Removing Mounted Drives from the Gnome Desktop

June 4, 2009

One of the things I found annoying with Gnome is that any time I access one of my Fat32/NTFS partitions it ends up placing an icon on the desktop until I reboot. Since I do most of my programming in a transparent shell I like to keep my desktop clean.  After doing a bit of research I found a solution:

Hit Alt+F2 and run gconf-editor
Go to Apps -> Nautilus -> Desktop
Remove the check mark from volumes_visible

You’ll notice that the Configuration Editor (gconf-editor) is similar to Window’s Registry Editor.  With that being said, use the same amount of caution you’d use when editing your Window’s Registry.

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  1. For the people to lazy to click:
    `gconftool-2 -t boolean -s /apps/nautilus/desktop/volumes_visible 0`
    does the same thing. “-t boolean” gives the type of the entry, “-s” means that you wanna set the value.

  2. Gconf doesn’t store system settings like the registry, though. Worst that will happen if .gconf is deleted is you lose preferences, which are (typically) easy to fix.

  3. Except for all the useful preferences, which are only exposed through gconf, because the Gnome developers decided that giving users choices in the UI isn’t “user friendly.” Those settings will be a pain to go through and fix.

  4. Most of those ‘useful’ preferences are ones users don’t care about 95% of the time, we have gconf-editor for the other 5%.

  5. This is one of those things about gnome that really bugs me. It has a UI to add wallpapers to file browsers but doesn’t have one for something as basic as this. Their idea of simplifying things is really inconsistent.

    Disclaimer: not to say gnome sucks, I like it quite a lot but it seems that its a problem that is easily fixed but they refuse to do it.

  6. Except their standards are very inconsistent. For instance you can change the wallpaper of your file browser — seriously how many people do that compared to things like this (disabling having drives being spammed to the desktop).

  7. I’ll agree 4.1 and 4.0 were utter utter garbage (still better than Gnome, but that’s not the point here). Try out 4.2, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. 🙂

  8. I’ll agree that some options should be exposed in preference dialogs instead of being hidden away in gconf, but most of them don’t need to be exposed.

  9. #!/bin/bash
    # VALUE takes up the rest of the line, i.e. can contain spaces.
    while read TYPE KEY VALUE; do
    if [ “$KEY” != “” -a “$TYPE” != “” ]; then
    echo “$KEY = “$VALUE” ($TYPE)”
    if ! gconftool-2 –type $TYPE –set $KEY “$VALUE”; then
    exit 1
    done << EOF

    bool /apps/gnome-terminal/global/confirm_window_close false
    string /apps/gnome-terminal/global/default_profile Default
    string /apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/background_color #000000
    bool /apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/default_show_menubar false
    string /apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/font Liberation Mono 9
    string /apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/foreground_color #FFFFFF
    int /apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/scrollback_lines 10000
    bool /apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/scroll_on_keystroke true
    bool /apps/gnome-terminal/profiles/Default/scroll_on_output false

    bool /apps/nautilus/preferences/always_use_browser true
    string /apps/nautilus/preferences/default_folder_viewer list_view
    bool /apps/nautilus/sidebar_panels/tree/show_only_directories true


    …and on and on the list goes…

  10. I’m just happy when the gnome developer gods condescend to us enough to add gconf editor options for these types of configuration options. I’ve been trying to get them to add an option to remove the idiotic close buttons on gnome-terminal tabs for several years now, but they just keep coming up with more and more elabourate “fixes” or excuses why it should or shouldn’t be done. Thank the open source gods though that I can apply a two line patch to the source every time there’s an update, but this is obviously more than the vast majority of users can accomplish.

  11. Heh, I know the feeling. I accidentally close my tabs all the time via hot keys. One of the first things I do when I have a fresh install is remove half the hot keys.

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