locking down the desktop

Patrick Lyons jthm_98 at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 23 16:09:13 GMT 2008

is there a way to lock down the panels as well? my kids have been dragging and dropping the panels to different edges of the screen and dragging objects onto the panel. its easy enough to fix, but i would like to prevent it so i don't have to keep fixing it.



Gavin McCullagh <gmccullagh at gmail.com> wrote: Hi,

On Tue, 22 Jan 2008, btabor wrote:

> Gavin, thanks for your advice.
> How do I make the desktop read-only?

If you like commands and are logged in as the user in question:

 chmod a-w ~/Desktop

which says "CHange MODe" for all users (a), removing write (-w) privileges
on the folder called Desktop in my home directory (~).  Mode is another
word for permissions in Unix.

Alternatively, with the mouse you can 
 - click places->home folder
 - right-click on the desktop folder and choose "properties"
 - click the "permissions" tab
 - change the "owners" permissions to "access only"

The former may seem arcane, but it gets the job done and is easier to
document unambiguously.  It is possible for the users to undo this, but
maybe give it a go and see how you get on.

To go along with this, you should set firefox to save downloads to a
different folder -- otherwise it'll complain that it can't save files to
the desktop.  I'd suggest creating a "downloads" folder in the home
directory or if it's easier it could even be on the desktop.  Then, start
 - click edit->preferences
 - select the "main" icon at the top of the new window
 - under "save files to", it probably says "desktop", click browse
   and choose your dedicated downloads folder.

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