Steps to Add Applications to the Ubuntu Desktop 23.04

Adding applications to the Ubuntu desktop can be a useful way to quickly access frequently used software. Several methods exist to achieve this, including creating custom launchers or using the “Add to Desktop” Gnome shell extension. Using both methods, this guide will walk you through the steps to add applications to the Ubuntu desktop. We’ll also cover how to install the Gnome shell extension manager and the “Add to Desktop” extension and how to use it to add applications to the desktop. Whether you’re a new Ubuntu user or a seasoned pro, this guide will help you customize your desktop and streamline your workflow.

Please note that this guide is based on the Ubuntu 23.04 LTS operating system, so some steps may vary for other versions of Ubuntu. Let’s get started!

Add Apps to Desktop in Ubuntu Via File Manager

Unlike the Windows operating system, creating a shortcut on the Ubuntu desktop through drag and drop is not straightforward. However, using the file manager, you can add an application shortcut to the Ubuntu desktop.

Here are the steps to do so:

  1. Click the “Show Applications” button on the Ubuntu dock. In the search field, type “Files” and select the “Files” icon from the search results.
  1. Once the File Manager is open, look at the left-hand pane and click “Other Locations” among the options.
  1. Then, navigate to the following location.
Computer > usr > share > applications
  1. Next, you can right-click on the name of the desired application you intend to include on your Ubuntu desktop. Then, choose the “Copy to…” option from the available menu.
  1. To choose the “Home” option in the Ubuntu file manager, navigate to the left pane of the interface.
  1. Next, click “Desktop” using your left mouse button, and then select the green “Select” button at the top right corner of the file manager.
  1. As a result, the shortcut for the application should now appear on your Ubuntu desktop, but it may not be functional yet. To make it functional, you need to right-click on the shortcut icon on your desktop and choose “Allow Launching” from the context menu.

Send Applications to Desktop in Ubuntu Using a Gnome Shell Extension

It’s worth noting that a convenient Gnome shell extension in Ubuntu simplifies the process of adding an application shortcut to the desktop. This extension is called “Add to Desktop,” it allows you to easily add an application shortcut to your desktop by right-clicking on the application icon and selecting “Add to Desktop.”

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However, you can only install this extension through the Gnome shell extension manager. Therefore, the first subsection below will guide you through the process of installing the Gnome shell extension manager on your Ubuntu PC. Once you have installed the extension manager, the following subsection will show you how to install the “Add to Desktop” extension through the manager and use it to add application shortcuts to your desktop.

How to Install Gnome Shell Extension Manager in Ubuntu

If the Gnome shell extension manager is already installed on your Ubuntu computer, you can skip the first sub-section and proceed to the next one, which will guide you through the process of installing and using the “Add to Desktop” extension.

  1. To open the Terminal in Ubuntu, you can either right-click on any free area on your desktop and select “Open in Terminal,” or you can use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + T. This will open a new Terminal window for you to use.
  1. To update your software repository in the Ubuntu terminal, run the following command:
sudo apt-get update

When you execute this command, you will be prompted to input your password for authentication. Simply type your password and press Enter to proceed. The terminal will then begin to update your software repository.

To install the Gnome shell extension manager on your Ubuntu computer, you can run the following command in the terminal after updating your software repository:

sudo apt-get install gnome-shell-extension-prefs

This command will download and install the Gnome shell extension manager package. You may be prompted to enter your password again before the installation process begins. Once the installation is complete, you can proceed to the next sub-section to install and use the “Add to Desktop” extension.

sudo apt install gnome-shell-extension-manager
  1. Following that, you should receive some installation information. Afterward, a prompt will ask if you wish to proceed with the installation. To continue, type “y” and then press Enter.
  1. As a result, the installation of the extension manager should begin on your computer.
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How to Install and Use the “Add to Desktop” Extension

To open the Extension Manager on Ubuntu, you can follow these steps:

Click on the “Show Applications” button located on the Ubuntu dock.
In the search field, type “extension manager” and wait for the search results to appear.
From the search results, select the Extension Manager icon to launch it.

  1. When the Gnome shell extension manager opens, switch to the Browse tab.
  1. Now, input “add to desktop” in the search field. Then, click the Install button opposite the Add to Desktop extension from the search result.
  1. After doing that, you will receive a prompt confirming if you want to download and install the extension. Hence, click the Install button in the prompt.
  1. After installing the extension, you will see an Add to Desktop option anytime you right-click an app on the Show Applications menu. This option will allow you to easily send an application directly to the Ubuntu desktop.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Do I Add Apps To My Dock In Ubuntu?

To add apps to your dock in Ubuntu, you can follow these steps:

  • Open the application that you want to add to the dock.
  • Right-click on the application’s icon in the dock and select “Add to Favorites” from the context menu.
  • Alternatively, you can drag the application’s icon from the Applications menu and drop it onto the dock to add it as a favorite.
  • The application’s icon will now appear in the dock, and you can launch it by clicking on it.

Note that you can also remove apps from the dock by right-clicking on their icons and selecting “Remove from Favorites.”

2. How Do I Access Apps On Ubuntu?

To access apps on Ubuntu, you can follow these steps:

  • Click on the “Show Applications” button located on the Ubuntu dock.
  • This will open the Applications menu, where you can view all the installed applications on your system.
  • You can scroll through the list of applications to find the one you want to use, or you can use the search field at the top of the menu to search for a specific app by name.
  • Once you find the app you want to use, click on its icon to launch it.
  • The app will open in a new window, and you can start using it.
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Note that you can also add your favorite apps to the dock for quick access. Simply right-click on the app’s icon in the Applications menu and select “Add to Favorites” to add it to the dock.

3. Where Are Desktop Files For Programs In Ubuntu Stored?

In Ubuntu, the desktop files for programs are usually stored in the /usr/share/applications directory or the ~/.local/share/applications directory. The former directory contains desktop files for system-wide applications, while the latter contains desktop files for user-specific applications.

Desktop files are used to provide information about an application, such as its name, icon, command to launch it, and other metadata. The system uses these files to create launchers in the Applications menu and on the desktop. You can also use these files to create custom launchers for your favorite applications.

4. Can I Add A Folder To Ubuntu Desktop?

Yes, you can add a folder to the Ubuntu desktop. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Open the Files app on your Ubuntu system.
  • Navigate to the folder you want to add to the desktop.
  • Right-click on the folder and select “Make Link” from the context menu.
  • This will create a symbolic link to the folder.
  • Move the symbolic link to the desktop by dragging and dropping it there.
  • The symbolic link will appear on the desktop; you can access the folder by clicking.

Note that when you create a symbolic link to a folder on the desktop, any changes you make to the original folder will also be reflected in the linked folder on the desktop.

5. Is Ubuntu Free?

Yes, the Ubuntu operating system is free.

Conclusion

In conclusion, adding applications to the Ubuntu desktop is a simple process that greatly enhances your productivity and workflow. You can easily access your favorite applications with just a click by creating custom launchers or using the “Add to Desktop” Gnome shell extension. We hope this guide has given you a clear understanding of the steps involved in adding applications to the Ubuntu desktop. Whether you prefer to create custom launchers or use the Gnome shell extension, you now have the tools to customize your desktop and streamline your workflow. So add your favorite applications to the desktop and enjoy a more productive Ubuntu experience!

Mohamed SAKHRI
Mohamed SAKHRI

I'm the creator and editor-in-chief of Tech To Geek. Through this little blog, I share with you my passion for technology. I specialize in various operating systems such as Windows, Linux, macOS, and Android, focusing on providing practical and valuable guides.

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