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Is there a way to display drive icons, like in GNOME 2.x and Cinnamon on the Unity desktop?

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Which Ubuntu version are you using? I think displaying the mounted volumes in the desktop is the default, at least on 12.04 – Salem Jun 3 '13 at 18:07
13.04 *I hate comments and their character minimums – Yet Another User Jun 3 '13 at 20:12
Thats why you should edit your question to provide additional information :-) – guntbert Jun 3 '13 at 20:39
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Install and try the Unity Tweak Tool, it has lots of options to customize your desktop.

Go into Unity-Tweak-Tool and under System>Desktop Icons, change which ones you want to enable.

enter image description here

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Try to execute in a terminal

gsettings set org.gnome.nautilus.desktop volumes-visible true

mounted volumes should now appear on the desktop.

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