In the last versions of Ubuntu (11.04/10.10, etc.), adding a desktop shortcut was so easy, you need simply to make a right click on your desktop and select "Create Launcher". This feature is missing on Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, but it is possible to create a new desktop shortcut by following these tips:

1. To create a new desktop shortcut via the terminal, run simply this command:

gnome-desktop-item-edit --create-new ~/Desktop

2. Or simply press ALT + F2 and run the same command:

gnome-desktop-item-edit --create-new ~/Desktop

A window will pop up, submit your shortcut details and click OK:

Your shortcut will now appear on your desktop.

That's it!

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