I have a folder in my Dropbox and I want to add a shortcut of that folder on my Desktop. I guess this should be extremely easy as in Windows OS :) However, I have no idea how to do it in Ubuntu 14.04.

Is there anything I can do to create a simple folder shortcut on my desktop?

  • 4
    You have two option to create shortcut. First right click on folder and hit make link .You can use terminal sudo ln -s (folder path) (where you want to create shortcut)
    – sohel4r
    Jun 21 '14 at 18:51
  • thanks a lot @sohel4r. I'll probably use the "make link" option
    – Jim Blum
    Jun 21 '14 at 18:52
  • 5
    @sohel4r Why use sudo for a simple link? Also, another option would be to press Ctrl+Shift and drag the folder to the Desktop.
    – muru
    Jun 22 '14 at 8:55
  • @muru Well You install apache then you want to link www folder .So What will you use .Think you want to make a link but you have't global permission of that folder .how will you make a link.I am know very poor in Linux.If i am wrong then teach me .
    – sohel4r
    Jun 22 '14 at 17:10
  • 4
    @sohel4r Well, he's not making a link in a root-owned folder, but to his own Desktop. Use sudo when you absolutely have to, not when you feel like it. As a sysadmin, I frequently get emails about users who try to use sudo when it is absolutely unnecessary, like the case you made just now. The right way to go about accessing folders of servers (like /var/www/ is to add yourself to the server's group (www-data, in this case), and make the folder group-writable.
    – muru
    Jun 22 '14 at 17:17

it simple: just press Ctrl + Shift and drag.

  • 3
    A little short, but definitely an answer imho. Oct 30 '15 at 17:01
  • This worked for me in two cases 1) creating a link to a separate internal hard drive (not the system disk) where Make Link was grayed-out, 2) For a directory on NAS storage where the Make Link gave an error, "This target doesn't support symbolic links".
    – klequis
    May 18 '16 at 21:19
  • 3
    This is the answer. The other answers either resort to CLI or don't work. A short answer is fine.
    – Thufir
    Aug 2 '16 at 9:20
  • 3
    – co9olguy
    Feb 8 '17 at 15:18
  • 1
    @PhilipRego well that's what I mean, it works for me on Desktop just fine - well creating the link there - do you mean within the Desktop itself?
    – jave.web
    Aug 12 '20 at 10:10

Click on that folder, click on make link, then move the shortcut to Desktop.

  • 1
    But when we click on that folder from desktop, there is no UP folder,back < takes to home/desktop/ folder
    – diEcho
    Oct 2 '14 at 5:26
  • 1
    Some of files, to which you don't have root privileges, won't work.
    – HelpNeeder
    Nov 29 '14 at 9:25
  • 2
    There's no make link option in Ubuntu 18 Sep 22 '19 at 12:53

You can read full details here

man ln

ln -s /usr/bin/bar /opt/foo

also see this link Create a soft or symbolic link

  • 1
    That's wrong. That's only for files. You give no explanation and link to a different question. And why would you create a shortcut with a different name than the folder. Sep 22 '19 at 13:03
  • For Ubuntu 20.04 it works flawless. I used it to create a link in Desktop of an regular User; this link points to a NAS drive folder. It displays the Folder, Name and the North-East purple arrow, in my regular Ubuntu theme. Of course I had to set permissions first. May 29 at 15:09
  • thanks. this let me create a shortcut of a folder on linux.
    – suhailvs
    Oct 31 at 2:45

Apparently this is handled correctly from the GUI :-) (14.04 LTS)
(Move to Trash, Empty Trash)

But generally: When you have a link to a directory, be VERY sure to delete ONLY the link should/when you come to that point.

From terminal, the correct thing to do is:




... which will first delete the files/dirs that the link MAKES VISIBLE,
and even more so with the "-f" flag.

If you are a "Terminal" user, have a look on the output of

ln --help

... that ls lover case of LN nothing else ;-)

The syntax for it may seem a tad "backwards" at first as you FIRST specify where it should point, then the name of your LINK.

cd $HOME/Desktop
mkdir -p $HOME/z
ln -s $HOME/z New-Link-To-Home-z

... note that the GUI will not notice the new Desktop content without help; you need to logout+login.

More info on the 'net or slightly terse in either of

man ln
info ln

... where I personally prefer the first because 'info' has a tendency to 'slip out of context'.


I wasn't able to file a reliable solution from the other provided answers. As such, I'm sharing my preferred approach to creating a desktop shortcut.

Desktop shortcuts can be added by creating a file with the .desktop extension in the ~/Desktop/ folder using any text editor. The .desktop file we create shall launch the folder viewer app xdg-open at the location specified by [folder-path].

Though it's not necessary, it is of course sensible to name the file similarly to the folder name.

The following information should be written to ~/Desktop/[file-name].desktop:

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=xdg-open [folder-path]

Replacing [folder-name] with the name of the folder and [folder-path] with the location of the folder.

Please Note: If the location or name of the folder changes then the .desktop entry will require to be edited.

Once the file has been created it shall appear on the desktop. Right click it and click Allow Launching to activate the .desktop file as an application.

You can replace [icon-path] with an image of your choice; Default Ubuntu icons are located at: /usr/share/icons/.

Examples of default Ubuntu folder icons include (but are not limited to):

  • /usr/share/icons/Yaru/48x48/places/folder.png
  • /usr/share/icons/Humanity/places/48/folder.svg
  • /usr/share/icons/HighContrast/48x48/folder.png

For more information on the Desktop Entry Specification please see: https://developer.gnome.org/desktop-entry-spec/

Note that as our file is launching xdg-open it is proper to use the .desktop extension, rather than the .directory extension.


Sorry I'm so late to the conversation but if you are trying to navigate to a folder or run any common command with ease you want to create aliases. First you need to open the alias editor.

sudo nano -Bu ~/.bashrc

go all the way to the bottom of the opened document and add the following

#My aliases
alias aliasname='command you want issued here'

in my editor I added these 2 lines to make it easier to access and edit my aliases.

alias makealias='sudo nano -Bu ~/.bashrc'
alias refreshalias='. ~/.bashrc'

after your aliases have been created issue the refreshalias command I made

. ~/.bashrc

now test your alias by entering your keyword and see if it creates correctly.

Something that surprised me the first time I did this was the fact that 3 common file directory tools taught to me in school ll, la, and l were all aliases of ls extentions in this same tool.

alias ll='ls -alF'
alias la='ls -A'
alias l='ls -CF'

as a note to me I also created an aliaslist.txt file on my home with every alias I made with a description after it. Have fun building aliases hope they help you as much as they help me.

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