I am not able to see icons on my desktop even when I have minimized all my windows. Also I am unable to right-click on my desktop. I have installed Ubuntu 11.10 on my Vaio Laptop. I am using Unity 3D.
If you wish to adjust the setting without having to install gnome-tweak-tool & gnome-shell, ect. then in a terminal
Or in dconf-editor (requires installing dconf-tools) just follow above path - org > gnome > desktop > background, enable "show-desktop-icons"
Start it with Unity-Dash search "Advanced Settings" or type in command line:
Then check the settings shown below: