the folder gets created on invoking the "open file" dialog from a web browser.

Revision history for this message
Clearflower (flowc111) wrote :

I caught it right in the action. Apperently, the "open file" dialog in firefox defaults to a directory in the file manager called /home/user-name/desktop. What happens is this directory doesn't exist inside files in the first place, so it makes a folder automatically - the "desktop" folder. Once you upload a file to a web dialog, it then stays in the directory if which the file was uploaded from, so obviously it won't happen in the same dialog again. I hope the image and the info helps.

Changed in elementaryos:
milestone: luna-beta2 → luna-beta3
Revision history for this message
Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff (shnatsel) wrote :

Setting "org.gnome.nautilus.preferences desktop-is-home-dir" in dconf to true seems to fix this. Pushed that to OS defaults.

Existing users will have to manually reset that key or create a new user account to get the fix. I'll reopen the bug if the problem persists.

Changed in elementaryos:
status: Triaged → Fix Committed
Revision history for this message
Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff (shnatsel) wrote :

Nah, still happens here X(

Changed in elementaryos:
status: Fix Committed → Triaged
Revision history for this message
Cody Garver (codygarver) wrote :

Well, at least the latest fix got rid of an intrusive warning whenever you launch Nautilus.

Revision history for this message
Cody Garver (codygarver) wrote :

The only thing I've seen make a Desktop folder lately is Steam.

Revision history for this message
Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff (shnatsel) wrote :

Could you report a bug about that at https://github.com/ValveSoftware/steam-for-linux/issues ?

Revision history for this message
Cody Garver (codygarver) wrote :

Haven't seen one of these for a while, has anyone else?

Changed in elementaryos:
importance: Undecided → High
status: Triaged → Incomplete
Revision history for this message
Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff (shnatsel) wrote :

Firefox creates it on opening "Open File" dialog.

Also it's not like we can patch every single piece of software this cycle. We need to make apps from recognize home folder as desktop folder instead of sticking to "~/Desktop".

Changed in elementaryos:
status: Incomplete → Triaged
Revision history for this message
Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff (shnatsel) wrote :

After applying the following one-line patch to Glib I can no longer reproduce this bug.

Changed in elementaryos:
assignee: nobody → Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff (shnatsel)
status: Triaged → In Progress
description: updated
Cody Garver (codygarver)
Changed in elementaryos:
milestone: luna-beta3 → luna-rc1
Cody Garver (codygarver)
Changed in elementaryos:
status: In Progress → Fix Released
Revision history for this message
Cody Garver (codygarver) wrote :

Haven't experienced this on Trusty/Isis

Revision history for this message
Sergey "Shnatsel" Davidoff (shnatsel) wrote :

Interestingly enough, it was somehow fixed in Luna... at least Pantheon Files no longer seems to consider Desktop folder a special one. No idea why.

Revision history for this message
Sascha Heuterer (theanachron) wrote :

Got this folder created again on Freya installation, using programs like NetBeans IDE which add shortcuts to the Desktop.

Revision history for this message
Abhinav (agauniyal) wrote :

I haven't installed Netbeans or any other IDE but it does gets created on Freya and on deleting returns back every time I login again.

Revision history for this message
Timo Reimerdes (timorei) wrote :

Seeing this happening on every login on current freya beta install.

Revision history for this message
Alex Viscreanu (alexviscreanu) wrote :

Bug stills on Freya Stable release.

Revision history for this message
Coeur Noir (coeur-noir) wrote :

Well, I've seen the same behavior on my fresh Freya (0.3) after installing Firefox.

Revision history for this message
Timo Reimerdes (timorei) wrote :

Workaround for firefox creating the Desktop folder over and over again:

~$ scratch-text-editor .config/user-dirs.dirs

make sure there is a line:
XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="/home/<yourusername>/"

Not "$HOME" - for some reason some applications, firefox being one of them, seem to have a problem recognizing that var. In fact - just to make certain that all other directories are found as well, you can just replace all ocurances of $HOME/ with /home/<yourusername>/

Obiously fill in the name of your user for <yourusername>.

From now on, firefox is not creating the Desktop folder anymore. (I bet this is related to Telegram creating the darn fontconfig folder in Home... *sigh*)

Revision history for this message
Gabriel_P (gabp) wrote :

I'm getting this issue consistently with Zotero (https://www.zotero.org/) in Freya.

The standalone version creates a 'Desktop' folder every time the app opens.

Tried the patch above by Timo R but it didn't work.

Revision history for this message
Timo Reimerdes (timorei) wrote :

I just found my own answer and it works.

replaced all $HOME/ with /home/timo/

added the missing XDG_DESKTOP_DIR=/home/timo/

Firefor did not create the folder. Just make sure you have the line for the desktop present (it wasn't there at all after super-clean-install). Obviously replace "timo" with your own username.

Revision history for this message
Gabriel_P (gabp) wrote :

Just noticed that Google Chrome will store in this desktop folder the "apps" created with the new feature described here:

https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/3060053

see 'Add a website as an app'.

Not sure how this will behave when no 'Desktop' folder is available.

Revision history for this message
Seth (sysfu) wrote :

Confirm that XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="/home/<yourusername>/" trick works with Thunderbird 38.8.0

Revision history for this message
Jung-Kyu Park (bagjunggyu) wrote :

This workaround doesn't work for non-English like Korean
XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="/home/<yourusername>/"

ex)
XDG_PICTURES_DIR="/home/bagjunggyu/사진"

Revision history for this message
Jung-Kyu Park (bagjunggyu) wrote :

My fault it worked for me in Korean, I fully misunderstood it.

Revision history for this message
Jung-Kyu Park (bagjunggyu) wrote :

Actually, This symptom happens not noly "Desktop" folder but also to "Downloads" when downloading files via Firefox.
In Korean , we have two folders for download files one for standard download folder by locale "다운로드", and "Downloads" created by Firefox.
Sometimes files are downloaded to the "Downloads" folder not to standard folder "다운로드"

That workaround worked for this case too,
XDG_DOWNLOAD_DIR="/home/bagjunggyu/다운로드"

Zisu Andrei (matzipan)
Changed in elementaryos:
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
Revision history for this message
melmolot1177 (melmolot1177-deactivatedaccount) wrote :

Still present on Loki w/ Firefox. Can anyone else please confirm?

Revision history for this message
Timo Reimerdes (timorei) wrote :

Can confirm. But it's not just loki, any distribution not using a designated desktop folder is behaving this way.

But for me the .config/user-dirs.dirs workaround fixes it reliably:

XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME/"

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