Other icons on the desktop can be shortcuts to files, folders,
and application launchers. To open a folder or launch an
application, double-click on its icon.
Figure 2-5. The Graphical Desktop
2.2.1. Adding Application Launchers
Some users prefer to access favorite applications directly
from the Desktop, rather than
hunting through menus. To do this, you must create an
application launcher. There are several ways to go about this:
Applications can be dragged and dropped from the Main
Menu onto the destop.
Applications can be dragged and dropped from the Panel
to the desktop.
Application launchers can be created manually.
Creating a launcher manually can be tricky. In most cases, it
is best to drag and drop an application from the
Applications or the
Figure 2-6. Launcher window with gedit information
To manually create an application launcher:
First, you must know the name of the application for which
you are creating a launcher. For the purpose of this
example, assume the application is
Next, locate the application. Use the which
command from a shell prompt to locate the executable file
for the application. Refer to
Section 4.7.3 Which, whereis, whatis for more information on
the which command.
Right-click on a blank area of the desktop and choose
When the dialog opens, fill in the following
Name: Enter a name for the
launcher. For this example, a good name would be
Generic Name: (Optional) Enter
the type of program. For this example, "Text
Editor" is appropriate.
Comment: (Optional) Enter a short
piece of information about the launcher - this text
is displayed when your mouse hovers over the icon on
your desktop. For this example, use "This is my
favorite text editor!"
Command: Enter the results of the
which command (ex:
Type: Choose the type of launcher
to create. Choose Application in
Icon: Click on the No
Icon button to choose the icon for your
launcher. You can either pick one of the icons it
suggests, or browse the
directory to select another. Click the
OK button to save your
This places the launcher on your desktop. Double-clicking
the new icon launches the application.
2.2.2. Adding File Links
To place a link to a file or directory on the desktop:
Open User's Home and navigate to
the appropriate directory.
Right-click on the icon of the file or directory and
select Make Link. This creates a new
icon with the phrase "link to ..." in its name.
Drag and drop this new icon to the desktop. If you
were to drag and drop the actual file or directory, you
would move it from its current location to the