How to add/modify icons on the desktop

  1. How to modify an icon name on the desktop ?
    For example, the icon name of GIMP is displayed ‘GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program)’ on the desktop. I’d like to modify it to ‘gimp’.
    I can edit it on XDG shortcut tab, but can’t ‘Save Shortcut.’ because it is grayouted .
    So tried ‘Save as’ (both Local shortcut or Register Shortcut), but not changed anything.

  2. How to add an icon of app or shortcut onto the desktop ?
    I could not to find out a way do it. Lumina is difficult for me.


look at /usr/local/share/applications for the desktop icons


Thanks RodMyers.

OK, I tried to modify ‘gimp.desktop’ on the path.
I opened the properties of it from right click, and edited the name on the application tab, and clicked ‘OK’. but opened it again, the name has not changed.

Next I copied it to ‘~/.local/share/applications/’, and edited the copied same as above. It was changed but does not apears to my desktop.

What is my mistook ?

And where is the icon of ‘Calculator’ ? I’d like to add it onto my desktop.


Sorry, it be able to add from utilities category in Kick menu.
However can not modify the name of it same as GIMP.


To change the name on the calculator icon:
Go to the directory /usr/local/share/applications and open the file lumina-calculator.desktop with an editor of your choice (you need administrator privileges). This is the content of the file:

[Desktop Entry]
GenericName=Scientific Calculator for Lumina
Comment=Perform mathematical calculations

Now change the name in Name=Calculator to anything you like and save the file. The name on the icon is changed instantaneously - at least on my system (TrueOS 17.12 STABLE)


Thanks RJules3.
Yes, I could to modify the icon name on my desktop !
However I think the way for it is not user friendly…


You are welcome @phantom!

Of course, just a right click on the icon and a quick change of the properties would be more appealing but always I am glad, if there is a way at all.


Easy Steps to rename a desktop shortcut:

  1. Right-click on the shortcut and launch the “View Properties” option.
    1A. Notice right away that the file owner is listed as “root” with “Read Only” permissions (first tab in file information). This is why the “Save” option is greyed-out in the File menu.
  2. Change the name of the shortcut on the “XDG Shortcut” tab (or any other info that you want to change)
  3. Click the “Save As -> Local Shortcut” option in the file menu and place it into your “Desktop” folder.

After that, you can remove the original shortcut that you just made a copy of. The original cannot be modified (link to a root-locked file in /usr/local/share/applications), but you can remove the link from your desktop without issue.


Thank you @beanpole135 for this ‘graphical’ way!

These ‘easy steps’ are worth to be part of the tips and tricks thread, aren’t they?


Thanks @beanpole135 !
I have a question.

If click the “Save As -> Register Shortcut”, the icon file will save to “~/.local/share/applications/”.
What is this directory ? It is a warehouse ?


The “~/.local/share/applications/” directory is where applications can be registered for the current user only. Any valid *.desktop files in there automatically get included in the system application lists and can be set as a favorite or generate a quick-launch icon for them in the start menu.