In this guide, we are going to explore how you can create a desktop icon for an executable in Ubuntu 20.04. This can be particularly useful if you frequently use a specific program and want to have quick access to it right from your desktop.
To create a desktop icon for an executable in Ubuntu 20.04, you can use either a *.desktop file or the Gnome Tweaks application. Using a *.desktop file involves making the executable file executable, creating a *.desktop file, editing the file with the necessary information, and accessing the application from the application menu. Using Gnome Tweaks requires installing the application, enabling the Desktop Icons extension, and creating a shortcut from the file manager. Both methods provide easy access to your frequently used applications from the desktop.
- Method 1: Using a *.desktop file
- Method 2: Using a Graphical Interface (Gnome)
Before we get started, ensure that you have the following:
- A working Ubuntu 20.04 system
- Terminal access
- The executable file for which you want to create a desktop icon
Method 1: Using a *.desktop file
Step 1: Make the Executable File Executable
Open a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and navigate to the directory where your executable file is located using the
cd command. Once there, you need to make sure that your file is executable. You can do this by running the following command:
chmod +x your_executable
Replace “your_executable” with the actual name of your executable file. The
chmod +x command changes the permissions of the file to make it executable.
Step 2: Create a *.desktop File
Next, we will create a new *.desktop file. This file will be responsible for launching your application. Run the following command in the terminal:
Replace “your_executable” with the name of your executable file. The
nano command opens up a text editor where you can write the contents of the file.
Step 3: Edit the *.desktop File
In the text editor, paste the following content:
[Desktop Entry] Type=Application Name=Your Application Name Exec=/path/to/your/executable Icon=/path/to/your/icon
Replace “Your Application Name” with the name you want to display for your application. Replace “/path/to/your/executable” with the full path to your executable file, and “/path/to/your/icon” with the full path to the icon you want to use for the desktop icon.
Exec parameter points to the executable file, and the
Icon parameter points to the icon file.
Press Ctrl+O to save the file, then Ctrl+X to exit the text editor.
Step 4: Access the Application
Now, you should be able to find your application in the application menu or search for it by name. Right-click on it and select “Add to Favorites” to pin it to your taskbar.
Method 2: Using a Graphical Interface (Gnome)
Step 1: Install Gnome Tweaks
If you prefer a graphical interface over using the terminal, you can use the Gnome Tweaks application. To install it, run the following command in the terminal:
sudo apt install gnome-tweaks
sudo command is used to perform operations that require administrative or root permissions. The
apt install command is used to install new software.
Step 2: Enable the Desktop Icons Extension
Open Gnome Tweaks and navigate to the “Extensions” section. Look for the “Desktop Icons” extension and make sure it is enabled. If it’s not, click on the toggle switch to enable it.
Step 3: Create a Shortcut
Open your file manager and navigate to the directory where your executable file is located. Right-click on the executable file and select “Create Shortcut”. Drag the created shortcut to your desktop.
In this guide, we’ve covered two different methods to create a desktop icon for an executable in Ubuntu 20.04. Whether you prefer using the terminal or a graphical interface, these methods should help you easily create desktop icons for your most frequently used applications. Remember to replace the placeholders in the commands with your actual file names and paths. Happy computing!
To make an executable file executable in Ubuntu, you can use the
chmod +x command followed by the name of the executable file. For example, if your executable file is named "my_program", you would run the command
chmod +x my_program in the terminal. This command changes the permissions of the file to make it executable.
A *.desktop file is a file with a .desktop extension that contains information about an application in Ubuntu. It provides details such as the application name, the path to the executable file, and the icon to be used for the application’s desktop icon. This file is used to create shortcuts and launch applications in Ubuntu.