Missing desktop icons and background on Manjaro with XFCE 4.14

After 5.8.18-1-MANJARO computer restart (ticked to save session) i am missing the desktop background and the icons. The menu bar is there.

I have tried to restart XFCE (4.14) as described here, but not helped. Also tried to change desktop background and check appearance/desktop setting windows, but found nothing related which would make it appearfix it.
Quickly browsed dmesg output, see nothing related.

Here are journalctl lines that i have found to be interesting and maybe related to desktop (password is “a”)

Not generating service for XDG autostart …

xfce-pbw.sh:7: Assignment outside of section. Ignoring.

[system] Activation via systemd failed for unit ‘dbus-org.freedesktop.home1.service’: Unit dbus-org.freedesktop.home1.service not found.

reboot not helps

two weeks later, after updates (pacman -Syu) and reboots, still no icons on desktop, just black screen

@postcd maybe too late, but i guess thunar have to be installed and running for icons and background on the desktop.

I wouldn’t worry about those 3 messages. I have all 3 too. They are just informational (i.e., -p6). One is systemd trying to convert autostart files into services (i.e, Bug 17305).

Another is the autostart of the script xfce-pbw.sh. It appears to have been created to solve an issue. I disabled it because for me it was causing problems. You might consider going to Settings > Session and Startup > Application Autostart and unchecking “XFCE-Panel Workaround”.

The last message is just telling us that a particular service is not implemented (I don’t plan on ever using it.).

Sometimes it helps to limit messages by severity or priority, like

journalctl -b 0 -p 0…3

I don’t have the solution, but I have some suggestions that you could checkout:

  1. Are there any recent core dumps: coredumpctl

  2. What is the output of the command: pgrep -c xfdesktop
    If 1, okay
    If 0, execute: xfdesktop
    Or just try: xfdesktop --reload
    NOTE: There is local help for xfdesktop: man xfdesktop or xfdesktop --help

  3. Consider removing xfce-pbw.sh from autostart.

  4. Clear xfce session cache at $HOME/.cache/sessions/ and logoff/on

  5. Google search of this forum, the archived forum, plus archlinux and xfce, with search arguments:

    xfce desktop "missing icons" -kde site:forum.manjaro.org OR site:archived.forum.manjaro.org OR site:forum.xfce.org OR site:bbs.archlinux.org

interesting, the desktop was working, and this command returned 1, but after computer reset (i had to as zfs was not responding) desktop again not works and this returned 0. So i execured “xfdesktop” and while it was not returning to prompt, i did Ctrl+C to get into prompt, desktop works, but question is why not on startup automatically.

I was checking dmesg, journalctl -a and /var/log contents for xf, xfd and found nothing interesting related.

Consider removing xfce-pbw.sh from autostart. (Start > Settings > Session and Startup > Application Autostart and unchecking “XFCE-Panel Workaround”)

just did this, lets see what will happen… EDIT: no, that not helped, after reboot desktop icons not reacting

Clear xfce session cache at $HOME/.cache/sessions/ and logoff/on

i think you mean removing or renaming xfce4-session-* files, so i removed the two (gzip .cache/sessions/xfce4*) and did xfdesktop --reload . and i will report if there are any news…

No, after computer reset, issue remains.
xfdesktop version 4.14.3, running on Xfce 4.14.

I like more the Linux, but i had less unsolved issues on Microsoft Windows 10 than i have on Linux Manjaro and on MX Linux.

UPDATE: later, after a few updates & restarts i no longer have issue with missing or non-clickable desktop icons. Obviously do not know what was the problem.

What’s the output of:

inxi -Fazy

Just confirming, the desktop and icons on the desktop are missing but, the panel (I think you called this the “menu bar”) and Whisker menu are there?

Can you change the desktop background. Run the command from the command line, rather than from System Settings, to see if there are any errors written to the console.


As soon as you execute the above, execute:

find ~ -newermt '1 minute ago'   # change time as needed

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