Method 1 : Find a GUI option.
Result : None present
So, after half an hour of grep-ing in ~ and lsof-ing, I found out that the option I need to set is probably hidden deep down into one of the huge gconf schemas.
So, I started to learn the gconftool-2 tool. Its one nasty command.
# gconftool-2 --dump / > /tmp/gconf-dump
# wc -l /tmp/gconf-dump
Crap! that huge!
So, I grep-ed for various keywords for another 15 min. Thats when I got a match.
# grep volumes /tmp/gconf-dump
(hiding other results for the purpose of sanity)
So, thats the key I have to flip. Pored over the man-page of gconftool-2 and here is the magic command:
# gconftool-2 --type bool --set /schemas/apps/nautilus/desktop/volumes_visible false
Similarly, you can also turn-off, trash_icon_visible, network_icon_visible (hides samba mounts), home_icon_visible and computer_icon_visible. and voila! A clean desktop!
You'll have to logout and login back again to see the changes. Although, I am sure there's better way. (Like to ask gconfd to reload the config). But, its 2:00am already and I need some sleep. So, I'll update this post tomorrow!