For Windows users trying out Ubuntu, one of the first things you will notice with the GNOME desktop is how icon-less it is. Most Windows users are familiar with many icons on their desktop, including the default icons – My Computer, Network and The Recycle bin.
Even though those icons have different names in Ubuntu such as Computer (My Computer), and the Trash Can (Recycle bin), you may still like to have them on the desktop for the added functionality of drag and drop and the ability to easily access network and mounted drives.
Adding these icons is simple. Here's how to do it.
Open up the Run dialog box by pressing ALT and F2 keys, then type gconf-editor and click on the Run button.
(If prompted, enter your password to proceed).
Once the GNOME Configuration Editor opens, navigate to the apps / nautilus / desktop from left menu. Then on the right hand side, you can enable the icons you want visible on the desktop by checking the box next to the item.
For example, I have check:
After making your selections, close GNOME Configuration Editor. Now take a look at your desktop and you should see the icons that were selected.
That's it. Now you'll have the same familarality with Ubuntu as you have with Windows.