How to Show the Trash Can (and others) on Your Desktop in Ubuntu

Ever tried dragging that darn Trash applet from your Panel to the Desktop in Ubuntu cause you wanted it there like the Recycle Bin in Windows?


You did?

Did it work?


Do you want me to show you how you can put the Trash on your Desktop, just like in Windows?


You want to see it like this?Trash Applet on Desktop in Ubuntu

If so, then send $20 by Paypal to… OK OK… I’m just kidding!

And just because I’m nice (I like ya) and I feel bad for playing that joke on ya (tee-hee!), I’ll show you how to add the Computer icon, and for a BONUS (Yah!), I’ll show you how to put your Home icon there too! All this just so that it feels a little more “comfy” after moving from Windows, Hell, USA.

1. Click on Applications > System Tools > Configuration Editor. (UPDATE: If it’s not there, you’ll need to enable it in the menu editor by right-clicking on the Menu Bar and selecting “Edit Menus” sinceUbuntu Configuration Editor it’s hidden by default.)

2. Now navigate to… wipe your hands of that sweat! This isn’t that hard! Navigate to /apps/nautilus/desktop and put a checkmark on whatever items you want on your Desktop!

3. There is no number 3.

You’re done.

Close your Editor.

No need to save… it’s instant! Maybe I should take this time to warn you to be extremely careful playing with the configurations in there cause it doesn’t warn you (like Windows), it doesn’t ask you first (like Windows), and it’s instant (unlike Windows). Think of it like the Windows Registry.

Looking to add the Trash to your KDE (Kubuntu) desktop? Read this post.

<<< Bell rings > >>

That’s it for today, class! See you… whenever!

Hey… wait! You dropped your mouse.

18 responses to “How to Show the Trash Can (and others) on Your Desktop in Ubuntu”

  1. Dirk says :

    Great Tip! Thanks for posting. Wanted to put a few icons on my Ubuntu desktop, but didn’t know how. Now I do. 🙂

  2. Panda says :

    Yeah….it’s works now..

  3. Koala says :

    Thanks a lot! I’ve done the same thing using launchers, but this way is much more simple!

  4. Mattia says :

    Thank you 🙂

  5. Computer Cleanup and Virus Removal, Lake Geneva, WI says :

    Well now. That was simple. I spent like an hour dicking around before I just Googled it and ended up here.


    karl A. Krogmann

    • luis guzman says :

      That was great in 2006. How do I do it today (Ubuntu 10.04.1)?

      • Kevin Guertin says :

        It doesn’t matter what version of Ubuntu you’re using. It’s still the same procedure regardless of how old this article is. It is a GNOME/Nautilus setting. The “Configuration Editor” (gconf) is a GNOME configuration tool, so you can do the same in any Linux distribution that uses GNOME, not just Ubuntu. You may have to enable it in your menu, as explained in the first step of this post.

      • Muhammad says :

        Go to Terminal, type: gconf-editor
        And then follow the steps. Now I know it is 2011 and I’m using Ubuntu 11.04 and it is working great. 🙂

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