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A couple of weeks ago I decided to migrate from Windows 10 to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. I ran into two problems when placing links on the desktop. This forum supplied answers, but I am not completely happy with them.

To link to a website you drag the bookmark from Firefox to the desktop. Problem: once dropped you cannot reposition the link icon.

To link to a directory on an auto-mounted drive (Startup Applications) you make a symbolic link using the Terminal. Problem: after a reboot you end up with a broken link, probably because the auto-mount is done too late. Mounting by means of fstab works, but didn't make me completely happy.

How can you overcome these problems?

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A neater (I think) and generic solution occurred to me during a nice cup of coffee. What I really wanted with these links was open the website in Firefox and the directory in the Files manager. So why not start these with the URL or pathname as parameters.

In /usr/share/applications I already discovered starter text files for the graphical programs in Ubuntu. So I copied these to the desktop and added the parameters. That worked just fine.

For example: I now have the following (stripped to the bare minimum) starters on my desktop. Don't forget to give them Executable permissions using Properties.

#Open a directory in Files:
[Desktop Entry]
Name=Weetjes
Exec=nautilus --new-window "/media/gus/Toshiba H3TB Internal/work/Ubuntu/Weetjes"
Icon=/home/gus/Pictures/UsedIcons/folder-documents.svg
Type=Application

#Open a web-page in Firefox
[Desktop Entry]
Name=Ixquick
Exec=firefox https://www.ixquick.nl/ned/advanced-search.html?hmb=1
Type=Application
Icon=/home/gus/Pictures/UsedIcons/ixquick.png

#Start my favorite Windows-only text editor using Wine
[Desktop Entry]
Name=Notepad++
Exec=wine start /unix /home/gus/WinApps/Notepad++/Notepad++.exe
Type=Application
Icon=/home/gus/Pictures/UsedIcons/Notepad++.png
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  • Thank you for editing Zanna. It looks much better now. I found the editing instructions an will do better next time. Jun 3, 2017 at 9:09

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