Friday, 22 October 2010

Apparently, my panel shadow = a desktop icon?!

So, I recently did a clean install of Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. It went really smoothly, done and dusted in less than half an hour! As it turns out, I probably didn't have to do it...

One of the main reasons I decided to do a clean install was because no matter what I did, if I had desktop effects turned on, I couldn't get a drop shadow on my panel. I know, pretty obsessive-compulsive, that just the lack of a single drop-shadow would make me reinstall, but hey. You should know by now how desperately perfectionistic I am when it comes to my desktop!

Today, I learned that I probably didn't need to do it at all.

One of the first things I noticed about my new install was that icons showed up on my desktop when I mounted external drives. Since I usually have Conky sitting on my desktop, I don't like icons because they don't play nice with the Conky window. I know there's a way to turn off desktop icons with gconf-editor, but I couldn't remember what it was, and I couldn't be bothered to look it up, so laziness prompted me to install Ubuntu Tweak. I had Ubuntu Tweak on my last install and found it really helpful, so I figured there was probably a setting in there to turn off desktop icons. And I was right; in fact, "Desktop Icons" have their own shortcut! But look what happened when I went to turn them off:

Icons on

Icons off

For some insane reason, when I turn off desktop icons, my drop shadow disappears! Which begs the question: if I had tweaked that setting in my old install, would I have got my drop shadow back? And whose bug is this? Compiz? Gnome? Ubuntu?

So for the time being, icons are "turned on," but I've unticked all the options in Ubuntu Tweak, so it effectively doesn't show anything.  How this will interact with Conky, I don't know, since I haven't updated my Conky yet.  I will keep you updated...


  1. how about trying the same via gconf-editor apps->nautilus->desktop->volumes_visible
    And - just to be sure - check out compiz window-decoration's shadow rules

  2. It was Compiz rules that befuddled me in the first place. From my Conky experience, I was pretty well-versed in the shadow rules box, but nothing I did in there made any difference!

  3. Hi londonali,

    I've followed your posts through many forums and I'm very impressed of your wallpapers, especially the red one which you use with the air clock ( I recall I saw it on gnome-look). It would be wonderful if you provide the link to download these wallpapers.

    PS: thank you a lot for the ring meter and the air clock scripts.

  4. Hi Silly Fox! Glad you like my work :) When I don't link to a wallpaper, it's usually because I don't have the source, or I downloaded it off someplace like 4scrape (which I used to do a lot when I started). Nowadays, I make a bigger effort to keep track of where I get things (in fact, I often use stock Ubuntu papers, like the one above), but many of the older ones are still unattributed :(

  5. That option is very buggy, I remember getting a high CPU usage from disabling desktop icons like that.

    Now I just don't put stuff on the desktop, that way, I can make myself to keep it clean instead of hiding it.