Cinnamon Desktop Icons Where You Want Them - Wizards Corner

wizardfromoz

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INTRODUCTION

This thread stems from an enquiry elsewhere, but am detailing my solution here so that it is not lost so quickly. Also, questions may be asked and answered.

The OP asked

I am using Fedora 37 Cinnamon. I have many Icons on My Desktop. They vary from Shortcuts to Internet Sites to System Apps etc.
I have Unticked Auto-Arrange and I can Place them almost Anywhere on the Desktop that I want.
But there is One Annoying Behaviour that I can't figure out.
If I Try and Place one of my Shortcuts Say 1/2" away it will Snap to the next Position, like the width of of the Icon itself.
Some time back in another Distro I came across some Setting that would enable me to gain full precise Positioning of them.
But I just can't seem to find that setting in fedora.​

I have Fedora 37 Cinnamon, so I set about finding a solution.

PRELIMINARY

I have four (4) icons on my Desktop – being Computer, Home, Network and Trash.

Default placement of those, unless you change it, is in alphabetical order.

In the screenshot below, I show that desktop, and I have the Nemo File Manager open on Icon display, for a size comparison, and typically the desktop icons will be the same dimensions as the Nemo icons.


Vc7JKWP.png


SCREENSHOT 1 - DESKTOP BEFORE CHANGES MADE AND APPLIED

I'll close Nemo for now, and right click in a space on the desktop to get a context sensitive menu as follows.



HZv5fQM.png


SCREENSHOT 2 - DESKTOP CONTEXT MENU CHOICES

You can see from my mouse cursor that I am about to look at what is offered by "Customize", which is shown below in the popup window


aaK7erP.png


SCREENSHOT 3 - CUSTOMIZE OPTIONS POPUP WINDOW

Typically, the Auto-arrange choice is set to on, let's switch that off.


VrXFjKh.png


SCREENSHOT 4 - AUTO-ARRANGE SWITCHED TO OFF

Returning to our Desktop, I can now place my desktop icons around the desktop, but they will Snap to Grid, perhaps not exactly where we want them.

If you switch your Panel to Auto Hide, as I usually do, you can get a little further south with those bottom icons, but the choice is still limited.


zFOjvQU.png


SCREENSHOT 5 - ICONS AT LIMITS AVAILABLE NOW

Suppose, though, that I want the following:
  • To be able to place the icons almost exactly where I like them, without restriction from the Grid
  • To change the sizes of two or more of the icons so that they are easily able to be spotted
  • To change the text size under the icons to be more visible
In my next Post, I will deal with the steps to achieve these goals.

Cheers

Wizard
 


OP
wizardfromoz

wizardfromoz

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There are likely other ways of doing the following (there usually are) but for now I will detail a solution I find easy enough to use.

It makes use of dconf-editor.

dconf-editor comes installed on a number of GNU/Linux distributions, but if you do not have it, it will be in your repositories.

Since I am doing this from Fedora I used

Code:
sudo dnf install dconf-editor

For a Debian-based distro (includes Ubuntu, Linux Mint) it would be

Code:
sudo apt install dconf-editor

and for Arch or Arch-based (Manjaro, EndeavourOS and so on)

Code:
sudo pacman -S dconf-editor

Prudence would advise taking a Timeshift snapshot before installing and working with dconf-editor, only insofar as it is adding to your software, and I am a fan of Dear Prudence.

Even though it is coming from your distro's Repositories and might be considered safe, if it is going to affect something as integral as your Desktop, caution is advised.

I will break up the remainder of this Thread into readable chunks, because I had some issues with Posting multiple screenshots which may or may not have been influenced by the site software, and I lost some work.

Wizard
 
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wizardfromoz

wizardfromoz

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Open your dconf-editor for the first time and you will get a warning to be careful. Agree with that and you can choose to not have that show again, if you wish.

Your first window will present with subfolders on the left, which include

apps

com

desktop

org

and others.

Click in this sequence

org

nemo

desktop

Yes, that is Nemo, not Cinnamon, because it is the File Manager which controls these icons.

Once there, scroll down and you will see

use-dektop-grid

Slide the button at right from right to left to switch it off.

The next screenshot illustrates what it looks like before


RatxasA.png


SCREENSHOT 6 – DCONF-EDITOR, GRID ON

When you switch that off, dconf-editor will alert you that the folder content has changed.

The next screenshot illustrates what it looks like after.

EAPy63M.png


SCREENSHOT 7 – DCONF-EDITOR, GRID OFF

Click the reload button.

You can now close down dconf-editor.

When we are returned to our desktop, we will find two changes that have been generated by the previous action.

CHANGE 1

When we right click empty space in the desktop, we will find that the option

Customize

has been replaced with

Keep Aligned

and that it is checked. Uncheck that.

Returning to the desktop, we can now move our icons anywhere on the desktop (subject to a reduced minimum border proximity), and the following screenshot illustrates that.

JdJfSlA.png


SCREENSHOT 8 – AFTER, UNALIGNED AND MOVED

I have found that, depending on the Cinnamon version used, or the distro and version, or both, that switching to unaligned can cause the size of the desktop icons to increase. You may notice that yourself, or open an icon view in Nemo to compare.

If you want to reduce the desktop icons accordingly to match those of Nemo, or indeed, if you wish to enlarge one or more icons that you use frequently, for easy spotting, then that is where Change 2 comes into play.

Wizard
 
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wizardfromoz

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CHANGE 2

...came into play, also, after that dconf-editor exercise performed.

Now, if we right-click a desktop icon itself, we are presented with an option that was not there previously, namely,

Resize Icon ...

When we choose that option, a small square frame whose borders are comprised of tiny dashes will appear, and it has 4 tiny squares at the corners which provide handles to resize. We can resize smaller or larger.

Let's say that I have taken the screenshot 8 scenario and moved the Home icon to the top middle, aligned with my laptop's webcam, and the Trash icon to approximately right side halfway mark.

If I just drag the bottom right handle to resize larger, the end result will be that my Home icon is not quite aligned with the webcam. BUT (and Wizard's but usually follows closely behind him) while that dashed frame is open, I can still grab the icon and move it back aligned again.

When happy with the result, click in empty desktop and the changes are saved. See below screenshot.

rz1Aqwo.png


SCREENSHOT 9 - SOME ICONS ENLARGED

Note that the text below icons has not changed in size. If you want to make that larger, go to System-Settings - Appearance - Font Selection and have a play around there.

In my final Post I will just summarise a few points, and briefly mention other DEs.
 
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wizardfromoz

wizardfromoz

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CINNAMON ENVIRONMENT AND DISTROS TESTED

Version of Cinnamon Desktop which ships with Fedora 37 is 5.4.2 and at time of writing, which was 17th February 2023, update to 5.6.1 was available (since installed).

On Linux Mint ‘Vera’ Cinnamon, version currently 5.6.7

On Spiral Linux Cinnamon (Bullseye) only 4.8.6 but works.

Garuda Cinnamon is v5.6.7 works fine.

Arcolinux Cinnamon ditto – already has dconf-editor installed.

Gecko Cinnamon ditto – already has dconf-editor installed.

Manjaro Cinnamon ditto – already has dconf-editor installed.

Calculate (based on Gentoo) – v.5.6.5 of Cinnamon, already has dconf-editor installed.


OTHER DEs

MATE
- already has the above functionality, and a little more. You can right click the desktop and turn off

Keep Aligned

and that also turns off the grid.

You can right click an icon and resize it, and that also has one other option

Rename - so with Network and Computer, which have longer names if you feel a need to resize the text below icon, you can rename at the same time to something meaningful but shorter to accommodate the larger text without sacrificing position.

In my stable, I also have the following DEs:

GNOME
LXDE
LxQT
XFCE and
KDE

So if you have an interest in getting the same effect with them as with Cinnamon and MATE and cannot work it out yourself, just say so here, and we can take a look.

Friday here in Oz so enjoy your Linux and

Avagudweegend

Wizard
 
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