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how do I create a URL link on the desktop? On Lucid one could create a URL by right clicking the desktop anywhere and a menu would appear that allowed the creation of a launchpad location (a URL) and once created when clicked it would launch the desired web location. How is this accomplished in Oneiric Ocelot?

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My question is "why does Ubuntu not allow me to drag a URL on the the desktop with my mouse like Windows will allow me to do?". – djangofan Jul 24 '13 at 19:35

The old GUI dialog is still available if you still want to use this:

Using ALT+F2 type

gnome-desktop-item-edit --create-new ~/Desktop

This will launch the old GUI Dialog and you can create a shortcut on your Desktop:

enter image description here


gnome-desktop-item-edit is installed automatically if you have installed gnome-shell/gnome-fallback. It is also installed automatically if you have previously installed gnome-tweak-tool.

Alternatively, you can install the old gnome-panel without much of the bulk:

sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends gnome-panel

Linked Question:

  1. How can I create launchers on my desktop?
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As I won't remember the command the next time, weeks ahead, I created an icon in the desktop for creating launchers ("direct access" in Windows parlance).
Somehow it replaces the missing contextual menu option.

The file name is ~/Desktop/makeLauncher.desktop`
The file content is:

[Desktop Entry]
Name[en_US]=make launcher
Exec=/home/<your user>/bin/createLauncher  <== replace here
Comment[en_US]=GUI for creating launchers
Name=make launcher
Comment=GUI for creating launchers

The executable is another small file named: /home/<your user>/bin/createLauncher

#! /bin/sh

gnome-desktop-item-edit ~/Desktop/ --create-new

Don't forget to chmod this last file to make it executable.
This displays an icon with a foot-print. Double-clicking it opens the launcher creation dialog.

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You can open the URL in Firefox and then drag and drop the handle at the left side of the location bar to the desktop. Here's a video (attention: loud music):

To drag and drop, you move the mouse pointer to the handle (at the left side of the location bar, as seen in the video), then click and hold the first mouse button (the one where your index finger is) and move the mouse pointer to your desktop while still holding the same mouse button. Once the pointer has reached a place on your desktop where neither Firefox nor any other program is visible, you can release the mouse button, i.e. lift your index finger a bit. During that whole operation, do not press any key on your keyboard.

It works in Oneiric with Unity-2D, Natty with Unity-3D, and probably everywhere else, too.

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I disagree. Dragging from Firefox to desktop does not work in Ubuntu 13.04 . If I am incorrect, then to do it is a non-standard method (on the mouse) that I have not yet discovered, despite the video link you provide. – djangofan Jul 24 '13 at 19:32
I'm still running Ubuntu 12.04, but I tried it in a VM running 13.04 with Unity, and it still works the same. – elmicha Jul 25 '13 at 20:22
Neither you nor the video reveals what key/mouse combination will do that. – djangofan Jul 28 '13 at 18:40
I edited the answer and tried to explain the concept of drag and drop, although I have the suspicion you already knew that. If it still doesn't work for you, maybe you want to report a bug - look there how to do that. – elmicha Jul 29 '13 at 19:45

i tried the assorted drag and drop suggestions. it seemed to work on some web sites but i discovered that i didn't have a link, i had a copy of the web page. on other sites i would have an icon but it wouldn't work until i had gone thru two dropdowns and selected firefox from a list. the gnome create trick above works with some modification. you don't change the type to location, leave it as application. it will have a command box where you type "firefox web site name" (substitute the url of the web page you want complete with the http and : and //). for info i'm running 12.04 ( i don't remember the cutsey name).


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