I have dragged a folder from a Nautilus window to the desktop, holding Ctrl+Shift to create a shortcut (well, a symbolic link). However, when I open it from the desktop, instead of showing /home/scott/Documents/asd/folder it shows /home/scott/Desktop/folder. But sometimes I want to go up a level or two, and can only go to Desktop, not asd.

I understand that's how symbolic links work, but is there a way to create a shortcut to the target folder directly?

3 Answers 3


Right-click on Desktop (or in any folder in Nautilus), Create Launcher, set Type to Location, set the name type and type in the location (annoyingly if you click Browse it will only accept a file), click OK.

  • 1
    I can't find a "Create Launcher" option on any right-click menus?
    – 8128
    Commented Oct 25, 2010 at 18:26
  • Can I make it show a folder icon? Where would the required icon file be? Commented Oct 25, 2010 at 18:33
  • 1
    The icon should be in /usr/share/icons/your_theme/places/size (if you can, choose an .svg file). Or in ~/.icons/your_theme/... Commented Oct 25, 2010 at 18:39
  • Thanks, eventually found it! My theme is "Radiance" and the icon set is apparently "Ubuntu Mono Light", but the matching icon was in /usr/share/icons/Humanity/places/64/folder.svg. Go figure. Commented Oct 25, 2010 at 18:59
  • Icon themes can use (or "fall back to") other themes, that's what happens here.
    – JanC
    Commented Oct 25, 2010 at 20:10

Create a launcher with the command

nautilus "$path"

where $path is the folder path.

  • 1
    How do you create a launcher?
    – wjandrea
    Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 3:03

One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is with a Link-type desktop file. In your case, create a text file in ~/Desktop called e.g. folder.desktop with these contents:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Link to folder

Now when you double-click it, instead of


the file manager will open


so the parent directory will be


as you desire.

Note that the URL field is a file:// URL, so unlike symbolic links only absolute paths will work. If you find it troublesome to generate the desktop files by hand, some file managers have this feature built-in.


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