New to mate - align desktop icons?

trying out mate on ubuntu studio 18.04 and have a couple of questions.

is it true that there’s no ability to align my desktop icons to a grid so they are spaced uniformly? i haven’t found that. also, once i get the desktop organized as i like it, can i lock the icon positions? kde gave me both these functions but i want something much lighter. tried xfce but the icon handling there is terrible.


right click -> keep aligned

You cannot lock your desktop icons :disappointed: but you can lock all your items in the panel :blush:.

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@Mickey Strange you do not have Restore missing files and Open in Terminal? :confused:

@Patrice - those context menu options come from various caja-plugins (the desktop is handled by caja). So you may have different options based on which plugins are installed/enabled

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@vkareh Oh OK, now i understand.
I thought 18.04 will remove some options :ashamed:

Thanks for your answers

well… this has all been an interesting diversion but how about grid alignment and locking?

has anyone tried a gnome script called ‘happy desktop’? it purports to align icons to a user definable grid. would that work on mate?


@babag -a quick search didn’t turn out anything on that script. Do you have a link? If it’s a gnome extension it might not work. If it’s a Nautilus plugin, then maybe we can port it to caja :slight_smile:

edit: just noticed it’s in a section called ‘nautilus scripts.’

thanks for helping! here’s the link to ‘happy desktop v2’:

thanks again,

Nice! It says it’s compatible with caja! That would be great! :smile:

the alignment thing is the only thing holding me back right now from jumping in and switching to mate.


Some explanations on the why and how:

just tried the script with ubuntu studio 18.04 and mate 1.20 and just get a message box stating that ‘Only Nautilus, Nemo and Caja file managers are supported!’

same message running from either caja or nautilus. i think it may be using a deprecated tool or something. would be great if this got folded into the de so this wouldn’t happen. back to square one, i guess.

okay, just downloaded that thing - looks crazy, it’s a huge shell script that does stuff to your desktop!? I wonder if we can port this as a caja plugin instead (or just add the feature directly in caja)

that would be great. i can certainly see it being big as it seems to do a lot. i found it confusing that i put it in a nautilus directory and it would affect the desktop.