There are some features missing in Ubuntu 11.10/12.04 like the possibility to create a launcher (desktop shortcut) from the context menu and also there is no button to click in the Unity launcher to show the desktop.

We have previously seen many tutorials explaining the alternative methods for creating desktop shortcuts under Oneiric, today we will see another method that consists of adding a "Show Desktop" button to the Unity launcher of Ubuntu 11.10/12.04. This will be useful especially when we have many running windows and want to minimize them all in a single click.

Note: As a reminder, you can use Ctrl+Alt+D to show the desktop or simply show the desktop from the Alt-Tab Menu.

Method 1 (Recommended)

Install first CCSM with this command:

sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Then launch it from the Unity Dash:

In the left browsing menu, click Desktop, then in the left pane click Ubuntu Unity Plugin:

Open now the Experimental tab and check on Show "Desktop Icon" in the launcher:

Close now CCSM and open the terminal and run one of these commands to reset Unity:

setsid unity
unity --replace

The "Show Desktop" icon will now show up in the Unity launcher.

Method 2 (Using A Bash Script)

Install first this dependency:

sudo apt-get install xdotool

Then download and install this bash script with these commands:

cd /tmp
wget http://dl.dropbox.com/u/47950494/show-desktop.tar.gz
tar -xzvf show-desktop.tar.gz
chmod +x showdesktop
sudo cp showdesktop /usr/bin
cp show-desktop.desktop ~/Desktop

Now drag and drop the show-desktop.desktop file located in the desktop into the Unity launcher to add the "Show Desktop" button:

You can now use this button to minimize all running windows.

This button is not that perfect and it may take a few seconds to work due to the pulsating effect set when clicking launcher icons, but you can make it faster when clicking with mouse middle button (scroll wheel button)..

That's it!

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