Desktop program links opening as text?

Andrew Mathenge mathenge at
Mon Jun 30 23:21:57 UTC 2008

Possibly Nautilus has lost the ability to launch/show desktop items.
Check the following.

Run gconf-editor.

Expand: Apps -> Nautilus -> Preferences

Look for the item "Show Desktop."

Make sure that it's checked.


On Mon, Jun 30, 2008 at 4:20 PM, NurseGirl <thealp+ubuntu at> wrote:
> This definitely sounds like a configuration error. 7.10 and 8.04 use
> some different configuration conventions. If you're rolling back 8.04
> configuration files (i.e., those hidden files in your home directory)
> into 7.10, I'm sure that's caused the problem.
> Daniel's solution of creating a new user and moving over data files
> but not configuration files is the safest one. Make sure you don't
> erase the old users until everything's working, though!
> If you do want to poke around and see if you can figure it out, you
> probably want to check out ~/.local/share/mime but I'd definitely back
> up everything before you start playing around in there.
> Hope this helps!
> Nursegirl
> On Mon, Jun 30, 2008 at 10:12 AM, Daniel Robitaille
> <robitaille at> wrote:
>> On Mon, Jun 30, 2008 at 9:47 AM, geo <yaktur at> wrote:
>>> Yes, it's a fresh 7.10 OS install - I had to reformat the drive and I
>>> repartitioned it as well. But the home directories are saved from the
>>> previous 7.10 install.
>>> ...
>>> When I login as Root user, I just noticed....the problem doesn't occur. The
>>> Root account is on the same partition as the OS. Is this an important clue?
>> have you tried  a different account, not root or yourself, but another
>> normal user one?
>> Usually these type of problems are on a per-user basis, and the root
>> cause is problably somewhere in gnome config files in the user account
>> in his/her home directory. (the config files are in directories like
>> .gnome, .gnome2, etcin your home directory).
>> If a different account on your system doesn't have the problem, then
>> it is a strong hint that the problem is in your specific user home
>> directory, and not some sort of system-wide bug, or mysterious problem
>> a reinstall could solve.  If that's the case you can try to spend a
>> lot of time to track it down, and personally I don't even know where
>> to start to do that,  or you can start fresh with a totally new
>> account or new home directory for your account.
>>> You mentioned Nautilus? Is Nautilus responsible for the desktop behaviour? If so,
>>> is there a way to force Nautilus to remedy itself?
>>> (in the old Macintosh days when something didn't work right on the desktop you
>>>  just forced the Mac to rebuild the invisible desktop database, something you could
>>> do with a certain key sequence. Does something like this exist with Linux as well?)
>> that option doesn't exist, to my best knowledge, in either Linux, or OSX.
>> In the past, when I had problems with gnome, especially when migrating
>> between Linux version, I would clean up my home directory by starting
>> with a default one, and them moving my normal files/diredctory back
>> into that fresh home directory.  Yes there is a downside: all my
>> personalizations were lost, but I found that was easier to deal with
>> than having a half-broken configuration.
>> --
>> Daniel Robitaille
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>> ubuntu-ca mailing list
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