Stealing the title nearly directly from the source below, I thought I’d just post a quick simplification of creating a launcher in Debian based linux. This should work for all Debian based including Ubuntu and Mint etc. but definitely including the Gnome3 interface (where “Desktop” shortcuts do not in fact show up on the desktop itself). The following is an extract from the source as well:

Line Description
[Desktop Entry] The first line of every desktop file and the section
header to identify the block of key value pairs associated
with the desktop. Necessary for the desktop to recognize
the file correctly.
Type=Application Tells the desktop that this desktop file pertains to
an application. Other valid values for this key are
Link and
Encoding=UTF-8 Describes the encoding of the entries in this desktop
Name=Sample Application Name
Names of your application for the main menu and any launchers.
Comment=A sample application Describes the application. Used as a tooltip.
Exec=application The command that starts this application from a
shell. It can have arguments.
Icon=application.png The icon name associated with this application.
Terminal=false Describes whether application should run in a terminal.


To help in understanding (and possibly give you a source for a copy/paste change for yourself) below is an example of a launcher created for a simple script I created:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Connect to the Razer Orochi

This was then saved in /home/l33tch/.local/share/applications as a .desktop file: Razer-Connect.desktop

The above will then work the next time the window manager starts. If you don’t have anything open you can restart it quickly with ctrl+alt+backspace (if you did not disable it which some dists do these days) otherwise a simple reboot will do as well.

For more info the link below goes deeper into detail but simply put, the above shows that you can name it, give it a tooltip comment and supply an icon very simply, select whether it should launch from a terminal window and then add some grouping information. Type can also be Link or Directory

Source: Desktop files: putting your application in the desktop menus

Extra: How to create desktop shortcut or launcher on Linux

The latter link goes into some methods not requiring as manual/text-based a creation process.