I like having my desktop filled with shortcuts to programs that I regularly use. In Ubuntu 18.04, there is a lack of a “right click > add shortcut to desktop” option. If you are missing this option too, don’t fret! There is another way to do just that.
In the Terminal, navigate to:
If you list all files with ls, you will see many different .desktop files each of which houses the information for executing a program. It also tells the UI where to find the icon that it should display.
Find the program that you wish to add to the desktop (you should find it here if it is installed through apt and it is a GUI application)
Copy the .desktop file to your own Desktop folder:
cp /usr/share/applications/<app>.desktop /home/<user_name>/Desktop/<app>.desktop
Next we need to make the desktop file executable:
chmod +x /home/<user_name>/Desktop/<app>.desktop
Now looking at the desktop, you should see your copied .desktop file.
Double clicking on the file will bring up a prompt, warning that the program is untrusted. Click “Trust and Launch”
Once accepted, the application should launch as normal. Close it down, and you should now see the once .desktop file changed into an icon launcher as intended!