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This isn't really a big deal or anything, I was just curios if it was possible to make an alias/shortcut for apps and move them to the desktop for easy access? I know you can pin them to the launcher, but I didn't know whether or not you could place them directly to the desktop. I like to keep my Ubuntu and my OSX extra organized so there's not a lot of stuff I keep on the desktop, but some stuff I just like easy access to. Thanks!

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes you can, by creating a .desktop file in your desktop folder. These are simple text files, with a predefined format.

So for example you want to create a desktop icon for gedit. You open up a text editor (e.g. gedit - how ironic :)), and put this text in it:

Writing a <code>.desktop</code> file

Now the only thing remaining is making the file executable. This is very simple, just right click on the file, select Properties, and tick the Execute flag:

enter image description here

By the way, the .desktop file specification can be read at [Freedesktop.org].(http://standards.freedesktop.org/desktop-entry-spec/latest/).

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Please accept my answer if it helped :) –  meskobalazs Jul 26 '13 at 18:06

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