Chapter 2. Overview of the GNOME Desktop

Desktop and Desktop Objects

The desktop is an active component of the user interface. You can use the desktop to perform the following actions:

  • Start your applications, and open your files and folders.

    You can add desktop objects for convenient access to the files, folders, and applications that you use frequently. For example, you add a launcher for an application that you use often.

  • Open the Desktop menu.

    Right-click on the desktop to open the Desktop menu. You can use the Desktop menu to perform actions on the desktop.

The file manager manages the desktop.

To Open Desktop Objects

To open an object from the desktop, double-click on the object. You can set your preferences in a Nautilus window so that you click once on an object to execute the default action.

To Add Objects to the Desktop

You can add desktop objects for convenient access to files, folders, and applications that you use frequently. You can add objects to your desktop in the following ways:

  • Use the Desktop menu to add a launcher to the desktop.

  • Drag an object from a file manager window to the desktop. For example, you can create a symbolic link to a file that you use often, then drag the link to your desktop. The icon for the link is moved to the desktop. To open the file, double-click on the icon. You can also drag files and folders to the desktop.

  • Drag an application launcher from a menu to the desktop. For example, you can open a menu that contains a launcher for an application that you use often, then drag the launcher to your desktop.