Just wondering how do I add desktop shortcuts in Ubuntu. I know I cannot right click and add (like Windows or Linux Mint).

Thanks in advance


3 Answers 3


Answer could be found here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UnityLaunchersAndDesktopFiles

Open your favourite text editor, like Gedit or nano, and type in (copy and paste):

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=This is my comment

Ofcourse, edit the entries to match your program.


"Make Link" is what you are looking for. Right-click on file/folder from nautilus and click on 'Make Link'. Which will creates symbolic links then you can move link to desktop.


enter image description here

Thunar file-manager has inbuilt such facilities:-

To install thunar type following command: (make sure enable main repository and sudo apt-get update):

sudo apt-get install thunar

enter image description here

Using command-line(terminal):

You can create symbolic link using ln command as follows:

ln -s "<Source>" "<Target>"


ln -s /media/pandya/Ext4/14.04_Trusty-Tahr/Pkgs  ~/Desktop

where /media/pandya/Ext4/14.04_Trusty-Tahr/Pkgs is source and ~/Desktop is target

Visit man ls for more details.

For creating launcher install sudo apt-get install gnome-panel and refer to: This Q/A.


Go to the folder /usr/share/applications and find the program you want. Then right click on it and copy. Now go to your home folder and open up the folder Desktop. Right click and then select paste.

  • Oh my, that was quick. Thanks so much!!!!! Have a good day Aug 13, 2014 at 12:06
  • 1
    This is not really a desktop shortcut. This will be another instance of the program. Aug 13, 2014 at 12:11
  • @DanJohansen Just for the record; your comment is totally incorrect. Files in /usr/share/applications are .desktop files. They won't work however as a starter on your desktop unless they are made executable (most of them are not in /usr/share/applications) Aug 13, 2014 at 21:40
  • @JacobVlijm ah sorry. Got it confused with the regular applications folder. :) Aug 18, 2014 at 6:17

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.