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Let's say that, for example, I want to have Firefox on my desktop. Due to this bug, I can't just search for Firefox in the Dash and drag it onto my desktop. The proposed solution was to simply copy/paste the file. However, I just can't figure out how to do that.

I can search "Firefox" in the Dash and see the "Firefox Web Browser" application. However, when I right click it, it just opens a little dialog with an "uninstall" and "launch" option. I see no way to actually find out where the file is in order to copy and paste it to my desktop.

How can I find the path of an item (or open the item's location) that was found by searching the Dash?

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I can tell you where it is, not necessarily how to find it from the dash though.. Take a look in /usr/share/applications. It should be a .desktop file. Probably firefox.desktop. But then I must ask, why do you want desktop icons? Those are so Windows :P –  Seth May 25 at 3:23
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Directly from the dash you can't, in fact there's no call in place that allows you to do this. GNOME 3 doesn't either. So, where are these values stored? They are normally called "application.desktop" so to copy these to the desktop you only need:

➜  ~  locate gparted.desktop ## Find where it's
/usr/share/app-install/desktop/gparted.desktop
/usr/share/applications/gparted.desktop # This is the default path for installed applications 
➜  ~  cp /usr/share/applications/gparted.desktop ~/Desktop # Done

This will make a copy on the desktop of the .desktop file, and should be interpreted as a "shortcut" to the program.

More about this in the specification page for .desktop files: http://standards.freedesktop.org/desktop-entry-spec/latest/ape.html

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Did some searching and came to the conclusion that this is, in fact, a bug in Unity and has been acknowledged by the Ubuntu developers - however, it doesn't seem as if anyone is currently working on it. Read more here.

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