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How to Create Desktop Icons with Ubuntu MATE 17.04

Updated: 21-Jul-2017

Create Application Icons From the Menus

Ubuntu MATE makes it very easy to add icons, also referred to as shortcuts or launchers, to your most frequently used application to your computer's desktop. We'll show you how to add the word processor icon to your desktop. The process is exactly the same for any application that appears in the Ubuntu MATE menus.

Create a desktop app from the menus.

These are the steps to follow:

  1. Locate the application in the menu. For the word processor application, select Applications > Office.
  2. Now locate, but do not click on the LibreOffice Writer icon.
  3. Right-click on LibreOffice Writer.
  4. From the context menu that appears select Add this launcher to desktop.
  5. Note that the same context menu lets you add the icon to add the application launcher as a shortcut icon into the top panel! It would appear right next to the Firefox icon.

The finished launcher will appear on your desktop as shown below. You can move it around and place it anywhere on the desktop you prefer.

The created application icon.

Create System Icons Using MATE Tweak

If you want to create System icons such as "Computer," "Home," "Trash," "Network," or "Mounted Volumes" (USB drives, DVD drives, etc.) then Ubuntu MATE makes that easy for you, too. You simply use the MATE Tweak application, located in Control Center to select them. The screen shot below shows your options. Ensure that the "Show Desktop Icons" setting is checked to ensure that the icons you've selected are visible on your desktop.

Using MATE Tweak to manage system icons on the desktop

For additional ways of customizing your Linux desktop, see our article on this topic. It details how to change background wallpaper, themes and desktop behavior with the Cinnamon, MATE and KDE desktops.

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