Open Source

How do I... Create desktop icons in KDE and GNOME?

Average users might not have the slightest idea where to begin here

This gallery is also available as an entry in the TechRepublic How do I... blog and as a TechRepublic download.

One would think the creation of icons on a desktop would be a simple matter of dragging and dropping or have the icon created upon installation of a program. That's all fine and good but what about a program that was installed during the operating system installation (remember, Linuxinstalls thousands of applications at install)? I have many applications that I use on a daily basis that are installed by default but have no desktop icon. Instead of having to scour the menu hierarchy I would much rather click an icon and have that program launch.

One such program that I use on a daily (almost hourly) basis is a terminal. But for some reason the creators of the major Linux desktops do not, by default, have a desktop icon or task bar launcher set up for a terminal. Why this is I will never know. But never fear; we can set those up fairly quickly in both KDE and GNOME.

KDE
Let's start with a clean desktop. This screenshot shows the default KDE (version 3.5.8) desktop. There's nothing there.

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.