Ubuntu Linux is a fairly nice operating system, but if you are coming from a Windows desktop environment you might be wondering why there is no computer icon or even a trash can icon on the desktop. Personally, I value my desktop space but I too like having some basic icons right there on the desktop. Let us see what we can do to get some of those icons out there on your desktop.
Trash Icon anyone?
Okay, so the trash icon is right there on the far right on the lower panel. Let’s get it off of there and put it on the desktop instead. First thing we will want to do is to get rid of it off the bottom panel. If you like it there as well, skip on down to how to add it to the desktop. For the rest of us, myself included, right click on the trash can icon and choose Remove From Panel. The trash icon is now removed from the bottom panel.
Now that we have no trash icon showing, we need to get it one on the desktop. For this, we will be using the Configuration Editor. Open the Run Application window (Alt+F2) and enter gconf-editor. Click Run.
Using the Gnome Configuration Editor
To me, the gconf-editor looks a bit like the registry editor under Windows. In the left pane, click the arrow in front of apps to drop down the hidden options. A listing of applications on your system will appear. The one we are interested in is nautilus. Click the arrow in from of nautilus to show the options there and you should see one labeled desktop. Click desktop.
In the right pane, you will see options for adding the trash can icon to the desktop. Also available are the icons for the computer, home folder and network. Placing a check mark for the icon_visible option for any of these items will place the icon on the desktop. Additionally, you can name these items anything you desire. As a side note, you can always rename the icons directly from the desktop by right clicking the item and choosing Rename…
When you are done making your choices in the Configuration Editor, close the window. That is all there is to getting those icons you have grown to love on the desktop.
What about Program Icons on the Desktop?
You might be asking, “how do I add program icons to the desktop?” This too is fairly simple and straight forward, to me at least. From the Applications menu, locate the program you wish to add an icon for to the desktop (say the OpenOffice.org Word Processor). Hover over the item and right click and choose Add this launcher to desktop. Viola! The program icon you selected should be now on your desktop. Repeat for as many programs as you desire to be on the desktop.