14.04, Gnome Flashback desktop. How to create desktop shortcut for Firefox or other applications? Preferably, without installing additional components.

  • To make a desktop icon for Firefox: 1. Left-click on the "Search your computer" Ubuntu symbol in the top left of the screen. 2. Search for Firefox. 3. Drag the Firefox icon onto the desk top. That's it! – Joe Oct 2 '17 at 15:47

use gnome-tweak-tool . find in the settings to show icons on desktop and then : A desktop shortcut is represented by a corresponding .desktop file which contains meta information of a given app (e.g., name of the app, launch command, location of icon file, etc.). Desktop shortcut files are placed in /usr/share/applications or ~/.local/share/applications. The former directory stores desktop shortcuts that are available for every user, while the latter folder contains shortcuts created for a particular user only.

Edit :

  1. Open Nautilus (file manager) Navigate to /usr/share/applications

    2.Right-click on the application you want to use and select copy

    3.Click on your desktop and select paste

    4.Right click on the icon that has just been created and select propertiesOn the Permissions tab

    5.check Execute then click Close (If u copy .desktop file to desktop..after changing permissions rename it by removing.desktop...and there u go !!)


for adding in Dash Create a Desktop Shortcut From the Command Line To manually create a desktop shortcut for a particular program or command, you can create a .desktop file using any text editor, and place it in either /usr/share/applications or ~/.local/share/applications. A typical .desktop file looks like the following.

[Desktop Entry]
Version=1.0                                     # version of an app.
Name[en_US]=yEd                                 # name of an app.
GenericName=GUI Port Scanner                    # longer name of an app.
Exec=java -jar /opt/yed-3.11.1/yed.jar          # command used to launch      an app.
Terminal=false                                  # whether an app requires      to be run in a terminal.
Icon[en_US]=/opt/yed-3.11.1/icons/yicon32.png   # location of icon file.
Type=Application                                # type.
Categories=Application;Network;Security;        # categories in which    this app should be listed.
Comment[en_US]=yEd Graph Editor                 # comment which appears as a tooltip.

Using GUI tool

in GNOME desktop, you can use gnome-desktop-item-edit to configure a desktop shortcut easily.(if not installed ..install it)

gnome-desktop-item-edit ~/.local/share/applications --create-new

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  • there is hidden firefox.desktop file in /usr/share/applicationsis: what is it purpose, can it be used? I installed gnome-tweak-tool, but there is no settings for desktop icons in this tool. – minto Oct 1 '16 at 13:48
  • Yes there is..in the left bar Desktop options..u have to choose there.i dont remember exactly where coz m not using Gnome now..and read my edit – minigeek Oct 1 '16 at 14:25
  • gnome-tweak-tool is useless. Plus it requires to reboot after install (like old Windows applications), and also it somehow affect normal Firefox interface, seems it change default font size. – minto Oct 1 '16 at 18:34
  • Why did u change font size in that...it is system tool dont change system settings just click shoe desktop icons.and follow edit part – minigeek Oct 1 '16 at 18:35

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