After logout or restart all desktop icons are gone

Bug #1650977 reported by Mike Raaijmakers
This bug affects 25 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Linux Mint
Fix Released

Bug Description

I cleanly installed Linux Mint 18.1 Cinnamon because I had a desktop icon snap to grid problem on
Linux Mint 18.0 Cinnamon and read that Cinnamon 3.2 had some improvements that looked promising.
Unfortunately I got back a more serious problem that looks like several bugs in one.

1) If I put Icons on my desktop and logout or reboot than all my icons on my desktop are gone.
If I open the default file manager and go to My Computer/Desktop than I do see the icons that should be on my desktop but are not there.
When I right click the desktop and select Desktop Settings and switch the Desktop layout from “Show desktop icons on primary monitor only” to “Show desktop icons on all monitors” or back than the Icons re appear again.

2) When I right click the desktop I can see Keep Aligned is selected but when I logout and login again and make the icons re appear by the trick I mentioned above, than most Icons are aligned but some of them moved to a different location. Some have moved to 1 row lower but some have moved from the bottom of the screen to almost the top of the screen.
On Linux Mint 18.0 Cinnamon the Keep Aligned function was hardly working at all.
On Linux Mint 18.1 Cinnamon the Keep Aligned function is doing a better job but some icons get moved to another undesired location.

3) When the icons are shown on the desktop and I right click the desktop and select Desktop Settings and switch the Desktop layout from “Show desktop icons on primary monitor only” to “Show desktop icons on all monitors” then the Icons only show on my Primary monitor.
My primary monitor is a LG 34” Ultra Wide-screen with a resolution of 2560 x 1080. My second screen is a LG 55” TV with a resolution of 1920 x 1080.
The tool Hardinfo shows the VGA adapter as:
VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v3/4th Gen Core Processor Integrated Graphics Controller (rev 06) (prog-if 00 [VGA controller])
The Icons are never shown on both monitors if the Desktop layout “Show desktop icons on all monitors” is selected.
The same goes if I make the LG 55” TV my Primary monitor.

The problems are fully reproducible and I can test if necessary.

Revision history for this message
Pentarctagon (pentarctagon) wrote :

I have this same problem as #1 after upgrading from 18 to 18.1. Another way I found to fix the icons not showing up is to open Nemo and cut/paste from Desktop -> some other folder -> back to Desktop. Icons not on the primary monitor do show up though.

Screenshot: on the left screen always appears, while everything on the middle (primary) monitor does not initially appear after logging in.

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RM (ugly95) wrote :

I also have this same problem as #1 after upgrading from 18 to 18.1.

I had no issues in 18.

To get the icons back, I go to Desktop Settings and toggle to 'No desktop icons' and back to 'Show desktop icons on primary monitor only'. But this needs to be done after each reboot.

I'm not sure if it matters, but I have a dual monitor set-up. My primary monitor is on the right side and my secondary monitor is on the left.

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RM (ugly95) wrote :

This issue seems to be related to dual-monitors.

I tried unplugging my secondary display, and the icons appear. They are also arranged much more in a grid, whereas with both monitors plugged in, the icons were displayed somewhat randomly.

When rebooting with my secondary display disconnected the icons appear.

Re-connecting the secondary display (without rebooting) messes up the order of the icons again.

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Mike Raaijmakers (theflyingdutchman) wrote :

I think this bug is related to high resolutions rather that to dual displays but with a dual display setup you have a high resolution setup.
With my LG Ultrawide I also have no Icons when my TV is off and I so just have a one Display setup.
My LG Ultrawide has a resolution of 2560 x 1080 and so with just a single display I also have a higher resolution than a standard HD resolution of 1920 x 1080.
I noticed that Linux Mint sees the resolution as 4480 x 1080 when my TV is also on.
So it just adds the 2 up and says 2560 + 1080 = 4480 and because the dispays are shown beside each other the vertical resolution is 1080.
My guess is that it's all about unhandled high resolutions.

I would be very interested to see what happens if you have a dual display setup with 2 very low resolution screens so a dual display setup would not rise above a resolution of 1920 x 1080.
I would have to see if I can find some old hardware to test this.

Also I would like to know if there is a file that contains the resolutions that are handled.
Maybe then you could edit this file and add your resolution to it and maybe how it should handle the grid for that resolution.
That would be a nice debugging test.

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Mike Raaijmakers (theflyingdutchman) wrote :

Just thought about something.
The grid probably is adapting to your resolution.
If the grid is unable to adapt to your resolution because it is higher than what it knows to exist than it crashes or hangs.
Because it crashes or hangs on this step, it does not reach the next step of showing the icons.
That would explain why no icons are shown.

Revision history for this message
Mike Raaijmakers (theflyingdutchman) wrote :

In Linux Mint 18 the icon grid did not work at all but the icons where shown in the place that you put them. In Linux Mint 18.1 the grid does appear to function when you trick it to show the icons but it doesn't work flawlessly.
This means that they worked on the problem and changed the way it works.
- In Mint 18 the grid is applied and the icons are shown according to the grid.
  When there is no grid the icons are just shown is the place the you put them.
- In Mint 18.1 they changed the way that works because it just shows the icons when the grid is
  Beacause the grid apply cannot handle the resolution, the icons cannot be adapted to the grid.
  That means there is no missing icon problem when the grid is adaptable to your resolution.

Revision history for this message
Mike Raaijmakers (theflyingdutchman) wrote :

Have been testing for a while and just found out that align to grid does work but...
The horizontal align aligns to icon-wide vertical columns.
The vertical align works with gridlines that are much to close to each other.
If you position the icon very close to the grid position it does snap to the grid well.
By testing I found out that there are aprox. 3 gridlines in the highed of 1 icon.
That is the reason that Icons can overlap.
My guess is that there is a typo in some configuration file that configures the grid settings.
The Y-axis of the grid should be about 3 or 4 times the value it is now.

Unfortunately that is no solution to the disappearing icons though.

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Mike Raaijmakers (theflyingdutchman) wrote :

Why not make the grid horizontal and vertical value configurable somewhere in the System-Settings screen?

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Mike Raaijmakers (theflyingdutchman) wrote :

After some more testing I also found that icons do not snap to the closest available grid but to the next grid below it or to the next available icon space in the column beside it.
Meaning that when Icons are being close to "in line" with each other and you suspect that they will be aligned correctly next time that some icons move to the closest grid section, one below the one you expect them to align with.
I also had one icon that was the second from above with 3 icons below it.
Apparently that space was to small for the icon so it moved to the bottom.
Clearly it is not all that simple if you start testing with it.
Hope this observation and the ones above give a Linux Mint bug hunter/programmer the right information to find what is wrong here...

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Mike Raaijmakers (theflyingdutchman) wrote :

Just to be clear.
- The disappearing icons seems related to above HD resolutions.
- The icon snap to grid problems should be reproducible on all systems.

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RM (ugly95) wrote :

The lowest resolution settings I have for my dual monitors is 800 x 600. I still get no icons.

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Mike Raaijmakers (theflyingdutchman) wrote :

Ah damn, that means it is not simply a High resolution problem.
With 2 times 800 x 600 side by side the total resolution is 1600 x 600.
Oh wait, if you look at usual resolutions than this is not a usual one.
1600 x 900 is a much seen resolution but 1600 x 600 is not.
My 2560 x 1080 resolution is a very new standard which has a 21:9 pixel aspect ratio.
Maybe that is the key to the resolution of the problem.
What if the problem is that only 4:3 and 16:9 pixel aspect ratio's are handled and it has problems with other ratio's.
Maybe we could test that...

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Mike Raaijmakers (theflyingdutchman) wrote :

Okay, I did the following test:
I switched off my TV and set the 2560 x 1080 resolution of my Primary screen to 1920 x 1080.
Of cause it looked awful because the screen is not made for it but it shows me a stretched picture.
Next I rebooted the computer and after logging in I directly saw my icons.
That means we are a step closer to the solution.
We now know that 4:3 and 16:9 pixel aspect ratio's are handled well but if you do not have a resolution with one of these 2 pixel aspect ratio's, that icons are not shown after reboot or a logout/login action.
That should be a good lead to the solution I think.

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Glenn Sciortino (glsciortino) wrote :

I've been searching all over to find a solution to this problem so I thought I'd add my 2 cents worth. I have a 3 monitor setup and after upgrading to 18.1, I got the same problem of no icons on boot up. The current workaround I'm using is pressing F5 while on the Desktop. Although this is not much of an inconvenience, it is certainly not a fix.

When I saw Mike's post, regarding the aspect ratios, I checked my own setup and noticed that two of my displays were in fact 16:9 and the other was 16:10. So I changed the latter to 16:9 as well, but unfortunately the icons still did not appear after a restart. So I don't think this has to do with aspect ratios.

After doing some further testing I realized that the order in which the displays are set does play a role in this. Whenever I set the primary monitor to be the the first screen on the left, the icons did appear on boot up. However changing the primary screen to be the one in the middle (as it usually is), I got no icons once again. It doesn't matter what the resolution of the primary screen was as long as in the 'Display' settings it was put on the left most part of the screen setup (I tried setting two monitors of different resolutions as the primary monitor, both of aspect ratio 16:9).

This being said I could very well still be wrong, so I would appreciate it if someone could back this theory with some further testing. I'm open to any testing myself. Thanks in advance.

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RM (ugly95) wrote :

My setup is dual-monitor. The right monitor is my primary display.

I can confirm that changing the primary display to the left monitor results in the icons appearing on each reboot (and aligned neatly).

Switching the primary display back to the right monitor makes the icons disappear on reboot and arranges them randomly.

So it does appear related to which monitor is the primary display.

Although it is probably unrelated, using the right monitor as the primary display (or, more generally, not using the left monitor as the primary display) has always been troublesome. Some programs tend to open on the left monitor, regardless of settings or previous window placement.

Revision history for this message
Glenn Sciortino (glsciortino) wrote :

Thanks @RM for your feedback, much appreciated. So it does appear to be an issue with which monitor is set as the primary display.

In my experience support for dual monitor setups has always been dodgy for Linux in general. It's only recently that I've started using 3 monitors. Although I didn't have this specific problem on Linux Mint 18, I did have icons disappearing randomly when dragging them from any folder onto the Desktop, when I had 'Show desktop icons on all monitors' enabled. The fix for that was to choose 'Show desktop icons on primary monitor only', but I digress.

What is confusing me regarding this issue is that if you go to ~/.config/nemo/desktop-metadata, you can see the default icon names with their corresponding last known position and indeed, if you try moving an icon it does change its coordinates accordingly (even though this does not explain the user file icons). So why is it not abiding by it, at least for the default icons such as the trash, home folder etc?

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RM (ugly95) wrote :

Has anyone tried adding new icons to the desktop? New icons seem to stay on each restart.

After 'refreshing' my icons to make them re-appear on the desktop (F5), I later added a new desktop icon for Steam using the Cinnamon menu (right-click --> add to desktop). The Steam icon was added as the 2nd icon in the grid (1st column, 2nd row) underneath the Computer icon. I'm assuming this was just the first open position in the icon grid.

On restart, all the icons are missing as before, except the Steam icon. The Steam icon is in the first grid position (1st column, 1st row). After 'refreshing' the desktop icons, the desktop icons are re-arranged and the Steam icon moves back to the 2nd grid position underneath Computer.

Then I tried deleting an icon and then re-adding it from the Cinnamon menu. The re-added icon has the same behaviour. It appears in the 2nd grid position (1st column, 2nd row) underneath the Steam icon. Then, after 'refreshing' the icons, it gets moved to a next available grid position when the rest of the icons appear.

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RM (ugly95) wrote :

I played around a bit more to test.

I had a symlinked folder on my desktop. Deleting it and re-creating the symlink resulted in the new symlinked folder appearing on start-up. Similar behaviour to newly added icons from the Cinnamon menu.

I had a few files in the desktop folder (LibreOffice calc files) and a bash script. I cut and pasted them to another folder, restarted, and pasted them back onto the desktop. The seemed to be pasted back to where they were, and did not appear on re-start.

I also tried created a new file on the desktop and the new file did not appear on a restart.

At some point I moved some of the icons around, and most of the newly added icons that were remaining on restart disappeared again. So, even adding new icons is unreliable.

Revision history for this message
Glenn Sciortino (glsciortino) wrote :

"Refreshing" the Desktop seems to rearrange the icons in an orderly fashion, no matter what their last known position was. However, since you mentioned it @RM, I did notice a couple of times that my last added icon showed up (but not the others) after bootup/reboot. Unfortunately I don't recall it having repeated itself reliably, so I can't verify it without further testing. Until then, Happy New Year all!

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Mike Raaijmakers (theflyingdutchman) wrote :

Glenn, I tested your Left monitor icons suggestion and you are right.
When I move my primary monitor to the left position (In System settings - Display), my disappearing icon problem is gone.
Even after a reboot I do not have to use your F5 trick to get the icons back because they are still there after a reboot even if I have my second screen on.

Glenn, I might have some advice that might help or at least get you closer to the solution:
My video card is onboard my mainboard so I do not have an added video card.
It has 3 outputs:
1) An old stile analog 15-pin DE-15 connector
2) A DVI connector
3) A HDMI connector
My LG 55” TV and my primary LG 34” Ultra Wide-screen both have HDMI connections.
Therefor I used a DVI-to-HDMI converter on my DVI port.
I found that my DVI output was the first detected hardware and de HDMI output was the second.
Therefor I switched both HDMI connections on my computer as my primary LG 34” Ultra Wide-screen was on the second detected HDMI port at first.

Glenn, find out what video output port is the first detected hardware, which one is the second and which one is the third.
Put your primary monitor on the first detected port.
My guess is that if you do that and make sure that in System settings - Display your primary monitor is the left one that your icons will still be there after a reboot.

Glenn, hope this is the missing peace that you where looking for and I would like to thank you for providing me with the missing peace of information that I was looking for.
Because of your added information I now know that it never was an resolution related problem.
To me the problem now seems to have 2 variables:
1) Is the primary monitor the positioned as the left one in System settings - Display
2) Is the primary monitor on the first detected hardware port
   You can see that in in System settings - Display.
   My primary monitor is on HDMI1 and my secondary is on HDMI2.

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Mike Raaijmakers (theflyingdutchman) wrote :
Download full text (3.3 KiB)

Because of the pretty lengthy discussion and so scattering of the multiple bugs/flaws we have found , I have made a sum up of what have we found until now.
I hope this makes picking up the bugs easier for whoever will be tasked with solving these issues.

1) Showing the icons on the primary screen only works if your primary screen is positioned as the left screen in System settings - Display.
This appears to be a underestimated problem that shows up when your Primary screen is physically positioned at the right and you adjust the position accordingly in “System settings – Display”.
This is a software problem and not a driver problem so it should be related to all multi monitor setups!
This should be solved as a separate bug.
2) "Show desktop icons on all monitors" is a much misunderstood function and part of that is because it does not work correctly because after a reboot the icons on the second monitor do not show after a reboot when set to "Show desktop icons on all monitors".
If you switch from "Show desktop icons on all monitors" to "Show desktop icons on primary monitor only” and back again to "Show desktop icons on all monitors" the icons appear again.
This is an error in the functionality and the cause of this bug.
If your primary monitor is positioned as the right monitor in “System settings – Display” you then get the missing icons problem.
This should be solved as the primary monitor is not always the left one.
In my case my secondary display is a 55” TV and is placed at the left and so my primary monitor is placed at the right.
Physically moving the TV to the right is not an option in my case but you do want the monitor position in “System settings – Display” to reflect the physical position of your setup so your mouse movement is logical.
3) Then there is a third problem that is influencing your Multi monitor experience.
The sequence in the hardware detection of your video output ports is influencing the icons on your desktop. At this moment for multi monitor setups to work well, the primary monitor should be positioned as the left screen in “System settings – Display” and should be on the first detected display port.
Only then the desktop icons show directly after a reboot or a log off and log on action.
4) The snap to grid of the desktop icons doesn’t work well.
The icons do not snap to the closest position but snap to the NEXT closest position.
The snap to grid appears to work from top to bottom and from left to right.
That means that when you try to position an icon at the bottom of the screen but position it just to low or just a bit to far to the right, then the icon will move to the next column at the top of the screen.
If this is a bug or not can be argued but it is at least undesirable behavior.
5) What is a bug in my eyes however is that there seem to be 3 or 4 vertical grid lines per icon height.
This seems to be hard coded and my advice should be to make horizontal and vertical grid lines adjustable from the System settings screen in 1 to 2 times the icon height. This way you can adjust the space between icons to prevent text overlap with longer icon descriptions and adjusting the space between icons when changing th...


Revision history for this message
Glenn Sciortino (glsciortino) wrote :

@Mike thanks for drawing a complete list of the issues. It seems that at least we are getting somewhere, and this thread should serve any Linux Mint developer well when attempting a fix.

First of all I would like to point out that I have a discrete NVIDIA Graphics card (GTX 760). I am currently using the proprietry NVIDIA drivers, but I agree with @Mike's point that the issue is not related to buggy drivers (at least in this case). I'm not really sure If I understood you well when you asked me what hardware is detected first. If you mean which screen detects a signal first, after a power on signal is applied to the PC, then that would be the first DVI port, the second DVI port and finally the HDMI port (in the same order they are on the card). However if the primary monitor is set to be the HDMI display (which is detected last), given that its placed on the left hand side of the Display settings, as I suggested in an earlier post, the icons do still appear. But please do correct me if this is not what you meant.

I think the real issue, is not cinnamon itself but one of its components, Nemo (the file manager). From my limited knowledge of how Linux Mint works, Nemo is responsible for loading the icons onto the desktop. In fact killing the Nemo process, removes the icons from the desktop. Opening any folder should restart Nemo, which in turn reinstates the desktop icons. The problem with our specific issue is that Nemo seems to be running fine on boot-up since we are still able to browse folder structures (which requires the use of Nemo). This leads me into thinking that the icons are in fact being loaded but maybe when the left most monitor is not the set as the primary one, they go out of bounds (if that is even possible), and F5 refreshes them to their last known positions.

This is only a hypothesis, since I don't really have in-depth knowledge of how cinnamon and its components actually work.

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Mike Raaijmakers (theflyingdutchman) wrote :

Glen, I guess I explained the hardware detection the wrong way.

What I mean to say is that Linux detects your video card by its chip.
The chip has multiple output capabilities and Linux knows which port is connected to the first chip output, which to the second and so on.
In my case I use the DVI port and the HDMI port of my video card.
Because my TV and primary Ultra wide screen both have HDMI ports I used a DVI to HDMI converter to get 2 HDMI output ports.
Now my primary Ultra wide screen is connected to the DVI port with the DVI to HDMI converter.
In Linux Mint I see that my primary Ultra wide screen is connected to HDMI1 and my TV is connected to HDMI2.
That’s why I know that my DVI port with the DVI to HDMI converter is connected to my first chip output port and the HDMI port is connected to my second chip output port.
Wow, I hope you can still follow me because that explanation has become longer than expected.

What I mean to say is that the way dual screen works in Linux is the way the hardware works and because there is so much difference in hardware, there is also much difference in how to get your multi screen setup to work the way it should.
Dual screen in Linux is clearly missing an abstraction layer.
The icons should always be shown on the primary monitor but the programmer clearly had a left to right programming in mind so the icons always show on the left monitor because that is the first one according to the programmer.
That the left monitor is the primary monitor is hardcoded and that is wrong.
Second, I noticed that the icons only come back after a reboot if they are on the screen that is connected to the port that is connected to first chip’s output.
That also appears to be hardcoded and that's error number 2.
Because there are 2 issues in 1 people get very clouded why it is not working as expected because most people are just find 1 issue.
I also was stuck on the first issue until you handed me the second one.

Glenn, your hypothesis sound plausible but maybe it is just a timing problem.
Think logically, like a computer.
1) You detect your primary monitor.
2) You put back the icons on the desktop.
3) Your second monitor is detected…
If it works like this and the icons are put back on the desktop before the second monitor is detected than you cannot place the icons back on the desktop of the second monitor as that monitor and so that part of the desktop are not present yet.
The cause could be that simple…

Glenn, I like sparring with you because you think like I do.
This is how the cause or causes of a problem get found...

Revision history for this message
Glenn Sciortino (glsciortino) wrote :

I totally agree Mike! It's in my nature to question and test stuff. I think that's the reason we all use Linux here, because it gives us the freedom to do that.

As regards to your question, my monitors are listed in this way in Linux mint 'Display' settings

Left - HDMI-0
Middle - DVI-I-1 (Primary)
Right - DVI-D-0

The below two links are a screen shot of my Display settings and also the output to an
xrandr --query command.


Regarding the reasoning you presented regarding the programmer's left to right approach, is what actually led me to testing my initial hypothesis of setting the left most monitor as the primary one, since from my programming experience that would have been the most straightforward approach.
What this shows me, is the lack of a proper testing phase in the beta stages, which in my opinion would have been vital in avoiding this issue. It's no use implementing new features, if we end up breaking others that are working. But then again, testing should be a community effort and that's why we're here.

Mike your timing problem explanation does make sense to me, but my point was that if Nemo is trying to load the icons on the primary monitor and for some reason (maybe the timing issue you mentioned) its not able to, then by that reasoning Nemo should hang and crash. However this is not the case because if Nemo does crash, simply clicking on the files icon in the taskbar should restart the Nemo process and re-instate the icons on the desktop (try killing the Nemo process and test it out). This led me to beleive that Nemo IS actually loading the Desktop icons (since it's not crashing), but the question is where? Also, the fact that sometimes the last created folder does seem to show up after a reboot, strongly suggests to me that its not skipping the desktop icon loading step when an error is encountered (by error I mean refer to your timing issue).

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Glenn Sciortino (glsciortino) wrote :

I forgot to mention that I'm really tempted to regress to Nemo 2.8.6-2 (xenial), but I'm worried it might break my system. I don't want to risk that on my main machine, since I do everything on it. However, I'm sure it would really help us narrow down the problem.

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Jan Espen Pedersen (w-j-4) wrote :

Same problem here in Mint 18.1, running dual screen, nvidia driver and Cinnamon. Was working since 17 (have upgraded ever since).
Killing nemo and then starting nemo with opening file manager solves it temporarily for me.

Revision history for this message
Glenn Sciortino (glsciortino) wrote :

@Jan, focusing on the desktop (clicking on it) and hitting the F5 key should also do the job and is maybe more convenient for the time being. However, as I've already stated in a previous posts, this is just a workaround and not an actual fix.

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Patrick Dockery (thatlhurt) wrote :

Same problem for me. I have no issues with 18.0, but on 18.1 with a dual monitor setup all desktop icons except those for mounted drives disappear after logout and logging back in. Like others, the problem does appear to be related to switching the primary display. Graphics card is an Nvidia GTX 970, however the problem can be replicated simply booting from an 18.1 live image and using software rendering.

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Mike Raaijmakers (theflyingdutchman) wrote :

I have been testing and Linux Mint 17.3 and 18.0 do not have this disappearing icon problem.
It was definitely introduced in Linux Mint 18.1.
I also noticed that in Linux Mint 17.3 and 18 switching the left and right monitors in the settings moves the desktop icons directly to the left monitor.
In Linux Mint 18.1 icons stay on the monitor they are on after the switching but after a reboot the icons are moved to the left monitor and this is a difference in behavior.
Something definitely changed there.

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mattlach (mattlach) wrote :

I - too - had this issue intermittently when booting in Mint 18. In Mint 18.1 it happens on every single boot. Very annoying.

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mattlach (mattlach) wrote :

Here's another data point to suggest high resolutions are the problem.

I have three monitors as follows:

1600x1200 (portrait) - 3840 x 2160 (landscape) - 1600x1200 (portrait)

This results in a total resolution of 6240x2160.

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Mikko (finfly) wrote :

I too have this problem on my dual monitor setup every time I boot Mint 18.1 On Mint 18 it did not happen every time, just once in a while.

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Martin Marshall (martin-mrshl) wrote :

Same here. Icons gone on every new login, very annoying.

"Workaround": Clicking once on the desktop and hitting F5 makes them reappear.

I'm using triple monitors with an combined resolution of 280 pixels wide.

andrea (thecondor)
description: updated
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Seph (fistful.of.stars) wrote :

I created a bash script as a workaround for this issue. If you set it to run at boot via "startup applications" it should seamlessly reset the desktop icons.

Hope it helps someone until this bug gets squashed.

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j spam (knowtrash2009) wrote :

Thanks for the information. This is what is still happening on my machine.
the icons on my primary monitor disappeared, also the task bar.
I got the task bar to come back.
I got the standard icons to re appear.
I though I lost the desktop icons on the primary display. The secondary display icons were there.
In Nemo, in "Desktop", all the files showed, but only the secondary displayed.
I moved the files and then they reappeared on the primary display.
Bottom line: try the various work arounds above to see what will work for you and your situation.

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Jørgen Best (jorgenbest) wrote :

I created also a workaround script. I use for this the command:
gsettings set org.nemo.desktop desktop-layout 'true::true'

Take notice of the following: if you create a new icon on the desktop it is sometimes not showing up. the behavior is random, just a few moments ago I couldn't reproduce this, and now again it is not showing up, right now. When I had this, refreshing helped showing op the new icon. I created the icons with the right mouse button, new, file, etc..

My request would be: please remove the whole functionality of disabling icons on specific monitors automatic alignment, etc.. If I want all icons left I will place them all left (or the other way around). If I want them on both sides I place them..., etc. etc. I don't need a system that blocks me to do as I like.

So this functionality creates bugs and is even if it might work right only extra code has to be executed making Linux Mint heavier and slower. Or can someone explain me what I gain with this?

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Mike Raaijmakers (theflyingdutchman) wrote :

It is really sad to see that after such a long time and many people adding to this bug that they have the same problems after updating to Mint 18.1, that no one of the Mint Bug Team has even looked at the bug.

Because of all the comments on this bug, thanks for that guys, I think it is safe to say that everyone that uses Linux Mint 18.1 has this problem if:
- They have a higher horizontal resolution as 1920 (with multi-monitor setups you can add up the horizontal resolutions of all monitors)
- Has not used the video output port that is seen by the hardware as the first video output port.

The status is still new and the bug is still not assigned.
I considered Linux Mint the most popular Linux distro out there so how come that I do not hear anything from the Linux Mint Bug Team?
We have gathered so many clues that we at least earned the right be heard.

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Mike Raaijmakers (theflyingdutchman) wrote :

This bug looks like exactly the same problem and that is not solved while it occured on Linux Mint 14:
Bug #1085714 Linux Mint 14 - Cinnamon 1.6.7 - desktop icons missing on boot

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Glenn Sciortino (glsciortino) wrote :

Hi all, this specific bug should be fixed in Cinnamon 3.4. This has been confirmed by mtwebster, one of the main contributors of the project (see below link).

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Mike Raaijmakers (theflyingdutchman) wrote :

I have seen that Cinnamon 3.4 is out and that it should have a desktop grid for rasterizing it's icons.
So I searched the internet for a way to upgrade my cinnamon 3.2.2 to 3.4 on my test Mint 18.1 box but apparently that is not yet possible unless you want to build the packages yourself.

There is a way to easily install it on Ubuntu though and so I tried that.
I installed Ubuntu 17.04 and installed cinnamon 3.4 on it (

I was really, really pleasantly surprised because it does not only have a good working grid but my dual-screen setup also worked as you might expect.
The primary display does not have to be set as the left one but it also works correctly if you set your right display as your primary display.

Furthermore, you can place icons on both displays if you make the setting that the icons can be shown on all displays of cause and after a reboot all icons will come back in the same place where they were when you shutdown you system.
Also I saw that both my screens in my dual screen setup have their own settings.
That means you can set your primary display to not automatically arrange your icons but align them to the grid but set the other display to automatically arrange the icons so they all align top left down and so on.

Now they say that cinnamon 3.4 is not a major but a bug fix release with no major changes.
I totally disagree because it solves all the bugs as far as I can tell that are mentioned in this bug and adds lots of options on top of that.

From cinnamon version 3.4 and up, cinnamon this will be the leading GUI for any Linux distribution that will be ahead of KDE, GNOME, Unity and any other one.
Cinnamon 3.4 apparently is a part of Linux Mint 18.2 so that will be one upgrade I will be looking forward to.

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Michael Webster (miketwebster) wrote :

To address the fact that no one from the dev team acknowledged this bug, part of it is the fact that I was aware of this bug for quite some time (probably before it was originally reported,) and knew it would be fixed in this new release (at the time fixing it would have been a major code change, not something we feel comfortable doing close to release dates for Mint, and the fact that it hadn't been actually reported yet, we decided not to hold up a release for it.

Another problem is that this is Launchpad. This is my own personal opinion only, but launchpad sucks for tracking bug on individual packages, particularly core packages like Nemo. I probably was tangentially aware of this bug from it popping up in my inbox, but unless I go and address something that instant, it's too easy to forget about, and extremely easy to be unable to find it again here. (Again, these are just my particular difficulties and opinions - some people love it)

For future bugs with Nemo or the desktop, the 'official' bug tracker is on Github -

For cinnamon itself (the rest of the visible desktop, panels, etc...,) it's

Every unique individual package that makes up Cinnamon, or Mint (like mint drivers, mint installer, mint update) are also on github ( will show them all) and I suggest using them in the future.

We still use Launchpad because Mint used launchpad long before github was popular, and for some people it's all they know (and for generic distribution issues I suppose it's probably more appropriate)

Github isn't perfect, but it's far better for tracking issues specific to a package, at least for this old man.

Anyhow, glad to see confirmation that this bug is resolved (though don't be surprised to find new ones for the time being while we work through our release cycle)

I'm going to mark this fixed.


Changed in linuxmint:
status: New → Fix Released
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Glenn Sciortino (glsciortino) wrote :

Hi Micahel, thanks for posting this update and for marking the thread as fixed. At least anyone with the same issue will know what to do now. That being said I would also like to extend my gratitude towards you and the whole Linux Mint team for all the hard work you put into the project.

Good day to all!

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Mike Raaijmakers (theflyingdutchman) wrote :


Thank you for your reaction and fixing it behind the scenes.

Sorry for my previous comment but it is frustrating when you see so many people adding comments that they have the same problem and you see the bug status after so much time still at new.

A one liner like, this will be fixed in Linux Mint 18.2 with Cinnamon 3.4, brings so much peace to the community.

Anyway, thanks again because now we know it will be fixed in Mint 18.2.


Mike Raaijmakers

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Michael Webster (miketwebster) wrote :

No worries - communications like this is definitely something we can improve upon.

Besides, you should hear the names we call users sometimes when we're frustrated :)

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Rafael Kitover (rafaelkitover) wrote :

I had this problem but apparently for other reasons, the way I fixed it was I added:


to Startup Applications with a 2 second delay.

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RM (ugly95) wrote :

Upgraded to Mint Cinnamon 18.2 today. Looks like the fixed worked. No issues so far.

Thanks for doing the work.

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stuchl4n3k (stuchl4n3k) wrote :

Works for me too after upgrade to Sonya. Thanks guys!

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gxpr (gxp) wrote :

This bug has returned for me on Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia.

I have a docked laptop to one external monitor. If I want my icons
to appear on my laptop (primary monitor), the ONLY working solution
is to arrange the laptop's monitor to the left and the external monitor
to the right in meny -> Display. Any other layout and my icons show up
only on the external monitor and I also loose the display menu (right click)
on my primary monitor. I tried to play around with the icon setting (i.e. show
on primary only, show on all monitors etc), but no solution there.

Any one else experiencing the same?

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ALinuxUser (buntulongername-new) wrote :

Yes, I am: no icons on boot unless and until I run nemo-desktop manually.

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teo1978 (teo8976) wrote :

Why the fuck hasn't this been reopened after 2 years that it has been known to have regressed??

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