# Linux – desktop is mirroring home folder and deleting folders removes them permanently, how to restore? (ubuntu)

linuxUbuntu

I tried to make a shortcut (like Windows) to the downloads folder on my desktop, and later realized it caused the actual downloads folder to move, causing issues. In trying to fix them, I ended up with my home folder "home/cchilder/…" on my desktop. When I open Desktop, I see the stuff my desktop actually had before the issue. Of course I don't want to delete my entire computer, so I can't drag and remove all of this and do a simple restore.

When I delete something in home (~) or on the desktop, the operations mirror each other, and deleting a file from the shell deletes it from the desktop too.

I want to know

1. How could this possibly happen, and why?

2. How to restore only the real desktop contents (Desktop folder) and untie the desktop I see from the home folder

Thank you

cchilders@cody_pc:~/Desktop$ls -sFl total 100 4 -rwxr-xr-x 1 cchilders cchilders 271 Jul 18 00:32 atom.desktop* 8 -rw-rw-r-- 1 cchilders cchilders 4552 Aug 29 01:25 Attributes.docx 4 drwxrwxr-x 2 cchilders cchilders 4096 Sep 17 01:04 books/ 4 -rw-rw-r-- 1 cchilders cchilders 222 Apr 11 21:05 cook rice 4-11-15~ 4 -rw-rw-r-- 1 cchilders cchilders 195 Aug 28 01:37 DEMO~ 4 -rw-rw-r-- 1 cchilders cchilders 201 Aug 28 04:11 demos~ 4 drwxrwxr-x 4 cchilders cchilders 4096 Jun 4 18:56 django texts/ 4 drwx------ 3 cchilders cchilders 4096 Sep 17 14:13 Downloads/ 4 -rwxr-xr-x 1 cchilders cchilders 791 Apr 4 12:52 gedit.desktop* 4 -rw-rw-r-- 1 cchilders cchilders 1668 Apr 15 20:00 git-workflow-readme.md 4 -rw-rw-r-- 1 cchilders cchilders 1662 Apr 15 19:51 git-workflow-readme.md~ 8 -rwxr-xr-x 1 cchilders cchilders 4484 Apr 26 10:46 gnome-terminal.desktop* 12 -rwxr-xr-x 1 cchilders cchilders 8469 Mar 29 01:08 google-chrome.desktop* 4 drwxrwxr-x 2 cchilders cchilders 4096 Jun 16 18:01 hcc/ 4 drwxrwxr-x 3 cchilders cchilders 4096 Apr 12 18:33 Lynda/ 4 -rwxr-xr-x 1 cchilders cchilders 712 Mar 29 20:21 nautilus.desktop* 4 drwxrwxr-x 2 cchilders cchilders 4096 Jul 27 20:18 pics backup/ 8 -rw-rw-r-- 1 cchilders cchilders 4223 Jun 28 19:03 quiz 8 -rw-rw-r-- 1 cchilders cchilders 4223 Jun 28 16:51 quiz~  #### Best Answer It seems somehow the XDG_DESKTOP_DIR is pointing to your $HOME directory. If that is the case then it should be pointing to $HOME/Desktop To change this navigate to the .config directory. Ctrl+h shows hidden files/directories in the file manager. Look for a file called user-dirs.dirs, this is the file you will be editing. From this file you can set the default directories for various things like Downloads, Documents, Video, etc. look for the line XDG_DESKTOP_DIR and set it to: XDG_DESKTOP_DIR="$HOME/Desktop"


Save, exit and restart the file manager and possibly your machine.