Despite the fact that it is currently very easy to put a dock on our desktop or install an application. There are still many users who use shortcuts as a common thing to run their applications. There is also the possibility of having downloaded a compressed package with a new version and we want to have direct access to that version.
Although all this sounds very confusing, the truth is that in Gnu / Linux it is easy to create custom shortcuts that are registered by the desktop and that it shows them where it corresponds automatically, for this only we have to create a .desktop file.
These types of files were created precisely to indicate to any Gnu / Linux desktop where the executable was, which icon to use and show on the desktop. We have a shortcut like the ones created by Windows but more useful than these because the .desktop files allow you to enter the Applications Menu, being more general than the Windows shortcuts.
To create a .desktop file we have to create a blank document (easy with Gedit, Nano, Kate or any basic text editor) and write the following fields:
[ Desktop Entry ] Encoding = UTF- 8 Version = 1.0 Type = Application Terminal = false Exec = Dirección del archivo o ejecutable Name= Nombre que recibirá la aplicación Icon= Dirección del icono que vamos a utilizar
Once we have this filled in with the information from the application of the shortcut, we have to save the file with any name we want but the extension must be ".desktop". Once we have this done, we have to move or copy the file to the following system folder: ~/.local/share/applications. This folder is in all Gnu / Linux distributions, but starting with .local, the folder will not be visible as it is a hidden folder. But with the combination "Ctrl + H" it will be corrected quickly. Now we will not only have the direct access in the applications menu but we can also use it on the desktop as a direct access. Easy and simple Do not you think?