No Trash? Removing Apps, Social Media Links, etc

Installed 3.9 Full Version to test for an educational environment.

The preinstalled social media applications (Twitter, Facebook, What’sAPP) and links are inappropriate, especially for students 13 and under (per those companies posted Privacy Policies and published TOS pages).

  1. Endless Support site says to drag the shortcuts and/or apps over the App Center Icon, and this will turn into Trash. This is not the case, EndlessOS just wants to create a new folder. (from:

  2. Right-click the app/shortcut -> “Show Details” opens App Center with “Sorry! There are no Details for that application.”

  3. There is no Trash icon on the desktop to be found. File Manager will not allow a user to drag an application into the window.

How is a user supposed to intuitively remove this bloat?

Please help - thank you!

Thanks for the link to parental controls, those are easy enough to find. A layer 7 mitigation for a user asking how to delete a desktop shortcut is not an acceptable solution. I am asking about how to delete pre-installed desktop shortcuts.

Can you speak to point in my initial question? Official EndlessOS docs state it is possible, can you tell me if this feature has been removed?

If you want to remove (hide) icons from all users on the system, perform the following steps:

  1. Locate the Icon in question - they are stored under /usr/share/applications
  2. Create a new directory:
sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/share/applications
  1. Copy the Application icon from (1) to this directory:
sudo cp /usr/share/applications/eos-link-youtube.desktop /usr/local/share/applications
  1. Make it hidden:
echo Hidden=true | tee -a /usr/local/share/applications/eos-link-youtube.desktop

Now the Icon is hidden for every User.

Thank you for taking the time, egrath, but that did not accomplish removing the links from the desktop. The terminal accepted those commands wonderfully, with no success.


“Endless OS is an operating system designed to fulfill the demands of underserved users in the developing world. For many of our users, Endless will be the first computer they will ever own. While developing the OS, ground research informed every choice we made in the design. Our research led us to the conclusion that extreme simplicity is key, and that mantra has become the basis of our design ethos.

Sigh. Please convince me that this whole OS isn’t anything but hot air. - OR a data-grab.

Sorry, had an typo in Step 3 (one whitespace too much). Just tested it on 3.9.4 - works as expected.

There is no such thing as a Trashcan for Desktop Icons for a few reasons: The Desktop icons are just the applications installed on the System, kinda like Android or iOS presents it’s applications to the user. All Icons shown reside in the appropriate directory as .desktop files (/usr/share/applications, ~/.local/share/application, /usr/local/share/application, /sysroot/export/flatpaks/share/applications)

Due to the architecture of Endless OS, you can’t simply remove them from the directories marked in bold above - these directories are managed by OSTree (the atomic update mechanism in EOS) and are read-only. As some “Applications” like YouTube, WhatsApp are delivered as part of the base system you need to use another way of removing them.

The way is to copy it to a writeable place and then tell the system to ignore this file (this is done by the Hidden=true line).

If you need to deploy a larger number of systems with customizations like this, i would recommend to create a script file which automates the necessary steps and run it remotely using SSH from a central management system.

Thanks, egrath. I get it. We are moving on.

This OS will not fit the children’s and district’s needs until it is made simple to protect the children’s right to privacy, and Endless’ marketed “usability and simplicity” is an actual reality.

I think you’d understand most users in this space are not comfortable in the terminal, and people that are comfortable in the terminal will be able to deploy similar solutions with far less headaches. I can see that supporting even a few deployed instances of this OS being an absolute nightmare. I’m sure you get it.

I wish Endless the best of luck in this endeavor. Thank you for trying to help us out!

Just wanted to add that the next version in development does address this specific concern - that those apps are not removable. They have chosen (wisely IMHO) to just remove those links entirely from the default.

Thanks for giving Endless a try and for providing valuable feedback!

Unfortunately the weblink functionality went through an awkward and imperfect evolution over time, and the previous way of removing those fixed links is no longer valid (we’ll fix up that outdated documentation shortly).

At this time the only way to remove them is via workarounds from the Terminal like the one described here, which is rather suboptimal, although there are some possibilities to make it a bit less awkward to deploy (e.g. using ScriptLauncher).

We’re working on improving this situation, starting with the removal of all those fixed weblinks in the next version of Endless OS. We also have our eye on making Endless OS generally more customizable and deployable through e.g. the release of the Endless OS Image Builder. If you have any suggestions on how we could better suit your environment I’d love to hear them, and I hope you will check back again in future to see if we can offer an improved fit.

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That is great news! I will certainly revisit Endless with 4.0. Thank you!

Thank you, Daniel! That sounds like great news. The current weblink implementation is like someone putting salt in your cola. I’m excited to revisit with 4.0!